Jump Starting a Car Battery

Warning! Do not reinstall a car battery without full knowledge of its proper placement!

In the world of electronics, red means positive, and black means negative. Don't assume this with car batteries.

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We just had negative 38 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, we thought we were fine because we've heard that when it comes to cars, only the temperature matters. It was negative 19 degrees Fahrenheit.

The next morning, our vehicle wouldn't start. My husband decided it was the battery, and possibly a frozen gas line. He bought a battery charger, but was too anxious for it.

It may take up to 5 hours for a battery to charge, plus a couple of hours for the battery to thaw out.

After many tries that failed, I felt sorry for my husband. The battery was finally charged, so I decided to install it myself and let the car run, so when my husband got up in the morning, he would be happy.

What a mistake!

First of all, red means a positive charge, and black means a negative charge. It sounds fine to me, except that when I put the battery back in the car, their was one black cover for the battery, so I assumed it meant a negative charge, and that is where things went wrong!
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Just because you see a black cover for the battery terminal does not mean it is a negative charge. I know in electronics/electrical that this does not make any sense, but this is what happened to me.

Because I saw a black negative cover, I thought it meant a negative charge for the battery. So I connected the battery that way. What I didn't know was that I was connecting the battery the other way--even though the black cap was black, I was connecting it to positive. It was ugly. I did see a spark that happened, in less than a second, and then I got worried. I started dropping all of the sockets.

It turns out that battery covers may be black even when they should be red.

The man that sold my husband the brand new fuse told my husband that I was lucky I didn't blow myself up.
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I am begging you people, don't blow yourselves up!

I want all of you to be patient, and make certain you can get through a winter, even a harsh winter. God Bless You All!

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Consumer Advice Cars AdviceApril 6, 2012
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