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Old 07-16-2002, 10:30 AM
hedpe's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 507
how to properly disconnect a battery?

Hey guys, gotta disconnect my battery before i go to greece. I thought my dad knew how to properly do it, but he doesn't. How do i properly disconnect my battery so i do not electricude myself?
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Old 07-16-2002, 10:58 AM
G-Benz's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
First off, don't approach the car wearing enough jewelry to rival Mr. T!

That said, I'm not the foremost authority, but I remove the negative (ground) lead first.

I figure logically, if I'm using a long wrench or ratchet, I don't want to remove the positive (+) lead first anyway, because the opposite end may contact some metal portion of the engine compartment, and with the negative lead still connected, my tool completes the circuit (ZZZZAP...if you can get a mental picture of this).

In the future, I think the safest way to do this is to get one of those battery disconnect gizmos that attaches directly to your battery terminal. It has a big knob that you loosen, which disconnects the battery. I've seen it in many catalogs, including

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 07-16-2002, 12:06 PM
Registered Diesel Burner
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,911
I think the newer cars with the factory radio might have some issues with losing battery power. It is an anti-theft measure that requires you to enter a security code upon hooking up the battery again. You might want to check on this and make sure you have the security code first.

It may turn out that for a short trip of a month or two you'd be better off leaving the battery connected.

Some of the devices G-Benz mentioned have a small fused lead that keeps power going from the battery to the radio. That's meant to be a security device when you remove the knob - you can't start the car. Of course you can take the fuse out too and prevent battery drainage.

Have a nice trip. Someone with a newer car than mine may have more tips for you regarding the radio security code. My cars are all too old and have aftermarket radios anyway.

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Old 07-16-2002, 03:51 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: England
Posts: 1,841
Yes, I wouldn't disconnect the battery for this time either, unless you think there is any dodgy wiring (from say, aftermarket radio or alarm) in there. At the worst, it'll go flat and you'll have to jump it.

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Old 07-16-2002, 04:20 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Saugus, CA USA
Posts: 1,974
Disconnect the negative first. Then if the wrench touches something nothing will happen, as oposed to a wrench on the positive terminal touching ground
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