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battery

How to boost you battery

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Before you start reading, I have a quick question.  When do you think most of the damage to your battery happens?  Summer or winter?  If you are thinking “winter” then you would be incorrect which is what most people think.  In actuality, most of the damage happens to your battery in the summer due to the extreme heat.  That’s why you should have your battery checked by your automotive service provider in the fall.

However, many of us have experienced the following situation of hearing the sound “click click” when you’ve tried to start your car and nothing happens.  A dead battery! I’m sure everyone has experienced this situation at least once in their lives and it is a total pain in the neck when it happens.  At least it has been for me.  The first time I experienced it, I was driving my mom’s car and I was early for a job so I was sitting in the car doing some reading.  When my co-worker arrived, I got out of the car and forgot to turn off the interior reading light.  Now it’s 2:00 in the morning as I was working at the Toronto International Film Festival and the car wouldn’t start.  Ahhh!  My mom didn’t have an emergency roadside kit with booster cables so off my co-worker and I went to the nearest gas station to buy booster cables.  We were able to boost the battery but I lived not far away and I was worried that I wouldn’t have driven enough to get a charge in the battery and I had to get up super early to drive to my parents so that I could go do my motorcycle test.  Needless to say, I was a little stressed and it was the absolute worst time to get a dead battery!  Booster cables are great if you know how to use them properly but most people don’t know how to use them properly and by trying to be helpful these people could end up costing you a bunch of money.  Most people think it’s black on black and red on red.  Guess what, this is how could blow your engine’s computer!

Here is how you hook up booster cables correctly.

First, make sure everything is turned off!

  1. Connect the positive cable (+)(red) to the positive post (+)(red) of the dead battery.
  2. Connect the other end of the positive cable to the good battery.
  3. Connect the negative cable (-) (black) to the negative post of the good battery.
  4. Connect the negative cable to a metal part of the dead vehicle’s engine.  DO NOT attach the negative cable to the negative post.
  5. Get in your vehicle and start it up!  Once it’s started, let them run for a few minutes and then disconnect the cables in the reverse order.

Here’s a parking tip so that you don’t find yourself in a situation where you can’t be helped. If you are going to park your car you should either pull through the spot or back into it.  The reason being if you accidentally left your headlights on, it will be easier to get at the battery. I’ve learned this one from experience. Safe travels !

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