Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Battery Bother

Over the last week or so, I've had a few issues with a dead battery first thing in the morning, generally as I have been running late for work. Annoying as this is, it wasn't too much of a pain as I simply hooked up my 'Jump Starter' and the car would start and I could be on my way.

Driving the 10 miles to work, I assumed that the battery would be charging up, however the same dead battery gremlins would plague the car again for the journey home. As useful as the Jump Starter pack is, it's only good for a few starts before it needs recharging so I was running the risk of getting stranded if I didn't get the battery sorted out soon.

After a quick comparison search on the internet I soon found a suitable replacement battery and the plan was to pick it up during my lunch break as it wasn't too far from work. Jump starting the car again, I set off to pick up my new battery. After some frosty customer service, I carried the new battery back to the car and as it was a beautiful decided to change the battery there and then in the car park!

So whipping out my spanners that I always have in the boot, I removed the leads from the battery terminals and undid the battery bar and pulled out the old battery.

When I placed the two batteries side by side and examined them, I realised that for some reason, the positive and negative terminals were the opposite way round on the new battery. Not a massive problem I thought, I can put it in the opposite way to keep the negative terminal near the negative lead.

Once the leads were bolted back on the terminals, I soon realised that there was a problem though. When I tried to put the metal bar back on to secure the battery, it touched the positive terminal and sparked. This car is negatively earthed, so any part of the bodywork that touches the positive terminal will short the battery. No matter how I tried to place the bar over the battery, it was obvious that the terminals were now in the way due to the fact the battery was in back to front!!

So, off came the connectors again and the battery was turned around. This is where I hit another small snag. Previously the negative battery terminal was the closest one to the negative lead, however as this battery is different, it was now at the other side and the lead wouldn't reach properly. Honestly, it's like a comedy sketch!

After a undoing and re-positioning the earth lead where it attached to the car, I was just able to make it reach over the the negative terminal of the battery. Also I had to pull a little of the positive lead through to make it reach also. Once both terminals were on, the bar would now fit properly. Phew, what a faff!!

With that sorted, I stuffed everything back in the boot and set off back to work where I relayed my interesting findings about the none standardisation of car battery terminals to my collegues. I'll leave it to the readers imagination to guess how excited they were with the news!!

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