how to jump start?

Dear Group,
I just got home from the cottage and my old 92 Eagle Summit Wagon has a dead battery as one of the kids left the door slightly open when we left for vacation. I went to boost it using our 2000 Montana minivan. On the Montana I see clearly marked a remote positive jump starting terminal but I see nowhere to connect to the negative terminal of this charged battery...the battery seems very inaccessible...unlike the battery posts on older cars. If I want to use the charged Montana battery to boost my old Summit where do I connect the negative cable on the good battery of the Montana? I always thought one had to connect the positive and negative jump cables to the positive and negative battery terminals on the GOOD battery. What am I missing?
Thanks for your advice.
Doug
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Attach the negative to the vehicle frame.
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Doug Mitchell wrote:

Attach the negative to the car frame or engine. That is even better than the battery. Connect it last. It should be done that way anytime you jump a battery, it's safer.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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On Sat, 3 Jul 2004 17:40:42 -0400, "Doug Mitchell"

The first thing that comes to mind is don't use your late model minivan to boost another vehicle. Check if your minivan has electronics controlled fuel metering circuitry and other electronics gadgetry. Its very likely you do. The current drain from a battery boost is said to damage the memory and other sensitive electronics. Over the years every time (not often) I asked for a boost for my 20 year old standard shift four banger I always get turned down by owners of late model cars I flag down for help. That many owners of different makes of vehicles must collectively be right about their cars' sensitivities.
You can recharge the battery of you Eagle from a battery charger, or from your minivan by hooking up the booster cables (when you do find the battery posts) and running the minivan's engine. But don't boost start.
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wrote:

I don't think your advise is sound. Jump starting another car causes the same battery drain as starting your car from its own battery. Since starting a car on its own battery doesn't fry the electronics...
KB
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KLM wrote:

More likely they are all believing the same urban legend. I can't see where it would be a problem.

--
Joseph E. Meehan

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I think the problem lies in trying to start an engine when the onboard battery has insufficient charge to do the job, as well as disconnecting the booster cable too soon. What I have always done is connect the booster cables & let the battery charge (with my engine running) for a minute before attempting a start, then leaving the cables connected for half a minute after the other engine starts. This prevents overloading the alternator (& blowing diodes)with a dead battery.

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Dont junp it if you dont need it now, charging a dead battery is hard on the alternator. Use a Charger
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wrote:

...
Finally, things came around to the right point of view. I agree with everything said above about the charging, and that's by far the better way to do it for several reasons. But ... and there's always a but(t), there are times when it's not practical to wait for a charge, and with the lack of gauges, etc. on cars these days, you can't tell without stressing the batteries when the nearly dead one is charged enough. You also get the added benefit of two batteries supplying power (eg 600 cranking amps x 2 = 1200 cca; almost, but not quite in reality). A couple of the dangers are when, for instance, a problem in one of the vehicles causes a substantially different charging voltage of say, 15+ volts in one, but onlym say, 13 in the other or vice-versa. The difference in voltages can cause back-currents that in time (usually seconds, not minutes), can overheat and damage not only diodes in the alternator system, but other regulating components. Simple corrosion in connections in the vehicle system can also cause similar situations. It's a fairly long list. The charging posts in new cars these days are actually a safety device - in MOST, not ALL cars, they will prevent back-flow from the being charged battery to the charging field in the charing battery system. IN theory (do NOT try this at home!) you could even hook up the cables with the wrong polarity and not harm anything where without that protection you get a pretty instant emission of things like flames and acid if you succeed in making the connection through all the sparking that might happen. It's pretty spectacular.
So, yes, it's definitely safer to use one vehicle, running at a fast idle, to charge the other battery and five or ten minutes is usually plenty of time unless there are hard starting problems in the problem vehicle. A fast-charged batter doesn't keep a charge as long as a steadier lower charge rate. Personally, I never leave the cables connected as soon as the one being started starts to spin on its own. I usually put one hand on the cable and the hood between my face and the engie compartment, and as soon as I hear cylinders start to fire, pull the connection off. At most, if it's seriously below zero, I'll give it a two or three count. So far never damaged anything, mine or theirs, but it always makes me nervous to start another vehicle with my own. I keep on doing it though; I'm "lucky" enough to always be the one with a vehicle that'll start, it seems <g>. It's like the outside storage of batteries; all batteries are not created equal, regadless of what some think, and the pure physics of the arguements aside, reality says to follow the manufacturer's instructions, which 99% of the time is to store a battery where it won't freeze. Not all things are created equal in the real world.
It's been a good thread; good reading.
Regards,
Pop
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You've got some really good advice. Here is some more.
Both vehicles turned off. Take keys out of ign switches to be sure.
Clip the cables to the two posts of the dead vehicle. Pos to the post on the new vehicle. Neg to frame or alternator bracket or other metal grounded part.
Start engine on "good" vehicle. Run "good" vehicle for five minutes. Ten is better if you have the patience. More than ten doesn't do much good.
Stop engine on good vehicle. ***Unhook all cables.***
See if "dead" vehicle starts.
On some of the late model cars (I want to say Cadillac?) if the ign key is "ON" when you hook up the cables, you can fry the electronics. Switch offf and key out is no problem.
The goal here is to run the good vehicle to charge the battery of the other vehicle, and then start the dead vehicle without major voltage surges in either vehicle.
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Christopher A. Young
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EXCELlent advice, Storm! Good step by step instructions there. Pop
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Charging batteries generate hydrogen. WHen you add or remove a cable, you get a spark. Hydrogen + spark = explosion. THerefore the last cable connected or the first cable removed should be the negative cable connected to the frame, away from the battery.

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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Get a helper to bring the "good car" up to 3000 RPM or so. Start "dead car". If "good" starts to choke, rev it a little more. It will make more electricity.

I pull "good hot" (cable is still hot from other car, but cars are just grounded to each other now). Pull "good ground". DONT TOUCH THE CABLES TOGETHER (or grab the "hot").
On "Dead car" (running, we hope), unplug hot. Now there's no power in the cables, so relax as you remove the final ground from the Dead car.

Stop it at home (or go get gas at a full serve station) and see if it starts.

reason #14 why cadillacs and too many modern "american*" cars are stupid to own.
* define, in practice as, where the parts are from or where they're assembled is almost moot, as long as the execs who get their 6-7 figure bonuses are american.
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message Stormin Mormon wrote:

SM: Cause when you first hook up the cables, it should be charging at full rate. After five to ten minutes, the dead batt should have plenty enough power to start the car. The battery isn't defective, it's just that the light was left on.
Get a helper to bring the "good car" up to 3000 RPM or so. Start "dead car". If "good" starts to choke, rev it a little more. It will make more electricity. SM: Now, that's what I was trying to avoid. Running car #2 starter while both vehicles hooked together.

I pull "good hot" (cable is still hot from other car, but cars are just grounded to each other now). Pull "good ground". DONT TOUCH THE CABLES TOGETHER (or grab the "hot"). SM: The last cable hooked, or the first cable unhooked, is the one which will make a spark. I don't want the spark near the battery. I've been present when a battery was exploded. It's not a good idea.
On "Dead car" (running, we hope), unplug hot. Now there's no power in the cables, so relax as you remove the final ground from the Dead car. SM: After one cable is unhooked, then the source car is no longer supplying power. But if two cables are hooked on one end, then touching the other two clamps to one another will make a spark on the other end of the jumper cables.

Stop it at home (or go get gas at a full serve station) and see if it starts. SM: It was just a light left on. There is no indication it was a bad alternator, or a dead batt. Unless the battery froze if it was cold over night.

reason #14 why cadillacs and too many modern "american*" cars are stupid to own. SM: I'm agreeing with you about that.
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Each year, esp Winters, I jump start a couple dozen cars for strangers. Usually, I am coming out of a store and notice the same woman is sitting there grinding away. I offer to jump and they grudgingly accept. I quickly do the job while they sit there. I notice that, more and more, they don't even say "Thanks". Wealthy older women (reminding me of Hillary) are the worst. They offer to pay, which I never accept, but they do not smile or say "Thanks" or acknowledge a common decency of a stranger having pulled their bacon out of the fire. The dynamic I get out of them is something like, "Hey, I just can't understand why one human being would ever help another. Next chance I get that I see someone like YOU in jeopardy, I'll just drive right past them." But, there is the occasional, old lady who is very grateful and that makes it all worth while.
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Yeah, just one of those is worth the whole winter's efforts! I like to tell 'em "If I weren't already married..." when as happens occasionally, they show up with donuts or cookies later. I'm already way too fat.
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I have much the same problem. I got one of those jumper battery packs, and really love it. I rigged a cord with a lighter plug on each end, and charge once in awhile as I'm driving.
I had the same problem with a couple teens in a Camaro. We hooked up the cables, and as I was about to say "now, let me run my engine for a couple minutes to charge your battery" the one kid signalled to the other. The kid behind the wheel fired up the car, they unhooked the cables and were out of there before I could say "you're welcome".
The world is populated by a bunch of total ingrates.
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Chuck Yerkes wrote:

After you clip them, wiggle the clips slightly. It seats them better and removes a little of any corrosion that might be there.
Most sources who could be sued recommend the negative connection be made to the car chassis on the vehicle to be started. It makes sense to me for two reasons: one, it limits damage if the dead battery is shorted and limits sparking if the dead battery is really really depleted; two, it gives you a connection that can be broken *away from* the battery, where the hydrogen is being generated.

Let the good car's alternator charge the dead car's battery for a while. The more current the formerly dead battery can supply, the less current has to pass through the jumper cables... and the connections on both sides. If all four connections had only a tiny tenth of an ohm of contact resistance, ten amps of charging current would lose only one volt across that resistance, while five hundred amps of starting current would dissipate all the good battery's 12V in heat at the ohmic connections.

I've never failed to start a startable car without revving the engine on the good car, given five or more minutes of charging time for every fifteen seconds of starter run time. I like the idea that the main source of power is the good battery and not the alternator.

I pull the chassis connection on the formerly dead car. Provided the cars aren't touching, the circuit is now open and the other three clamps can be removed in any order. I prefer to pull the second clamp off the formerly dead car so that I can walk the cables back to the good car, one in each hand to avoid accidental touching, until I remove at least one clamp from the good car. (I let the ground cable hang once I get there, to free the hand.)

I like that better, with the proviso that the car is shut off at a location where it has easy access to another jumpstart.

That could be a hazard with lots of newer cars.
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Chuck Yerkes wrote:

After you clip them, wiggle the clips slightly. It seats them better and removes a little of any corrosion that might be there. SM: Important not to wiggle the connections while you're charging or starting -- that's how you get sparks.
Most sources who could be sued recommend the negative connection be made to the car chassis on the vehicle to be started. It makes sense to me for two reasons: one, it limits damage if the dead battery is shorted and limits sparking if the dead battery is really really depleted; two, it gives you a connection that can be broken *away from* the battery, where the hydrogen is being generated.

Let the good car's alternator charge the dead car's battery for a while. The more current the formerly dead battery can supply, the less current has to pass through the jumper cables... and the connections on both sides. If all four connections had only a tiny tenth of an ohm of contact resistance, ten amps of charging current would lose only one volt across that resistance, while five hundred amps of starting current would dissipate all the good battery's 12V in heat at the ohmic connections. CY: That's a really terrific explaination.

I've never failed to start a startable car without revving the engine on the good car, given five or more minutes of charging time for every fifteen seconds of starter run time. I like the idea that the main source of power is the good battery and not the alternator.

I pull the chassis connection on the formerly dead car. Provided the cars aren't touching, the circuit is now open and the other three clamps can be removed in any order. I prefer to pull the second clamp off the formerly dead car so that I can walk the cables back to the good car, one in each hand to avoid accidental touching, until I remove at least one clamp from the good car. (I let the ground cable hang once I get there, to free the hand.)

I like that better, with the proviso that the car is shut off at a location where it has easy access to another jumpstart.

That could be a hazard with lots of newer cars.
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liquor stores, but
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use a bigger pole, you'll catch more fish.
randy

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