Author Topic: Problems Jump Starting Car Battery  (Read 544 times)
CEB1993
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Problems Jump Starting Car Battery « on: October 10, 2017, 08:07:01 AM » Author: CEB1993
My car battery went dead and I went to jump start it with another car. I have jumped cars many times and went red-red black-black this time between my VW Jetta and a Lexus RX. Upon cranking up the Lexus, my car battery began spark and smoke, violently. It smelled terrible!  I immediately turned off the Lexus and disconnected the clamps from both batteries. After doing some research, I found that clamping the negative clamp on the dead battery can ignite hydrogen gas over the battery and cause a fire or major sparking or a neutral terminal was not properly grounded.  In order to avoid this, I've heard to attach the negative to a metal part of the car. I apparently have a more serious battery issue, since one of the terminals was not grounded as I expected. The Big Man Upstairs was looking out for me today, and I'm just happy I didn't get zapped along with my battery  Smiley
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LampLover
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Re: Problems Jump Starting Car Battery « Reply #1 on: October 10, 2017, 03:42:09 PM » Author: LampLover
I had a similar thing happen while trying to jump start a late 1990's Ford Tarus with a jump box (basically a SLA/AGM battery in a box with a few more gadgets in it)
The car was totally dead but upon connecting the jump box the lights would work and the ding ding ding from the open door sounded but when my friend went to crank the car the battery started spewing out white smoke and the top around the service ports (Where you would add water or more electrolyte) there was a foamy white stuff forming and starting to drip down luckily I always stand far away when the car is cranking the starter motor so I did not get hurt. I too did the black to the Negative battery post and same with the positive post. The foaming/smoking only happened while the starter was cranking perhaps a shorted cell? Anyway car batteries are dangerous and you should always be careful with them
I found a PDF of the proper way to jump a car battery and I attached it for anyone's reference
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CEB1993
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Re: Problems Jump Starting Car Battery « Reply #2 on: October 10, 2017, 06:33:38 PM » Author: CEB1993
As it turns out, the terminals had melted due to extreme high temperatures under the hood, possibly a manufacturer defect with the battery. Due to the loss of contact, the car wouldn't ignite. My dad and I gave it a "redncek repair" and stuck a metal screw in the terminal to complete the circuit and my car started right up so it could be driven to the repair shop. Everything electronic (radio, headlights, power locks, etc.) worked perfectly, even after the violent sparking and burning on the battery, thank the Lord!  I may just need new terminals or brackets. Turned out not to be a dead battery at all.

I'll start being more careful about where I clamp the ground circuit from now on, since I learned the hard way batteries are not always properly grounded in the neutral terminal.
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LampLover
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Re: Problems Jump Starting Car Battery « Reply #3 on: October 10, 2017, 06:56:17 PM » Author: LampLover
I bet the terminals melted due to a loose connection thus causing arcing and heat. Loose battery connections are the #1 cause along with an actual dead or discharged battery for a no crank problem. Did the actual posts melt? or just the things that clamp to them (The terminals where the wires are attached to?)
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 06:57:52 PM by LampLover » Logged

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Ash
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Re: Problems Jump Starting Car Battery « Reply #4 on: October 10, 2017, 08:54:02 PM » Author: Ash
Even if the car body connection was loose, connecting directly battery to battery is ELECTRICALLY correct, so it could not be the initial cause of the problem. The point in making the last connection elsewhere to the car body is so the possible spark (when closing the circuit) will be away from the Hydrogen source

Sometimes the internal connections between individual cells in a battery break (but remain loosely connected), and then forcing high current through them will cause internal heating and smoke. But that would only come out of 1 or 2 cells (where the bad connection is) and not from all 6, and would most likely result in smoke also when trying to start the car normally

The connection to the battery terminals can sometimes corrode exactly on the interface between the terminal post and the clamp, separating them. Trying to jump start a car in this condition is equivalent of jump starting the car without a battery connected. If the connection is lost partially, it would heat at the terminal when trying to start the car normally as well. If it is lost fully, it won't react in any way to jump starting
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Re: Problems Jump Starting Car Battery « Reply #5 on: October 10, 2017, 09:32:09 PM » Author: Lodge
It's a good idea to check the battery terminals every couple of months, and clean them as needed, baking soda and water works wonders on them and stiff small wire brush, let them dry and apply a bit of clear silicone grease and your good to go for another few months or years, also even thought most people don't use them those treated felt washers they sell in autoparts stores in the battery section for a few bucks really do work wonders keeping corrosion under control if it's a top post battery, they just slip over the post and sit on the top of the battery, also if the battery is a maintenance free ones with a side vent, attaching a small flexible tube to it allows the gas to vent away from the battery and other important items also works wonders, and lots of maintenance free batteries have vent tubes you can take advantage of..
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Re: Problems Jump Starting Car Battery « Reply #6 on: October 11, 2017, 01:35:43 AM » Author: funkybulb
Also if battery is maintance free type basically  standard
Battery where u cant check the level to add distilled
Water.  This still have water losses.  Once any led acid
Get below top of the plate.  It start to corrode internaly
And each time u start the car it creates plate warpage
Evennlually plates touch each other and sparking
The hydrogen internally due haveing large air space
Then basically u got s bomb going off with flying acid
So it importance to check your charging voltage
Also u should where Eye protection or face sheild
Every time a battery is handled as i seem new car
Batteriies get blow up as well,  esp ones made by johnson controls.  Me and grandpa bougjh a battery
From napa one month later it exploded under the hood
Making s big mess. Had pick up pieces and returned it
To auto part store and they had to give us a new battery
As it was defective.
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Re: Problems Jump Starting Car Battery « Reply #7 on: October 11, 2017, 05:42:05 PM » Author: Lodge
Also if battery is maintance free type basically  standard
Battery where u cant check the level to add distilled
Water.  This still have water losses.  Once any led acid
Get below top of the plate.  It start to corrode internaly
And each time u start the car it creates plate warpage
Evennlually plates touch each other and sparking
The hydrogen internally due haveing large air space
Then basically u got s bomb going off with flying acid
So it importance to check your charging voltage
Also u should where Eye protection or face sheild
Every time a battery is handled as i seem new car
Batteriies get blow up as well,  esp ones made by johnson controls.  Me and grandpa bougjh a battery
From napa one month later it exploded under the hood
Making s big mess. Had pick up pieces and returned it
To auto part store and they had to give us a new battery
As it was defective.

Also lots of maintenance free batteries, you can remove the tops and fill the cells even the SLA's have a removable top that is simply glued on and under it there is little rubber self sealing caps on the cells, if you look at them closely you can see how they are put together and simply disassemble them and some have stickers over the cell tops, but if it's still under warranty, before voiding it, return it..

Another good thing to do if you live in a colder area is attach a small charger to the battery and every time you plug in your car it'll charge you battery those little Genius chargers work wonders and they are waterproof small and won't over charge it and draw no power from the battery when turned off, also plug in heating battery blankets are a good idea if you live where it gets stupid cold... 
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Re: Problems Jump Starting Car Battery « Reply #8 on: October 11, 2017, 10:26:59 PM » Author: ace100w120v
I, too, have had the pleasure of smoking/sparking connections, including substantially melting one of the terminal posts. This wasn't in a car, it was in a 16' aluminum skiff with an outboard motor, but still a regular group 27 12-volt car battery I tried to jump with another one.

I've always been afraid of lead-acid batteries exploding.  My house lacks city power, being off-grid, and I've got three 8Ds running a 2000w inverter, charged with a charger in the inverter unit, I think 100 amp 12 volt.  That said, 8Ds definitely are not maintenance free, and I've filled up the water many times.  I should wear eye protection but I admittedly don't, but I turn off and disconnect everything electrical prior to doing so, I figure it's less likely to have a spark or ignition source that way. 

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Re: Problems Jump Starting Car Battery « Reply #9 on: October 12, 2017, 01:44:58 AM » Author: marcopete87
Some times ago (4-5 years), in Scania truck i drove, positive terminal exploded due bad connection and high current (16.4L V8 diesel engine).

ace100w120v, becareful on adding water, expecially if battery is on low charge level: there is too much acid than an full charged battery, adding water may overheat acid and make you water vaporize.
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Ash
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Re: Problems Jump Starting Car Battery « Reply #10 on: October 12, 2017, 02:09:13 AM » Author: Ash
If working in a workshop with compressor and air gun available, i think it could be good practice to blast the battery and generally the engine compartment with air before messing with the battery. This would blow away any Hydrogen and Gas fumes etc. Your thoughts ?
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CEB1993
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Re: Problems Jump Starting Car Battery « Reply #11 on: October 12, 2017, 07:14:05 AM » Author: CEB1993
I talked to the mechanic and he said the he suspects there was prolonged electrical arcing in the battery terminals because the battery was improperly installed and there were loose connections.  The last time I had a battery installed, was at an ordinary auto parts store, that was probably not certified to work on cars to the extent of installing batteries or working on other electrical components. As a result, the frequent arcing caused abnormal heat production and melted the battery terminals, which explains why the neutral was not grounded and I almost started a fire when I tried to jump start the car.  I had the new battery put in at a reputable auto repair shop this time Smiley
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 07:16:25 AM by CEB1993 » Logged
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Re: Problems Jump Starting Car Battery « Reply #12 on: October 12, 2017, 07:45:33 AM » Author: Ash
The problem is not lack of certification but lack of common sense, and sheer negligence. If they didnt tighten the bolts on the battery terminals they could of not tighten the bolts on a wheel or two as well...
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Re: Problems Jump Starting Car Battery « Reply #13 on: October 12, 2017, 05:16:28 PM » Author: Lodge
And most of these problems can be avoided if your willing to turn the wrenches yourself, and it's not a bad thing to make sure they are tight by tugging on them if someone else has done the work, because the kids working at most big box stores selling batteries are making minimum wage so you get minimum effort and it's not there fault the manager want's maximum profits and pushes them to work faster and cut corners... 
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CEB1993
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Re: Problems Jump Starting Car Battery « Reply #14 on: November 29, 2017, 11:47:19 AM » Author: CEB1993
And most of these problems can be avoided if your willing to turn the wrenches yourself, and it's not a bad thing to make sure they are tight by tugging on them if someone else has done the work, because the kids working at most big box stores selling batteries are making minimum wage so you get minimum effort and it's not there fault the manager want's maximum profits and pushes them to work faster and cut corners... 

I'm convinced that the auto parts store installed the wrong type of battery in my car.  The terminals melted due to the high voltage temperature, which I have never heard of happening and it even confused the mechanic I took it to last month.  The battery lasted for one year until the terminals were totally destroyed and jumpstarting the car resulted in a dangerous reaction and several blown fuses.
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