Grounding the negative clamp when jump-starting your car
December 29, 2011 4:43 PM Subscribe
Question about jump-starting a car: why did my neighbor absolutely insist I ground the negative clamp... to the battery? That seems unwise.
posted by subject_verb_remainder to Travel & Transportation (27 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
This was the first time my friend and I had ever tried to jump-start a car (but I've been around it several times), and it wasn't working, so I asked a neighbor that happened by to take a look. He insisted that I ground the negative by hooking it up to the battery of the dead car - that's how he always does it, and claimed that the negative side is grounded to the chassis. He was very confident, and acted like I was an idiot when I refused.
We figured out the problem on our own, but it makes me question: was he right? Is my info old and are car batteries now built this way? If it doesn't work, why would anyone who's jumped a car before ever insist on it?
FWIW I might have been swayed except for the directions on the jumper cable that also read IN BIG CAPITAL LETTERS not to do that.