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I'm an electrical idiot so I'm here for help. Car has been very reliable until today. She's been sitting with the battery disconnected for about 4 weeks. I reconnected the battery and all is well (footwell lights come on and the "cold" idiot light comes on when the ignition is in the on position). As soon as I turn the key to start all I hear is a click and everything goes dead. I hook it up to my charger and it does the same thing although the Optima battery is at 95%. It acts like it has to reset it self and even off the charger it takes like 15 min for the footwell and idiot lights to come on again. Any help is appreciated!!
 

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Is the source of the CLICK the starter solenoid?
 

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For the love of god, you always remove the negative cable first. ALWAYS negative first. And reconnect negative last. Unless you like sparks flying, getting shocked, and shorting out your car's electrical system. That's literally the first thing I ever learned about cars. I once forgot that rule and it wasn't pretty...

Anyways, do all the things FE said, besides the positive cable thing. If that doesn't work, try tapping the solenoid with a hammer as someone else turns the key. If that doesn't work you probably need to replace the solenoid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Drum roll please.....she runs! FE, I owe you a beer for the less than stellar mental thoughts I had about your suggestions. I had already looked at the connections and they looked clean, at least on the side I could see apparently. Thanks again FE! Also, on a side note, I have a disconnect switch which the little package specifically said to put on the positive terminal. Geoffunkel, are you suggesting it should be on the neg side?
 

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For the love of god
...uh... That's GOD

geoffunkel continues said:
you always remove the negative cable first. ALWAYS negative first. And reconnect negative last. Unless you like sparks flying, getting shocked, and shorting out your car's electrical system. That's literally the first thing I ever learned about cars. I once forgot that rule and it wasn't pretty...
CORRECT! You also don't want an electrical arc near a battery. They will blow up... :eek:
 

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For the love of god, you always remove the negative cable first. ALWAYS negative first. And reconnect negative last. Unless you like sparks flying, getting shocked, and shorting out your car's electrical system. That's literally the first thing I ever learned about cars. I once forgot that rule and it wasn't pretty...

Anyways, do all the things FE said, besides the positive cable thing. If that doesn't work, try tapping the solenoid with a hammer as someone else turns the key. If that doesn't work you probably need to replace the solenoid.

OK boy's and men alike. SOMEONE PLEASE tell me why a battery would ARC simply by removing the + first. Spit it out and tell me why without a lot of fill and crap, is it electrons going ape schitt or what.

Then also explain WHY it would NOT spark if removing the Negative cable FIRST?? IS it the electrons NOT going ape schitt simply due to the direction of current flow? WTF Over?

I never took one auto nor electrical class in my life, yet here I set ASE certified... So there must be a class on current I missed when I didn't go to school for this.

Hurry up I don't have all day.

And Kul, even I know that a spark will ignite battery vapors...
 

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Way I've always thought about it is if you are loosening the nut on the clamp and you hit the wrench on the car, if you are on positive with the neg still attached you are going to get a spark show, if you pull the negative first then it doesn't matter since both are at the same potential. After negative is off you can dead short positive to the car and nothing will happen.
 

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FE. I didn't mean you any disrespect. I know you are one of the most experienced and valuable contributors to this forum, but this is pretty much auto shop 101 here. Simply removing the (+) cable first is not going to cause a spark, but it creates potential for one. Let's say you have the (-) cable connected and the (+) disconnected. If something comes in contact with the (+) terminal on the battery and touches ground you will get a short, sparks, etc.

My first old car I had was a Red 1965 Mustang coupe with a 6 cyl. It wasn't in very good condition, but I was excited about the prospect of fixing it up and driving my old classic around town and to high school, etc. One of the first matters of attention it needed was replacing the old battery. I read somewhere to remove the (+) terminal first. Whilst I was wrenching it off, the wrench came in contact with the metal fender. It shorted the battery and gave me one hell of a painful shock. Luckily I was able to let go pretty quick but the wrench stayed on the nut and metal ground, thus shooting off sparks like crazy until i was able to hit the wrench off with a broomstick. My arm definitely hurt for a few days and my heart may well have stopped for a few moments from the shock. By some miracle, I didn't cause a fire or short out anything in the electrical system, but I learned a valuable lesson within the first few days of my wrenching career.

Ever since then, whenever I touch anything electrical on a car, I've always removed both terminals from the battery. Yeah I know it isn't necessary but electricity scares me. Remove negative first, then positive on the battery. When installing, do the reverse. Positive, then negative.
 

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FE. I didn't mean you any disrespect. I know you are one of the most experienced and valuable contributors to this forum, but this is pretty much auto shop 101 here.
I NEVER take offense when being schooled, or told I'm a bad boy. :) Not ever. I enjoy learning anything, and I do not have any schooling, I passes all my ASE certifications testing by not being a moron. It wasn't that hard.

I'm going to read your post now and probably argue with you because I have done it anyway I've liked without incident for almost a thousand years. I even invented the battery :), I thought you knew that? LOL
 

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FSimply removing the (+) cable first is not going to cause a spark, but it creates potential for one. Let's say you have the (-) cable connected and the (+) disconnected. If something comes in contact with the (+) terminal on the battery and touches ground you will get a short, sparks, etc.
well duuuuuuuuuuh. heheheheee
My first old car I had was a Red 1965 Mustang coupe with a 6 cyl. It wasn't in very good condition, but I was excited about the prospect of fixing it up and driving my old classic around town and to high school, etc. One of the first matters of attention it needed was replacing the old battery. I read somewhere to remove the (+) terminal first. Whilst I was wrenching it off, the wrench came in contact with the metal fender.
LMBO, what a newbie tard... I never did that cause I understand + and - LOL
It shorted the battery and gave me one hell of a painful shock.

Ever since then, whenever I touch anything electrical on a car, I've always removed both terminals from the battery. Yeah I know it isn't necessary but electricity scares me. Remove negative first, then positive on the battery. When installing, do the reverse. Positive, then negative.
OK you got me. Remove the Negative first if you're not loaded down with common sense or are a newbie to autos.

Other than those two things, there is no reason in the works to do one before the other.

You see, taking the - off first is dangerous because I've seen doofuses drop the wrench and have it land on BOTH terminals... Which is Exactly like Letting the wrench touch the fender or a ground strap etc...

I keep seeing this warning like it's a scientifical type necessity... Which, thus far it's not, it's simply for people that don't pay attention.

I never was naive and I often get caught up thinking everyone should be as aware of things as I am... My bad. Maybe that's why I'm such an excellent shot.... I'll never figger it out.
:D :D :D
 

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Alright, well I think we can agree that the bigger rule here is that: When working with electricity, don't be a dumb ass like I was. :)
 

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Way I've always thought about it is if you are loosening the nut on the clamp and you hit the wrench on the car, if you are on positive with the neg still attached you are going to get a spark show, if you pull the negative first then it doesn't matter since both are at the same potential. After negative is off you can dead short positive to the car and nothing will happen.
Uh...

If you accidentally ground POS TERM to the car body with a wrench, even with the NEG BAT CABLE removed, you will create a ground and resultant arc.

This is why most cars come through assembly with a protective cover on the POS TERM so it cannot be accidentally grounded.
 

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Uh...

If you accidentally ground POS TERM to the car body with a wrench, even with the NEG BAT CABLE removed, you will create a ground and resultant arc.

This is why most cars come through assembly with a protective cover on the POS TERM so it cannot be accidentally grounded.
HUUH...
could you explain that....??????
i think you need run this one by DANH.;)
..dont think he will agree...lol
 

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Uh...

If you accidentally ground POS TERM to the car body with a wrench, even with the NEG BAT CABLE removed, you will create a ground and resultant arc.

This is why most cars come through assembly with a protective cover on the POS TERM so it cannot be accidentally grounded.
How are you completing a circuit with the Negative terminal removed?? With out that ground cable connected there is no potential difference between the body and the positive terminal, so there will be no sparks.
 

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How are you completing a circuit with the Negative terminal removed?? With out that ground cable connected there is no potential difference between the body and the positive terminal, so there will be no sparks.
X2....
 

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How are you completing a circuit with the Negative terminal removed?? With out that ground cable connected there is no potential difference between the body and the positive terminal, so there will be no sparks.
Try it on your car and get back... :)
 
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