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Darkman

Is It Safe?

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To keep it brief.... I had a flat car battery and while cleaning up the positive connection the clasp/clamp part of the cable snapped in half. Now I know this may be difficult to imagine, but literally half of it snapped off, so I am left with half stuck to the terminal(?) purely by corrosion and muck I assume. Whatever is keeping it there, it's stuck.

Obviously I can't leave it like that, because it may work loose when the car is being driven. So I am considering using a metal garden hose clamp/clasp to secure it in place.

My question is, is it safe to do so? Is there any reason I shouldn't use a metal clasp to secure the cable in place on the battery? I know it sounds silly. But it's an old car and I don't want to spend any money on it, plus the hassle factor of a garage visit.

Any advice welcome. Insults not so much ;)

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To keep it brief.... I had a flat car battery and while cleaning up the positive connection the clasp/clamp part of the cable snapped in half. Now I know this may be difficult to imagine, but literally half of it snapped off, so I am left with half stuck to the terminal(?) purely by corrosion and muck I assume. Whatever is keeping it there, it's stuck.

Obviously I can't leave it like that, because it may work loose when the car is being driven. So I am considering using a metal garden hose clamp/clasp to secure it in place.

My question is, is it safe to do so? Is there any reason I shouldn't use a metal clasp to secure the cable in place on the battery? I know it sounds silly. But it's an old car and I don't want to spend any money on it, plus the hassle factor of a garage visit.

Any advice welcome. Insults not so much ;)

so long as the cable section makes a good connection then it will work fine.

So long as you can secure it and are 100% happy that it will not come undone or get loose then it is safe.

If you cant guarantee that whatever you use will hold it in place then the answer id no, total loss of power at 70 on the motorway or approaching a roundabout or pulling out of a busy junction may not be pretty.

Best option would be to get another clamp. Not sure where it would stand on mot though if it is a crappy looking repair but I am sure it will fail if not a rock solid connection.

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Why will you lose total power if the battery becomes disconnected? Power will come from the engine via the fan belt via the alternator.

Yeah but the battery holds a lot of power, I've had a few bonnets welded by a loose battery connection.

That much heat is enough to get a fire going.

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Absolutely I would not want a loose battery cable sparking off under the bonnet but the question was about the lack of connection causing total loss of power. For the costs involved I would get a proper cable fitted ... and a mechanic will be able to remove the old cable.

Yes , it should be cheap as well. Possibly a DIY job even for someone as inept as myself.

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Why will you lose total power if the battery becomes disconnected? Power will come from the engine via the fan belt via the alternator.

Maybe this is the crucial question. What will happen if I'm unlucky and a disconnection occurs?

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Why will you lose total power if the battery becomes disconnected? Power will come from the engine via the fan belt via the alternator.

yes but that is assuming that the alternator is good and supplies enough current for the engine and services by itself.

and a disconnected cable carrying the charging current from the alternator is likely to kill it should the cable manage to short to chassis.

also, the alternator running while disconnected from the battery will be subject to voltage spikes which may cause an otherwise good alternator to fail.

The main issue though is a safe and secure connection.

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Maybe this is the crucial question. What will happen if I'm unlucky and a disconnection occurs?

Possibly nothing, possibly a dead alternator or a fire. Definite inconvenience the next time you try to start it :lol:

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It was the +.

I just had it repaired, though my own repair held out nicely.

£45 :blink:

Ouch... all you needed was one of these...

080_022.jpg

£3.37 and five minutes to fit it

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If its an old diesel car (no engine management system for example), then once running they no longer need any battery or alternator power, of course the car wouldnt be legal as one would have no lights for example, making it hard for other users to tell if you are braking or turning.

I drove from Norwich to Exeter at the end of Oct a few years back with a broken alternator. I didnt know it was broken until I got to Exeter late at night with lights that looked like they were on sidelights. The valet company had jet washed the engine bay and must have buggered it then but I wasnt happy with the wet seats either, fortunately I had the winter pack so I had the heated seats on to dry them out and an uncle being mechanic swapped the alternator for me on the sunday before heading home. :)

He didnt mention it being a diesel.

I had a disel. The alternator failed and once the battery power ran out so did the car. It occurred on a most inconvenient stretch of dual carriageway but fortunately not as I was pulling out of a junction or roundabout infront of coming traffic at speed.

He got the clamp, the only real solution, and the boys at the garage laughed as they took turns with his limp body bent over the office desk. One can only hope that they used vaseline.

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Yeah, I am well aware of the rip-off antics mechanics get up to :rolleyes:

The clamp had more than one lead attached to it, so perhaps not as straight forward as some would like to imagine.

I'm pretty sure my own botched job would have done the trick, but with an MOT coming up and long journeys approaching I'd rather be the safe mug than the dead smug b*st*rd ;)

It's petrol btw.

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Yeah, I am well aware of the rip-off antics mechanics get up to :rolleyes:

The clamp had more than one lead attached to it, so perhaps not as straight forward as some would like to imagine.

I'm pretty sure my own botched job would have done the trick, but with an MOT coming up and long journeys approaching I'd rather be the safe mug than the dead smug b*st*rd ;)

It's petrol btw.

no big deal, put it to experience, hey we only learn from our mistakes.

Next time I am sure that you will get the clamp and do it yourself. I would also hope that next time you have an issue you find a garage that wont rape you. It isnt easy finding a descent garage but far worse to carry on with a sh1t one which is what you have.

£45 isnt the end of the world and you have a safe car but I would look for a better garage because those guys are wamkers.

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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