PROFESSIONAL mechanics have warned motorists about a simple mistake often made when jump-starting a car that can cost thousands to fix.
Jump-starting a car, a seemingly simple process, comes at a high cost when a common mistake is made.
In Donut Media (@Donut’s “Real Mechanics React” series, four professional mechanics observe and react to TikTok hacks or compilations of failures to get their professional approval or disapproval.
In a video about bad car advice on TikToks, automotive technology instructor Angelina Alcantar and Donut host Jeremiah Burton reacted to a video of jumper cable wires melting.
“Do you know what he did? He crossed the wires,” Burton said.
“Maybe I did that once when I was a little kid, trying to be cool and jump-start my friend’s car, and I ran the wires the wrong way around, and that really made an impact on her car.”
Donut host Justin Freeman and veteran Lexus/Toyota mechanic Joe also reacted negatively.
“You need to disconnect these cables as quickly as possible,” Freeman said.
“If you leave it for that long, both of the main fuses in these vehicles are definitely blown.”
Joe echoes Freeman’s response, adding that blown main fuses could cost thousands of dollars to repair.
He said it could cost a customer “between $4,000 and $5,000” to be in his store.
“I mean, a wiring harness, manpower, a computer, a battery, so yeah, you could get pretty deep into it,” he said.
Freeman then suggested that most mechanics would be unwilling to fix such a serious problem and would offer a higher price to dissuade the customer from having the work done at their shop.
“That’s true even if the mechanic is willing to do it,” he said.
“Because they’d probably pay you the ‘get out of my face’ price of 10 grand so they don’t have to.”
The other mechanics on the show said similar things, suggesting that crossed jumper cables were too difficult a problem for them to fix.
“Red on red, black on black,” Burton said.
When jump-starting a car, it is important to make sure that the process is carried out correctly and that the negative cable is connected to the negative terminal and the positive cable is connected to the positive terminal.
Always make sure both cars have the ignitions turned off before attempting to jump-start a car.
Then attach the positive (+) or red cable to the positive battery terminal of the empty vehicle and then the other positive cable to the positive terminal of the charged vehicle.
Next, clip a negative (-) black wire to the negative terminal of the charged car and then the final negative terminal to bare metal in the dead car.
Then the charged car needs to be turned on and run for a few minutes before the dead car can be started and left to run for a few minutes.
To avoid damaging the main fuses, remove the cables in the reverse order of installation.