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At the risk of showing my stupidity, I want to pass this along so that others will be careful about doing their own battery changes.

My battery died last week. Car sat for 2 days because I just didn´t have the time to charge it back up - this weekend, the charge didn´t take so I had to replace. Figured I´d use a somewhat smaller and lighter replacement. Bought at WalMart for like $36 which I thought was pretty good. And the specs matched up so I was good to go. Got home to replace, took out old battery, removed color-keyed caps from new battery (this is important) , and mounted in battery tray. Attached negative cable. Went to attach positive and sparks flew - part of cable terminal melted into positive electrode. Had to use a rag to pull it off. Thought perhaps that I had a short somewhere. Anyways, found out the problem was that, because this battery was not specifically designed for my car, the polarity was reversed. So I had hooked up negative to positive and the reverse. Just didn´t think - figured that I could just slap the cables on and that all would be well. WRONG. Anyone replacing a battery with a lighter unit really needs to ensure that they note the position of the poles first. While I didn´t blow up anything, I did short nearly every fuse under the hood and at the floorboard. Funny thing is that the main fuse blew - but I guess the power arced over and hit the rest of the system. Only my moonroof fuse was spared. I replaced them all thinking I´d about wrecked the car. But luckily, car is running fine now.

Yeah, I was stupid to assume that the poles were lined up right. Just make sure when YOU do this, that you check beforehand. Will save you considerable grief and worry!
 

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I think I lost my job this weekend due to BS. But, I work at a Sears Autocenter. We do batteries all day everyday.

Batteries are batteries. The only big differences are chassis sizes and reenforcement to vibration. Pole Positions and warranty.

Here´s some special cases to watch for though:
*International battery types. Anything with recessed terminals CAN NOT be replaced with a battery without recessed terminals. (safety issue here).
*Toyota´s and Lexus´ (some other luxury type vehicles. When you pull the battery you need to use a memory saver. If you disconnect the battery without one it can kill the ECU and you´re going to need more then 80 bucks or so for a battery.

I recommend everyone just does they´re own battery. It really is easy, and not even worth the 10 bucks a Sears will charge for installing a DieHard. (unless you have a Buick).

When working on your EGT, unhook the negative cable, but leave the positive hooked up. I know it seems like Positive is where the charge comes from, but in truth electrons flow from Neg ---> Pos. Electrical Eng uses it the other way because the math is easier that way. When you´re hooking up jumper cables or a battery, take the Neg off first, and put the Neg on last. It prevent the little sparks during connection (which could ignite loose gas fumes.)

Also when jumping someones car dont run your car while someing is jumping off you...it can hurt your alternator (not a fun install on a 1.8L). And when the other person starts they´re car on your battery, dont start yours until the cables are unhooked. If they really are dead they might want to idle for a bit off of your battery.
 

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I´m a phone technician, not an electrictian...although I have been shocked a few times putting in a phone system. As a general rule of thumb of mine i usually don´t even bother with anything that has electricity in it. Remember, it takes less than 1 amp to stop the human heart.
Electricity+me=bad
Electricity+me paying for someone else to do it=GOOOOOOD!

I don´t like to do things that concern my car running fine myself. Unless it´s like spark plugs/wires. Easy stuff that I Know how to do. but batteries? nah.
 

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ahhh, James, its easy. Just follow my rules I set above and you´ll be fine.

But to all those reading, he is right, less then 1amp (at a higher voltage) can stop your heart.

It really isn´t hard and can be quite safe to do your own work, just remember to use your brain.
 

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I don´t know exactly how many amps the MSD box on my Mustang puts out, but it sucks when one zaps you. My heart didn´t stop (That I know of anyway), but my whole arm went numb for a minute or two. Can´t say that I have EVER been shocked by a battery though. Even accedently tapping a wrench on one a few times, it was the noise that made me jump more than anything.
 

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i got hit with roughly 12 volts, while timing an old tr7...... it was a weird feeling.....damn distributor....
 

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I have gotten shocked a few times while installing stereo´s. It´s really a fun feeling. Speaking of batteries, one time my alternator went and the battery died. So when i went to replace it it started snowing. Well i thought when i put my new battery in I had dried the connectors pretty good. Well I didn´t and i blew the main fuse. I had to put a piece of 6 guage stereo wire as a jumper to get my car home. I left the wire there for a week or so till i got a new fuse and every time I shut my car door or hit a good bump the wire would move and the car wouldn´t start or if i was driving beep the whole time till I fixed it.And that main fuse is a real B***h to replace. I had to take the fuse box out to get to the bolt. So just be carfull of water on the connectors also I was lucky that was all i fried.
 
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