Last Call- Pluses and Minuses Edition


Car batteries, much like guns, can be kind of a scary thing. Treated with respect they’ll start your car, light your lights, and will fill your ears with Skrillex dropping the beat. In the wrong hands however – say someone who would drive a Jeep Patriot – their true nature can come out.

Image source: Imgur


  1. I know not everyone's going to go for the facelift on that Patriot, but I think it's a pretty big improvement.

        1. The greenhouse still reminds me of a late '50s Rambler station wagon, or some weird Renault.

  2. Thankfully, the first time I had to jump start my '69 MGB, back in high school, my inherent distrust of Lucas electrics led me to correctly suspect that the negative cable should go on one 6v battery, and the positive on the other. Of course rust killed the car shortly afterwards, but at least it didn't die in an embarrassing electrical fire.

    1. My Land Rover was what the Brits call "Positive Earth" which means that the whole electric system starts at the negative terminal and ends at the positive. I could never quite wrap my head around what this might mean during a jump start (theoretically, nothing) and simply vowed never to jump with it.

      1. Easy solution: attach both cables to the correct terminal on the battery.
        Advance solution: negative goes to the battery, positive goes to the frame.

    1. I bought a 90 lexus ls400 with 425,000 on it, drove it for 30K and then sold it for roughly what I paid for it. it's a f*cking 90's lexus, it can go forever if's it's the right price, I wouldn't worry about it one bit. just make sure it's up to date on the maintenance, check the bushings and joints in the front suspension esp…

  3. ( •_•) I guess you could say it's been
    ( •_•)>⌐■-■ expatriated!

    1. Feel fortunate there are no laws against puns. They'd have more than enough ground to charge you…

          1. If somebody does charge me, they'll have to chase me down the Interstate to catch me.

          2. I would suggest you go into hiding should it happen. And try to find a better place than behind a large Coulomb.

          3. I'll just have to be very careful so that I don't end up in a jail cell.

  4. I'm generally pretty knowledgeable when it comes to cars, and something as mundane as jump starting has almost gotten me once. I was a bit too confident, and didn't bother checking the terminals on the battery while jump starting a Mercury Tracer from the early '90s. Both cables were black, yet, the negative cable had on its terminal a red clip, causing me to incorrectly assume that it was the positive lead. Fortunately, I was attentive, and as the cables heated up, I examined the battery more closely, and found my error before something similar to the above picture ensued. It was still rather humbling.

  5. And obviously Chrysler has made the choice to use much cheaper and more highly flammable plastics than VW. Sigh, when are they going to learn…..

  6. There are off-roaders who carry arc welding rods with them on the trail. Two car batteries in series will provide enough juice for a few quick welds. Car batteries aren't a joke. Also, remember, they're filled with sulfuric acid. That smoke must have been spicy.

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