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Capacitors

Summary
Inside a capacitor are two surfaces, separated by insulating material. When the
capacitor is charged, one surface is positively charged, the other is negatively
charged.

A capacitor can quickly store a small amount of electrical energy. It's then said to
be charged.
Inside, are two surfaces, separated by insulating material. When the capacitor is
charged, one surface is positively charged, the other is negative.
When a circuit is closed between its terminals, the capacitor releases charge. It is
then said to be discharged.
A typical capacitor stores the charge on thin sheets of foil, with sheets of
insulation between them. These are rolled together to form a protective canister.

A capacitor's 'capacitance' (C) is a measure of the amount of charge (Q) stored


on each plate for a given potential difference or voltage (V) which appears
between the plates. In general, as the capacitance and voltage rating of the
capacitor increase, the physical size of the capacitor increases.

Conductors & insulators

Summary
Conductors are materials that allow electrical current to flow. Insulators are
materials that do not allow electrical current to flow.

Every substance, even air, will conduct an electrical current if enough voltage is
applied to it, but the word 'conductor' normally is used for materials that allow
current flow with little resistance.
Most metals are good conductors. The most common conductor is copper. It's
used in virtually all the wiring that connects automotive components together.

The heavier the current a conductor has to carry, the heavier the gauge or
thickness of the wire.
Materials that don't conduct current easily are insulators. Most plastics are good
insulators. The plastic covering on a wire is an example of this. The ceramic
portion of a spark plug is also a good insulator.

Wires

Summary
Electric wires are used to conduct electric current around the motor vehicle.
Electric wires are used to conduct electric current around the motor vehicle. The
wire is commonly braided multi-stranded copper core wrapped with plastic
insulation. Copper is used as it offers low resistance and remains flexible even
after years of use. Other wire configurations are shielded wires and ribbon.

Twisted or shielded wires have the same construction but are harnessed in pairs
and twisted to cancel the effect of electromagnetic interference.

Ribbon cable is found inside computers and other electronic components. It is


used for connecting between printed circuits.

Shielding

Summary
To prevent noise (interference), some vehicles use shielded wiring harnesses.
The type of shielding used can be one of three forms: twisted pair, Mylar tape
and drain lines

In certain locations within a vehicle and in environments where strong


electromagnetic interference is present, wiring harnesses are subject to a
situation where unwanted electromagnetic induction occurs. This interference is
referred to as noise. To prevent noise, some vehicles use shielded wiring
harnesses. The type of shielding used can be one of three forms: twisted pair,
Mylar tape and drain lines.

Twisted Pair
Twisted pair uses two wires delivering signals to a common component. The
wires are uniformly twisted through the entire length of the harness. The twist
has the effect of cancelling any noise that occurs in the wires.
Mylar Tape
Mylar is an electrically conductive material that is wrapped around a wiring
harness inside the outer harness layer. Any noise that attempts to reach the
wires inside the shield will be absorbed by the Mylar where it will be conducted
to ground via a ground connection. If the harness is exposed, the Mylar will have
to be rewrapped so that noise cannot penetrate into the harness.
Drain Lines
A Drain line is a non-insulated wire that is wrapped within a wiring harness. The
drain wire is connected to ground at the harness source end and conducts any
noise to ground, negating the noise effect. If the drain wire is cut, it will be
inoperative so it is important the wire is not cut.

Length vs. resistance

Summary
As the length of the wire increases, so does the resistance within the wire.
Therefore the greater the length of the wire, the larger the cross-sectional area
needs to be.

Copper is used to conduct electric current because of its low resistance value.
However, it does offer some resistance, and as the length of the wire increases,
so too does the resistance within the wire. To overcome the effect of resistance,
the greater the length of the wire, the larger the cross-sectional area needs to
be. Increasing the cross-sectional area overcomes the resistance and maintains
the current carrying capacity of the circuit. Refer to the chart below for
information about wire size and current carrying capacity.
Current capacity for different AWG wire sizes
Amperes
Required

Wire Length
1
Meter

1.5
Meters

2
3
4.5
Meters Meters Meters

6
7.5
Meters Meters

0 to 5

18

18

18

18

18

18

18

6 to 7

18

18

18

18

18

18

16

18

18

18

18

18

16

16

10

18

18

18

18

16

16

16

12

18

18

18

18

16

16

14

15

18

18

18

18

14

14

12

18

18

18

16

16

14

14

12

20

18

18

16

16

14

12

10

24

18

18

16

16

12

12

10

30

18

16

16

14

10

10

10

Wire sizes

Summary
There are two scales used to measure the sizes of wires: Metric and AWG
(American Wire Gauge).

There are two scales used to measure the sizes of wires: Metric and AWG
(American Wire Gauge). The Metric scale is a measurement that indicates the
cross-sectional area of the conductor in square millimetres. The AWG system
uses a rating number; the larger the rating number, the smaller the wire and the
lower its current carrying capability. Most countries use the metric scale.

AWG/Metric wire size comparison

Metric Wire Sizes

AWG Wire Sizes

.22

24

.35

22

.5

20

.8

18

1.0

16

2.0

14

3.0

12

5.0

10

8.0

13.0

19.0

32.0

There are two different methods of describing a conductor within these


standards. A wire may be described in metric size as 5.0, indicating it has a
cross-sectional area of 5.0 mm. It can also be expressed as 10/0.5, indicating 10
strands of wire each with a cross-sectional area of 0.5 mm. The same can be
applied to the AWG rating.

Fuses & circuit breakers

Summary
Fuses and circuit breakers are used to protect electrical systems from allowing
too much current to flow.

Fuses and circuit-breakers are designed to break the circuit if current flow is
excessive. The most common kinds are fuses, fusible links, and circuit breakers.
They are all rated in amperes. Their ratings are usually marked on them.
Fuses are typically used in lighting and accessory circuits where current flow is
usually moderate. Typically, a fuse contains a metal strip which is designed to
overheat and melt when subjected to a specified excessive level of current flow,
breaking the circuit and stopping the excessive current flow from potentially
damaging more valuable components.
A fusible link is typically placed near the battery, and, except for the starter
motor, it carries the current needed to power an individual circuit, or a range of
circuits.

Circuit breakers are not destroyed by excess current. A bimetallic strip heats up
and bends, opening a set of contacts and breaking the circuit. In most types, as
the strip cools, it resumes its original shape. The contacts close, completing the
circuit once more.

Relays

Summary
Relays act as switches that are turned on and off by a small current. They can
allow large current to be switched on and off in a circuit.

Relays are switches that are turned on and off by a small electrical current.
Inside a relay is an electro-magnet. When a small current energizes this electromagnet, it attracts an armature blade and closes contact points. Current that the
relay is designed to switch on or off can then flow across the points.

As long as the small switching current flows to the relay, the much larger current
will flow through its contact points.
Solid-state relays act like a mechanical relay, but do not have any moving parts.
Relays can be used to control the high levels of current in a circuit with a lowcurrent signal, such as in a starter motor solenoid. Relays can also be protective
switches, breaking circuits when faults are detected.

Ballast resistor

Summary
The ballast resistor is used to reduce the voltage to the ignition coil during
normal running conditions.

A ballast resistor limits the amount of current flowing in an electrical circuit.

The most common automotive use for a ballast resistor is as to regulate the
voltage to the ignition system by being inserted in series in the primary circuit
between the ignition switch and the positive terminal of the ignition coil. It is
usually located in the open near the ignition coil so that it can dissipate its heat
into the air.
Cranking an engine causes a heavy load on a battery which can cause the
voltage to drop. Ignition systems needed to be designed so they can fire on this
reduced voltage, but when the engine is running normal operating voltage is
restored, which is then too high for the ignition system. The ballast resistor helps
the engine to fire more easily by being bypassed during cranking, and then
lowering the voltage when it is inserted into the circuit after the engine has
started to minimize wear on ignition components.
More modern solid state ignition systems do not need a ballast resistor, because
they have been designed to cope with a wider range of voltages.

Relays

Summary
Relays act as switches that are turned on and off by a small current. They can
allow large current to be switched on and off in a circuit.

Relays are switches that are turned on and off by a small electrical current.
Inside a relay is an electro-magnet. When a small current energizes this electromagnet, it attracts an armature blade and closes contact points. Current that the
relay is designed to switch on or off can then flow across the points.
As long as the small switching current flows to the relay, the much larger current
will flow through its contact points.
Solid-state relays act like a mechanical relay, but do not have any moving parts.
Relays can be used to control the high levels of current in a circuit with a lowcurrent signal, such as in a starter motor solenoid. Relays can also be protective
switches, breaking circuits when faults are detected.

Diodes

Summary

In a circuit with an alternating current, a diode lets forward current through, but
it blocks the reverse current. This is called rectifying the current.

A diode can be thought of as the electronic version of a one-way valve. By


restricting the direction of movement of charge carriers, it allows an electric
current to flow in one direction, but essentially blocks it in the opposite direction.
A semiconductor diode has a single p-n junction. If it is connected to a current
source, with the p region connected to a negative pole, and the n-region to a
positive pole, the holes will be attracted towards the negative pole, and the
electrons to the positive pole. This enlarges the depletion layer, which makes the
insulated space larger, stopping current flow across the junction.
If the current source is reversed, lots of holes flow across the junction towards
the negative pole, and electrons travel in the opposite direction towards the
positive pole. The p-n junction floods with charge carriers, the depletion layer
disappears, and with it the insulator effect. In this direction, the diode lets
current flow.
So, using conventional current flow, a diode lets a low-voltage current flow
through it if current flows from its p-side to its n-side, but stops current flowing
through it, from its n-side to its p-side.
A Zener diode is designed to block current flow through it, but if the voltage of
the current source is large enough, it can force current to flow through the diode.
This is called breakdown. As breakdown voltage is reached, the Zener diodes
resistance suddenly collapses. It lets a large current flow through it, without
damage.
Because Zener diodes respond to certain voltage changes like switches, they are
used in voltage regulators.
Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, emit light when they are connected in a forward
direction.

Resistors

Summary
Resistors are used to cause a drop in voltage in circuits. They are used to control
current flow.

Resistors are electrical components that resist a current running through them.
Putting a resistor in a circuit causes a drop in voltage across the resistor. So
resistors are commonly used to control the voltage that reaches various
components.
It is also important to remember that each electrical component also has a
resistance of its own.
Most resistors that can carry large currents contain a coil of high-resistance wire
wound around a ceramic former to dissipate heat.

Resistance is measured in ohms, represented by a Greek letter, omega, and so


resistors are rated in ohms as well, to indicate how strongly they will oppose any
current flowing through them.
Resistors also have a wattage rating. This is because resistors work by
converting some of the electrical energy passing through them into heat.
Some types of resistors and examples:

Fixed resistors are generally cylinders with connecting metal leads


projecting along the axis of the cylinder at each end. Most 'axial' resistors
carry a series of colored stripe markings, to indicate the amount of its
resistance and its tolerance. Fixed resistors can be manufactured as very
tiny devices without leads, and can be built into integrated circuits with
many other miniaturized components.

Variable resistors can be adjusted with a control so that the resistance


changes, and are called rheostats or potentiometers. An audio volume
control knob on an amplifier would be an example of a potentiometer.

Thermistors are temperature-dependent resistors. There are two main


types depending on whether the resistance of the device increases or
decreases as the temperature rises.

Metal Oxide Varistors have two different resistance values: a high


resistance at low voltage and a low resistance at high voltage. The 'trigger
voltage' of a varistor is the point at which its resistance changes.

Resistor ratings

Summary

To identify its value, each resistor is marked with four or five colored bands. Each color represents a number value, so by reading the color
values it is possible to identify its resistance value.

Resistors are used to control current flow in a circuit, and are rated by their resistance value and their power rating. Only the resistance value is
marked. The resistor's power rating is determined by its size.

Regardless of their power rating, resistors are small, so identification by numbers is impractical. To identify its value, each resistor is marked with
four or five colored bands. Each color represents a number value, so by reading the color values it is possible to identify its resistance value.
The color bands are placed so that they are set close to each other and biased to the left. The last, or tolerance band, is spaced further apart.

The chart below explains resistor colors. It is good practice to memorise the various colors and their respective values.

Resistors are manufactured to a tolerance of 1, 2, 5 and 10%. A resistor with a tolerance of 1% will have an actual reading that is within 1% of its
marked value. Resistors with a tolerance of 1 or 2% will have five identifying bands. A resistor with a tolerance of 10% will have an actual value
that is within 10% of its marked value. Resistors with a tolerance of 5 or 10% will have 4 identifying bands. The tolerance band is spaced away
from the value bands.

If a resistor has four color bands, the first two bands indicate the first two numbers of the resistor's value. The third band represents the
multiplier value and the fourth band indicates the tolerance. The image below shows a resistor with colors, Orange, White, Yellow and Silver. It
has a value of 39 k with a 10% tolerance. (Orange - 3, White - 9, Yellow - 10000, Silver - 10%)

A resistor with five color bands adds a third number value, so in this case the first three bands indicate the first three numbers of the resistor's
value. The fourth band indicates the multiplier value and the fifth band indicates the tolerance. The image below shows a resistor with colors,
Orange, Orange, White, Black and Brown. It has a value of 339 with a 1% tolerance. (Orange - 3, Orange - 3, White - 9, Black - 1, Brown - 1%)

Variable resistors

Summary

Some resistors found in the motor vehicle are variable. Variable resistors can have their value altered by movement of a slide or by
temperature change.

Resistors found on circuit boards are normally fixed in value. Some resistors found in the motor vehicle are variable. Variable resistors can have
their value altered by movement of a slide or by temperature change. The three types of variable resistors are: Rheostats, Potentiometers and
Thermistors. Variable resistors can be linear; meaning that their resistance value varies proportionally with movement or temperature change, or
non-linear where the resistance change is not proportional with movement.

Rheostats
A rheostat is a mechanical variable resistor with two connections. They consist of a resistance wire wrapped in a loose coil connected to the
supply at one end only. A moveable wiper is connected to the other circuit connection and is made to move over the wire manually. When the
wiper is close to the beginning of the coil the total resistance value is very small. As the wiper is positioned closer to the end, the resistance
value increases. Rheostats are commonly used in dash light dimmer circuits and some fuel gauge sender units. They alter the current flow in a
circuit.

Potentiometers
Potentiometers are mechanical variable resistors with three connections, two fixed and one moveable. They act as voltage dividers and as such
alter the voltage in a circuit.

A resistance wire is wrapped between two fixed connections. One fixed connection is attached to the electrical supply, the other to ground. The
third moveable connection is moved across the coil by a wiper in a similar fashion to a rheostat. The variable voltage output is taken from this
point. Throttle position sensors are potentiometers.

Thermistors
Thermistors are conductors whose resistance value is affected by temperature. There are two types: NTC and PTC. Negative Temperature Coefficient thermistors alter their resistance value inversely to temperature. As the temperature increases their resistance value decreases. Positive
Temperature Co-efficient thermistors alter their resistance value proportionally to temperature. As temperature rises so does the resistance
value. NTC thermistors are the most common and are used in inverted circuits for ECU inputs. They are the sensing elements of devices such
as coolant and air temperature sensors.

Thermistors

Summary

Thermistors are semi-conductor resistors. Their resistance changes according to their temperature and they are used to control many
electrical items in the automobile.

Thermistors are semiconductor resistors. Their electrical resistance varies according to temperature. This makes them suitable for temperature
measurement, and for electronic control operations.

There are two main types of thermistor NTC (Negative Temperature Coefficient) resistors, and PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient)
resistors.

NTC resistors have lower resistance at high temperatures, which means they conduct current more readily when they are hot than when they
are cold. NTC resistors are commonly used in temperature sensors in engine management systems.

PTC resistors have higher resistance at high temperature, which means they conduct current less readily when they are hot than when they are
cold. This makes them useful as current limiting protective devices in circuits, instead of fuses. As the current increases, the heat generated by
the resistor increases, which reduces the amount of current passed.

Transistors

Summary

Transistors are used as switches, and to amplify currents. The 2 types of transistor are 'npn' and 'pnp'.

Transistors are semiconductor devices used as switches, and to amplify currents. They are a key component in almost any electronic device.

There are two kinds, npn and pnp. The npn transistor has a p-type semiconductor between two n-type semiconductors. A pnp transistor has an
n-type, between two p-types.

Each of the three regions has a terminal. The center region is always called the base. The outer regions are the collector, and the emitter. In the
symbol, the emitter is the terminal with the arrow. always pointing to the negative material.

In a circuit, npn transistors can act as a switch. If the control switch is open, the depletion layer at one pn-junction is blocking current from
flowing through the transistor and driving the load.

With a closed control switch, a small current flows through the emitter-base pn-junction. The base has only a limited number of charge carriers,
so extra ones flow across the emitter-collector pn-junction, letting current operate the load. The transistor then operates as a low-resistance
conductor. A small current through the base lets larger current flow across the emitter-collector junction. The transistor is then said to be turned
on.

Using a non-powered test light

Summary
Non-powered test lamps are very useful to determine a live part of a circuit. The
objective of this procedure is to show you how to use a non-powered test light.
Part 1. Preparation and safety
Objective

Use a non-powered test light.

Personal safety
Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective
clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to
your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:

Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear

Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks

Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs

Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream

Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators

If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.

Safety check

Make sure the hood stay rod is secure.

Always make sure that you wear the appropriate personal protection
equipment before starting the job. It is very easy to hurt yourself even
when the most exhaustive protection measures are taken.

Always make sure that your work area/environment is as safe as you can
make it. Do not use damaged, broken or worn out workshop equipment.

Always follow any manufacturer's personal safety instructions to prevent


damage to the vehicle you are servicing.

Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal
safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure
of what these are, ask your supervisor.

Points to note

Non-powered test lamps are very useful to determine a live part of a


circuit. However, make sure that the circuit you are testing does not carry
more voltage than the light in the test lamp can handle, otherwise
damage could result.

Part 2: Step-by-step instruction


1. Verify the test light is operational
Connect the end of the light with the clip on it to the battery negative
terminal. Touch the probe end of the test light to the battery positive
terminal and the light should come on.
2. Connect to known good ground
Connect the clip to any known good ground close to the area to be tested.
A typical known good ground is any unpainted metal surface on the
vehicle that is directly attached to the battery ground return system.
3. Check a circuit
Locate the device to be tested and place the probe so that the test light
circuit is in parallel to it. If there is voltage present the light will come on.


Using a lead light

Summary
Also known as drop lights or utility lights, the light a lead light produces can
make locating components and faults easier and more accurate. The objective of
this procedure is to show you how to demonstrate the correct method of
operating a lead light.
Part 1. Preparation and safety
Objective

Demonstrate the correct method of operating a lead light.

Personal safety
Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective
clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to
your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:

Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear

Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks

Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs

Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream

Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators

If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.
Safety check

Do not stand on wet floors or in puddles when using electrical equipment.

Before connecting the light to the power supply check the power cord for
splits or chafing. If there are any exposed wires, the cord will need to be
replaced. Refer this to your supervisor.

Always disconnect the power supply before plugging or unplugging an


electrical connection.

Before replacing blown or faulty bulbs make sure you disconnect the lead
light from its power supply.

Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal
safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure
of what these are, ask your supervisor.

Points to note

Lead lights, also known as drop lights or utility lights, are very useful tools.
The light they produce can make locating components and faults easier
and more accurate.

Lead lights are available with either fluorescent tubes or incandescent


bulbs.

The type that uses fluorescent tubes produces white light and little heat.
The tube is protected in a shockproof casing that contains a light shield.

There will usually be attaching hooks located at either end of the case to
allow the light to be suspended from a convenient location.

20% of the power fluorescent tubes consume is converted to white light.

The fluorescent light normally receives power from a transformer.

Incandescent lead lights are cheaper than the fluorescent type but they
are not as shock resistant or as safe. A wire cage protects the bulb and if it
breaks the exposed filament connections can pass electric current to
anything that touches them. About 5% of the power they consume is
converted to yellow/white light. The rest is wasted as heat, so they can
become a hazard after long periods of use.

The power for the bulb usually comes from the domestic supply, however
there are some models that operate at 12- or 24-volts.

Part 2: Step-by-step instruction


1. Connect the lamp
Plug the lead lamp into a socket near your work area. Make sure the lamp
cord is placed where nobody can trip over it.
2. Secure the lamp
Secure the lamp near your working area. Make sure its positioned so your
hands dont block the light while youre working. The lamp should also be
kept away from your face and head. The lights are designed to be handled
safely even after long periods of work.
3. Replacing bulbs
If the bulb burns out refer to the light manufacturers instruction book for
replacement details. The bulbs come in various mounting configurations.
4. Unplug and put away
When finished using the lamp, unplug it and put it away in a safe place.

Using a DVOM to measure continuity

Summary
The objective of this procedure is to show you how to use a DVOM to measure
continuity. When checking continuity with a DVOM, the power supplied to the
circuit during operation MUST be switched OFF.
Part 1. Preparation and safety
Objective

Use a DVOM to measure continuity.

Personal safety
Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective
clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to
your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:

Work clothing such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear

Eye protection such as safety glasses and face masks

Ear protection such as earmuffs and earplugs

Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream

Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators

If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.
Safety check

Make sure the hood stay rod is secure.

Always make sure that you wear the appropriate personal protection
equipment before starting the job. It is very easy to hurt yourself even
when the most exhaustive protection measures are taken.

Always make sure that your work area/environment is as safe as you can
make it. Do not use damaged, broken or worn out workshop equipment.

Always follow any manufacturer's personal safety instructions to prevent


damage to the vehicle you are servicing.

Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal
safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure
of what these are, ask your supervisor.

Points to note

DVOM stands for Digital Volt Ohm Meter.

DVOMs come in many forms. Always follow the specific manufacturer's


instructions in the use of the meter, or serious damage either to the meter
and/or to the electrical circuit could result.

When checking continuity with a DVOM, the power supplied to the circuit
during operation MUST be switched OFF.

Part 2: Step-by-step instruction


1. Set up the meter for a continuity check
Make sure there is no power connected to any circuit that you test for
continuity, then prepare the Digital Volt Ohm Meter or DVOM for testing
voltage by inserting the black probe lead into the common input port,
and the red probe lead into the Volt/Ohms input port.
2. Check the meter function
Turn the rotary dial of the DVOM to the mode that includes the term
Continuity. The Digital Display should now give you an Out of Limits
reading indicating that there is not a continuous circuit connection
between the two probes. Touch the probe ends together. The display
should now give a zero reading, which indicates no resistance. This means
that there is a continuous circuit through the probes. Some meters also
indicate continuity with an audible tone.
3. Check a fuse
One typical use of the test is to determine whether a fuse needs to be
replaced. If the fuse has been overloaded and blown, then it will no

longer complete a circuit when a DVOM is used to test it. To check this,
place the black probe on one end of the fuse and the red probe on the
other. If the fuse is functioning correctly then the reading will be zero,
indicating a complete, or closed, circuit. If the fuse is open, then there will
be no reading and no tone, indicating an incomplete, or open, circuit.
4. Test other components
A continuity test is used to check for a broken circuit caused by a break in
a cable or lead, or caused by a component becoming disconnected. The
same test can also confirm whether there is continuity between
components, which are not supposed to be connected. When this occurs, it
is known as a short circuit. This test can also be used to check circuits
that are suspected to have a high resistance

Using a DVOM to measure voltage

Summary
The objective of this procedure is to show you how to use a DVOM to measure
voltage. Always follow the specific manufacturer's instructions in the use of the
meter, or serious damage either to the meter and/or to the electrical circuit could
result.
Part 1. Preparation and safety
Objective

Use a DVOM to measure voltage.

Personal safety
Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective
clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to
your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:

Work clothing such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear

Eye protection such as safety glasses and face masks

Ear protection such as earmuffs and earplugs

Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream

Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators

If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.
Safety check

Make sure the hood stay rod is secure.

Always make sure that you wear the appropriate personal protection
equipment before starting the job. It is very easy to hurt yourself even
when the most exhaustive protection measures are taken.

Always make sure that your work area/environment is as safe as you can
make it. Do not use damaged, broken or worn out workshop equipment.

Always follow any manufacturer's personal safety instructions to prevent


damage to the vehicle you are servicing.

Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal
safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure
of what these are, ask your supervisor.

Points to note

DVOM stands for Digital Volt Ohm Meter.

DVOMs come in many forms. Always follow the specific manufacturer's


instructions in the use of the meter, or serious damage either to the meter
and/or to the electrical circuit could result.

Part 2: Step-by-step instruction


1. Set up the meter for a voltage check
Prepare the Digital Volt Ohm Meter or DVOM for testing voltage by
inserting the black probe lead into the common input port, and the red
probe lead into the Volt/Ohms input port.
2. Check the meter function
Turn the rotary dial until you have selected the mode for Volts DC. The
reading on the meter should now be at Zero. Some meters will
automatically sense the correct voltage range when a voltage is detected.
On other meters you will have to set the voltage range before using the
meter.
3. Check the voltage of a battery
Place the Black probe onto the Negative terminal of the battery, which will
be marked with a Minus sign, and place the Red probe onto the Positive
terminal of the battery, which is marked with a Plus sign.
4. Interpret the results
Note the voltage reading from this 12-volt battery. If the battery is fully
charged the meter will give a reading that is 12.6 volts or more. If it is NOT
fully charged the reading will be less than 12.6 volts.

Stripping wire insulation

Summary
The objective of this procedure is to show you how to correctly strip an electrical
wire and connect a solderless connector. Always use the correct tool for stripping
the insulation from a wire, it is much safer and more effective.
Part 1. Preparation and safety
Objective

Correctly strip an electrical wire and connect a solderless connector.

Personal safety
Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective
clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to
your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:

Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear

Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks

Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs

Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream

Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators

If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.
Safety check

Never use a sharp blade or knife to remove insulation. You can cut yourself
seriously if the blade slips.

Wire stripping pliers have sharp edges and require a tight grip. Do not trap
your skin between the jaws; otherwise you risk a severe cut.

When removing the insulation from wire, push away from you rather than
towards you.

Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal
safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure
of what these are, ask your supervisor.

Points to note

An insulating layer of plastic covers electrical wire used in automotive


wiring harnesses.

When electrical wire is joined to other wires or connected to a terminal,


the insulation needs to be removed.

Wire stripping tools come in various configurations. They all perform the
same task. The type of tool you use or purchase will depend on the
amount of electrical wire repairs you perform.

Part 2: Step-by-step instruction


1. Choose the correct stripping tool
The purpose of a wire stripping tool is to allow you to remove the
insulation from around the copper core of a cable without damaging the
cable or yourself. Never use a knife or other type of sharp instrument to
cut away insulation from a cable, as it is very easy for these to slip and
you can injure yourself. Using side cutters or pliers can also be dangerous;
and these are also less effective as they often cut away some of the
strands of wire as well. This is known as ringing the wire, which effectively
reduces the current carrying capacity of the wire.
2. Select the correct gauge hole
Using the correct tool is much safer and more effective. Wire strippers can
remove the insulation from different gauges of cable, so select the hole in
the stripper that is closest to the diameter of the core in the cable to be
stripped.

3. Cut the insulation


Place the cable in the hole and close the jaws firmly around it to cut the
insulation. If you have selected the right gauge, then this will cut through
the insulation but not through the copper core. Only remove as much
insulation as is necessary to do the job. Too little bare wire may not
achieve a good connection, and too much may expose the wire to a
potential short circuit with other circuits or to ground. Removing more than
half an inch or 1.2 centimeters of insulation at a time can also stretch and
damage the core.
4. Remove the insulation
Some strippers automatically cut and remove the insulation. Others just
make the cut and hold the cable tightly, and you need to pull firmly on the
wire to remove the insulation and strip out the copper core. To keep the
strands together, give them a light twist.

Installing a solderless terminal

Summary
There are different types and sizes of wire terminals, but the procedure for
installing all of them is the same. The objective of this procedure is to show you
how to correctly strip an electrical wire and connect a solderless terminal.
Part 1. Preparation and safety
Objective

Correctly strip an electrical wire and connect a solderless terminal.

Personal safety
Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective
clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to
your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:

Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear

Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks

Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs

Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream

Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators

If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.
Safety check

Wire stripping pliers have sharp edges and require a tight grip. Do not trap
your skin between the jaws; otherwise you risk a severe cut.

When removing the insulation from wire, push away from you rather than
towards you.

Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal
safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure
of what these are, ask your supervisor.

Points to note

Solderless terminals require a clean, tight connection. So make sure the


wire and the connection are clean before fitting any terminals.

Use connections that match the size of the wire.

Do not use side cutters, pliers or a knife to strip the wire. Using these tools
will damage some of the wire strands and may break the wire inside the
insulation.

To keep the wires together after stripping them, give them a slight twist.
Do not twist the wire too much; otherwise you risk a poor wire-to-terminal
connection.

Use the correct crimping tool for the connection. Using the wrong type of
tool will cause the connection to have a poor grip on the wire.

Part 2: Step-by-step instruction


1. Select the terminal
There are different types and sizes of wire terminals, but the procedure for
installing all of them is the same. This is a bullet type of crimp terminal.
Make sure you have the correct size of terminal for the wire to be
terminated, and that the terminal has the correct volt/amp rating for the
job it is to perform.
2. Strip the wire
Remove an appropriate amount of the protective insulation from the wire.
Always use a proper stripping tool that is in good condition.
3. Place the terminal on the wire
You will get a better connection if you do not twist the strands together
tightly before placing them through the terminal, as this gives the terminal
more surface area to come in contact with the wires when crimped.
However, it can be difficult to insert the wires into the terminal if they are
all just loose strands, so twist them together just enough to help you insert
them cleanly. Place the bullet or terminal onto the wire. It is important that
the stripped part of the wire does not extend beyond the insulated part of
the terminal.
4. Use an alternative terminal
Some types of crimp terminals do not have an insulation component fixed
to them. These come in two parts and the insulator is supplied as a
separate component. In these cases, always make sure that the core of
the wire to be crimped extends through the core wings in the terminal.
5. Select the crimping anvil
Use a proper crimping tool for pin or core crimping. DO NOT use pliers as
they have a tendency to cut through the connection, which can give
trouble during service. Select the proper anvil for the connector or
terminal selected. These are usually color-coded so it is easy to match the
terminal with the right size anvil.

6. Crimp the terminal


Crimp the core section first. Use firm pressure so that a good electrical
contact will be made, but not excessive force as this can bend the pin or
terminal. Then crimp the insulation wings or section. This crimp is on the
wire insulation to hold the cable in place, not for electrical contact, so you
do not need to crimp this section quite as hard. Give a gentle tug on the
finished job to ensure that the connection will hold in service.

Soldering wires & connectors

Summary
Solder is applied with a hot soldering iron. Solder is available as solid or flux
cored. Solid solder requires an external flux to be applied in the soldering
process. The objective of this procedure is to show you how to correctly solder an
electrical connection to an electrical wire.
Part 1. Preparation and safety
Objective

Correctly solder an electrical connection to an electrical wire.

Personal safety
Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective
clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to
your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:

Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear

Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks

Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs

Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream

Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators

If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.
Safety check

The soldering iron tip needs to be very hot in order to melt solder. Do not
burn yourself with the soldering tip.

Do not inhale the fumes that are released during the soldering process;
they can irritate your respiratory system.

If the soldering iron is electrically heated, do not use it while standing in


water or engine coolant.

Never apply solder to a live electrical circuit.

Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal
safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure
of what these are, ask your supervisor.

Points to note

Solder used in automotive electrical applications is an alloy typically made


up of 60% tin and 40% lead. Solder needs to change from a solid state into
liquid easily and return to its solid state quickly.

Solder is available as solid or flux cored. Solid solder requires an external


flux to be applied in the soldering process. Flux cored solder has a bead of
flux through the center of the solder. Flux cored solder is also referred to
as rosin cored solder

Flux is needed to prevent the metals being joined from oxidizing when
they are heated. Flux is normally acidic and needs to be removed after the
soldering process so that the join does not corrode.

Solder is applied with a hot soldering iron. The soldering iron is heated
electrically or by an external source such as a butane or oxyacetylene
torch.

The soldering iron tip absorbs heat that is then applied to the materials to
be joined. Once they are hot enough, solder is able to melt between the
components.

For a connection to be successful, the soldering iron needs to be "tinned".


The tinning process assists in transferring heat to the wire. The soldering
iron tip is heated, and a small amount of solder is applied to the tip.
Excess solder is removed with a cloth rag.

The soldering iron tip is applied to the wire so heat is transferred to the
wire. Do not apply too much heat or the insulation may melt.

Part 2: Step-by-step instruction


1. Safely position soldering iron
When using a soldering iron you must be careful not to burn yourself or
any part of the vehicle you are working on. The tip of the soldering iron
has to be hot enough to melt metal solder, so make sure it is in a safe
position and not touching anything.
2. Prepare the wires to be joined
While the soldering iron is heating, remove an appropriate amount of the
protective insulation from the wires. Always use a proper stripping tool
that is in good condition. If you intend to seal the join with a heat shrink
sleeve, cut a section of this tubular material long enough to overlap the
cable insulation on both sides of the join and slide it over the end of one of
the wires before joining them.
3. Join the wires mechanically
Twist the wires together to make a good mechanical connection between
them. If there are impurities in the solder, and the wires are not directly

touching each other, then although there may be a strong physical


connection there may not be a good electrical connection. This is known
as a dry joint'. It is also very important that the surfaces be very clean
before soldering or there will be a poor connection.
4. Apply solder to splice
Use the soldering iron to gently heat up the wires and melt some solder.
Place the soldering iron onto the joined wires to ensure that just enough
solder runs smoothly into the wires. Be careful not to use too much solder
and if you apply too much heat, you will melt the wire insulation. When
you have finished soldering, clean any excess flux from the joint with a rag
and a little solvent.
5. Sleeve the join
Once the electrical connection has been made, and it has cooled down
enough for you to be able to handle it, slide the insulator sleeve cover
over the join. There are different types of sleeving. The most popular type
is shrink wrapped onto the join with a heat source. Another type contains a
glue which when heated melts into and seals the joint. If there is no heat
shrink sleeving available, then it is possible to seal and protect the splice
with electrical insulating tape.
6. Check the connection length
To solder a wire to a terminal connector, you will get a better connection if
you do not twist the wire strands together tightly before placing them
through the terminal as this gives the terminal more surface area to come
in contact with the wire when soldered. However, it can be difficult to
insert the wires in the terminal if they are just loose strands, so twist them
just enough to help you insert them cleanly. Place the bullet or terminal
onto the wire to check that the stripped part of the wire does not extend
beyond the insulated shoulder of the terminal. Then remove the wire from
the terminal.
7. Apply solder
Give the wires a thin preparatory coating of solder. This is called tinning
the wires and helps to make the final connection. By using rosin or resin
cored solder, it is unnecessary to prepare the surfaces with a flux material
as this is incorporated into the core of the solder. Put the wire back in the
terminal, and place the iron onto the terminal to get it hot enough to melt
some more solder between the terminal and the tinned wire. Be careful
not to use too much solder, and if you get the terminal too hot the wire
insulation will start to melt.
8. Cover the terminal
Once the electrical connection has been made, and it has cooled down
enough for you to be able to handle it, you can then place the insulator
cover over the terminal and place the connection into service.
9.
10.

11.
12.
13.
14.

15.

Lead-acid batteries

16.
17.
18.

19. Summary
20.

Lead-acid batteries are the most commonly used rechargeable batteries today. They also represent the oldest design with one of the worst
energy-to-weight ratios, they are cheap and can supply the high surge currents needed in starter motors.

21.
22.

The wet cell lead acid battery is the main storage device in automotive use. An automotive battery can supply very high discharge currents while
maintaining a high voltage - useful for cold starting. It gives a high power output for its compact size, and it is recharge-able.

23.

The most common standard 12-volt car batteries consist of six cells, each of a nominal 2 volts. Each cell contains two electrodes, one of lead
(Pb) and the other of lead peroxide (PbO2), in an electrolyte of dilute sulfuric acid (H2SO4). As the battery discharges, both the electrodes turn
into lead sulfate and the acid turns into water. Recharging the battery reverses this process.

24.

In a conventional open wet-cell battery, overcharging will generate hydrogen and oxygen gas, a highly explosive mix. The sulfuric acid in
batteries can also be very harmful, so batteries should always be handled with care, and only when wearing protective clothing.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.

31.
32.
33.
34.

Batteries & cells

35. Summary
36.

Increasing the surface area of the plates in a cell increases its current capacity, but not its nominal voltage. Cells connected in series make a
battery. The number of cells determines its nominal voltage.

37.
38.

Electro-chemical cells transform chemical energy into electrical energy.

39.

There are two types of cell, primary and secondary. In a primary cell, this transformation is not reversible, and the cell is discarded at the end of
its life. In the secondary cell, the transformation is reversible, and it can be re-charged.

40.

There are two types of secondary cell, wet and dry. In automotive use, the usual main-storage device is the wet cell of a lead acid battery. It has
two plates of dissimilar materials immersed in an electrolyte a solution that conducts electricity by using ions.

41.

The accepted, or nominal, voltage of a cell does not depend on the size of the cell, however, its current capacity does. The surface area of the
plates in a cell determines its current capacity.

42.

In a lead acid battery, the plates are assembled so there is always one extra negative plate. The plates are close to each other but do not touch,
which would cause a short circuit.

43.

The nominal voltage of a cell is 2 volts. Cells connected in series make a battery, and the number of cells determines its nominal voltage. The
cells are sealed from each other and filled with dilute sulfuric acid. The battery case is usually plastic or hard rubber.

44.

One set of plates is connected to the negative side of a DC source, the other to the positive side. Direct current is applied to the plates, changing
them chemically, until the battery is ready for service.
45.
46.
47.
48.
49.
50.

51.

Battery charging

52.
53.
54.

55. Summary

56.

During discharge, the chemical energy of the plates is transformed into electrical energy, then used to perform work. The plates develop the
same composition, which reduces the potential of the cell.

57.
58.

In a discharged lead-acid cell, the active material of both plates is lead sulfate, and the electrolyte is mostly water, a very weak sulfuric acid
solution.

59.

When being charged, the cell is connected to a DC electrical source with electrical pressure higher than that of the cell, since it must act like an
electron pump forcing electrons from the positive plates to the negative plates.

60.

At the negative plates, sulfate is discharged. More sulfuric acid forms, and the plate changes into sponge lead. At the same time, lead peroxide
is formed at the positive plates, which restores the cell's electrical potential.

61.

The charging process increases the amount of acid in the electrolyte, making the electrolyte stronger. When further charging no longer makes
the electrolyte stronger, charging is complete.

62.

Connecting a lead acid battery to a load causes chemical changes as the battery discharges.

63.

At the positive plate, sulfate from the electrolyte joins with lead to form lead sulfate, and oxygen from the plate joins the hydrogen from the
electrolyte to form water. Lead sulfate also forms at the negative plate, as sponge lead forms with sulfate from the electrolyte.

64.

Overall, the percentage of acid in the electrolyte falls, and the percentage of water rises, which reduces the strength of the electrolyte. As the
cell discharges, the plates develop the same composition, which reduces the potential of the cell.

65.

Recharging the battery again restores the difference between its sets of plates.

Inspecting & testing a battery

Summary
Batteries come in many sizes and power ratings, so always check the rating of
the battery you are servicing. The objective of this procedure is to show you how
to inspect and test a battery.
Part 1. Preparation and safety
Objective

Inspect and test a battery.

Personal safety
Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective
clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to
your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:

Work clothing such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear

Eye protection such as safety glasses and face masks

Ear protection such as earmuffs and earplugs

Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream

Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators

If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.
Safety check

Make sure that the hood is secure with a hood stay rod.

Always make sure that you wear the appropriate personal protection
equipment before starting the job. Remember that batteries contain acid
and it is very easy to hurt yourself even when the most exhaustive
protection measures are taken.

Always make sure that your work area/environment is as safe as you can
make it. Do not use damaged, broken or worn out workshop equipment.

Always follow any manufacturer's personal safety instructions to prevent


damage to the vehicle you are working on.

Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal
safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure
of what these are, ask your supervisor.

Points to note

Batteries come in many sizes and power ratings, so always check the
rating of the battery you are servicing. The rating provides a testing
benchmark for battery performance.

The hydrometer used to measure the specific gravity of the electrolyte


must be handled carefully and safely.

Store the hydrometer in a safe receptacle before and after use. Small
amounts of electrolyte in the hydrometer can leak out and damage the
vehicle paintwork.

Do not remove electrolyte from one cell to another when testing; this will
cause incorrect readings.

Part 2: Step-by-step instruction


1. General condition checks
Switch on the ignition. The charge light on the dash should light up, and
go out when you start the engine. This indicates that the alternator is
charging the battery. Turn the engine off. Switch on the headlights of the
vehicle, then start the engine and see if the lights brighten significantly. If
they do, then this indicates that the alternator is charging the battery
more than it is being drained by the lights. If you do not have someone
else to start the engine for you, judge the brightness by shining the lights
onto a reflective surface such as a wall. Check that the battery casing and
the terminals are in good condition. This can generally be achieved just
with a visual inspection, however, since the battery may be located in a
position where you cannot see all of it, you may have to remove it to
complete the inspection, after performing any other on-car tests.
2. Check and adjust fluid level
A sealed or low-maintenance battery has no removable cell covers, so you
cannot adjust or test the fluid levels inside However, some of these do
have visual indicators that provide information on the status of the charge
and condition of the battery cells. Each manufacturer provides details of
these visual indicators so refer to these when undertaking an inspection. If
the battery is not a sealed unit, it will have removable caps or bars on top.
Remove them, and look inside to check the level of the battery fluid, which
is called the electrolyte. If the level is below the tops of the plates and
their separators inside add distilled water or water with a low mineral
content until it just covers them. Be careful not to over-fill the cells as they
could boil over when charging.
3. Conduct specific gravity test
Test the specific gravity of each of the cells by using a hydrometer
designed for battery testing. Draw some of the electrolyte into the tester
and look at the float inside it. A scale indicates the relative charge state of
the battery by measuring how high the float sits in relation to the fluid
level. A very low overall reading of 1150 or below indicates a low state of
charge. A high overall reading of about 1300 indicates a high state of
charge. The reading from each cell should be the same. If one or two cells
are very different from the rest that indicates there is something wrong
with the battery.
4. Conduct voltage test with DVOM
Select the Volts DC position on your DVOM and attach the probes to the
battery terminals (red to positive and black to negative). With all vehicle
accessories switched off and the battery at 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21
degrees Celsius, the voltage reading should be 12.6 volts if the battery is
fully charged. This will be slightly lower at cooler temperatures.
5. Conduct load test
Measure the continuous load capability of the battery with a load tester.

Refer to the manual of the particular tester for its operating instructions. A
load tester induces a high rate of discharge in the battery, like the load
created by a cranking starter motor. A battery is rated in ampere hours,
which means that it can supply a certain number of amperes for a
specified length of time under continuous load. Another measurement
used is International Standard Cold Cranking Amps. Check the
specifications for the battery you are testing. If it can meet these
specifications under a load test then it is in good condition. There are
different makes and types of load testers. Always use the equipment
manufacturers recommended testing procedure.

Cleaning & replacing a battery

Summary
The objective of this procedure is to show you how to clean and replace an
automotive battery. The first step is to disconnect the battery, always removing
the clamp from the negative terminal first.
Part 1. Preparation and safety
Objective

Clean and replace an automotive battery.

Personal safety
Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective
clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to
your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:

Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear

Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks

Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs

Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream

Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators

If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.
Safety check

Make sure that the hood is secure with a hood stay rod before going under
it.

Always make sure that you wear the appropriate personal protection
equipment before starting the job. Remember, batteries contain acid and
it is very easy to hurt yourself even when the most exhaustive protection
measures are taken.

Always make sure that your work area/environment is as safe as you can
make it. Do not use damaged, broken or worn out workshop equipment.

Always follow any manufacturer's personal safety instructions to prevent


damage to the vehicle you are servicing.

Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal
safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure
of what these are, ask your supervisor.

Points to note

Always remove the negative terminal first when disconnecting the battery
and fit the negative terminal last when reconnecting the battery.

Automotive batteries can look lighter than they really are.

If replacing a smaller battery with a larger one, replace the restraining


device and tray used to secure the new battery.

Be sure that you do not connect the battery up with reverse polarity
because this could send an unwanted voltage spike into the electronic
circuit and possibly damage the Electronic Control Unit (ECU).

Disconnecting the battery will usually clear all the codes that are used to
maintain the memory for the vehicle's on-board computer. This may erase
all the radio presets and security codes.

In some cases, the vehicle will even go into a type of "sleep" mode. This
can prevent the vehicle from starting after the battery has been
reconnected.

Some manufacturers recommend connecting a 9-volt dry cell battery to


the cigarette lighter with an auxiliary plug before the battery is
disconnected. This should supply enough power to maintain the memory
while the battery is changed over.

Part 2: Step-by-step instruction


1. Disconnect battery
Always remove the cable clamp from the negative terminal first. The
negative terminal is marked with a minus sign. Then remove the positive
terminal, the one with the plus sign. You will later replace them in reverse
order, positive cable first and then the negative cable. While they are
unconnected, bend the cables back, or if necessary tie them out of the
way, so that they cannot fall back and touch the terminals.
2. Remove battery restraints
Remove the battery restraints or other hardware holding the battery down.
Depending on the type of vehicle, you will need to unbolt or unscrew or
unclip the restraint and move it away from the battery. Keeping it upright,
remove the battery from its tray and place it on a clean level surface. You
are now ready to inspect it.
3. Visual inspection
Carefully wipe the battery with a clean cloth. It is best to wear rubber
gloves while doing this in case any corrosive electrolyte has leaked from
the battery. Then safely dispose of the cloth. If you see major cracks in the
battery case or obvious terminal damage, the battery should be replaced
regardless of its electrical performance. If the battery is not serviceable,
dont just dump it into the trash where it will be a hazard to the
environment. Batteries are recyclable, and can be rebuilt and returned into
service.

4. Clean terminals
If there are powdery deposits on the terminals, clean them off. It may be
enough to brush the deposits off the terminal posts and cable clamps with
a non-metallic brush and a mixture of baking soda and water. Sprinkle the
baking soda onto the terminal, dip the brush in clean water, and scrub the
deposits away. If this is not effective, use a battery terminal cleaner and
brush to provide a good, solid mechanical and electrical connection.
5. Clean clamps
Examine the battery cables to see whether they are badly frayed or
corroded. If the damage looks extensive, the cables and clamps should be
replaced. Clean the insides of the cable clamps with the clamp cleaner
that is usually supplied with a terminal brush. If you dont have the correct
brushes, use a soapless steel wool pad instead. Dry the terminals and
clamps with a clean, disposable, lint-free rag. To prevent corrosive deposits
from forming, coat the terminals with some anti-corrosion terminal grease.
6. Clean the battery tray
Clean the battery tray with a mixture of baking soda and water, or some
other approved cleaning solutions using a small non-metallic brush. Wipe
the tray clean and dry, then replace the cleaned and serviceable battery.
Replace the restraints and make sure they are holding the battery securely
in position. If a new battery is to be installed be sure to compare the
outside dimensions as well as the type of terminals and their locations
prior to installation. These MUST meet the original manufacturers
specifications.
7. Reconnect the battery terminals
Reconnect the battery terminals, Positive first, and then Negative. Test
that you have a good electrical connection by starting the vehicle.

Charging a battery

Summary
The objective of this procedure is to show you how to correctly charge a battery
using battery charging equipment. Before charging a battery always carry out a
visual inspection of the battery to ensure there are no cracks or holes in the
casing.
Part 1. Preparation and safety
Objective

Correctly charge a battery using battery charging equipment.

Personal safety
Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective
clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to
your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:

Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear

Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks

Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs

Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream

Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators

If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.
Safety check

Make all connections between the battery charger and the battery to be
charged before connecting to the power supply or turning ON any
switches.

Never try to charge a 'frozen' battery.

Make sure that the voltage used to charge the system never exceeds the
system design while charging. For instance if you connect two 12 volt
batteries in 'series' for charging you should use the 24 volt setting on the
charger, however if you connect the same two batteries in 'parallel' you
should only use the 12 volt setting on the charger.

Never allow a spark or flame to get near the battery.

Always use the markings on the battery to determine the positive and
negative terminals. Never simply use the colour of the cables to determine
the positive or negative terminals.

Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal
safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure
of what these are, ask your supervisor.

Points to note

Slow charging a battery is less stressful on a battery than fast charging is.

Always remove the negative battery terminal while changing a battery to


reduce risk to the vehicle, especially with todays electronically intensive
cars. Use a 'memory minder' to retain electronic settings.

After charging the battery and reinstalling it, always clean the battery
terminals and posts.

Part 2: Step-by-step instruction


1. Inspect the battery
Carry out a visual inspection of the battery to ensure there are no cracks
or holes in the casing.
2. Connect the charger
Check the charger is unplugged from the wall and turned off. Connect the
red lead from the charger to the positive battery terminal. Connect the
black lead from the charger to the negative battery terminal. Turn the
charger on. Check the charger amperage output to ensure the battery is
charging correctly. A slow charger usually charges at a rate of less than 5
amperes. A fast charger charges at a much higher ampere rate depending
on the original battery state of charge and should only be carried out
under constant supervision.

3. Disconnect the charger


Once the battery is charged turn the charger off. Disconnect the black lead
from the negative battery terminal, and the red lead from the positive
battery terminal.
4. Test the battery
Allow the battery to stand for at least 5 minutes before testing the battery.
Using a load tester or hydrometer, test the charged state of the battery.