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So my hand is all scuffed up from trying to get to the (-) terminal for jumper cables to jump my Ford Focus with the defective trunk latch which apparently has been draining my battery. The fuse box is right on top of the battery giving you access to only the positive terminal.

This seems to me to be a lesson in the tragedy of the commons, but seriously, how do I get to the negative terminal to provide enough juice to jump my car?

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Check this answer, looks they have a remote negative near the shock mount. Check the owners manual, you may find more details on this.

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Apparently, I must gut my car in order to jump another car - hopefully I never meet anyone without a socket wrench set who needs a jump in the middle of nowhere.

To paraphrase,

  1. pop off the wiper cover
  2. Unscrew the fusebox bolt
  3. Remove the big bar going over the fuseboxes

and 3. was where my wife appeared and said, "stop ripping apart my minivan you can take it to work tomorrow."

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I probably would have considered finding a good metal surface somewhere near a ground strap to try. You're supposed to do that on the receiving vehicle anyways. Might be a little less efficient on the sending vehicle too, but I can't think of any major problems you'd be likely to have. The jumper cables usually can't handle as much current as a ground strap anyways. I guess it could cause a damage if you already had a bad grounding problem with the car though, but there's that risk no matter how you do a jumpstart. – Brian Knoblauch Dec 13 '11 at 13:52

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