A guy who owns a neighboring car in the communal parking garage I park in disconnects the positive side of the battery when leaving his car for a few days at a time.

Is this dangerous? If so, under what circumstances could this cause an accident?

  • Your previous question was about the negative terminal. If the battery is disconnected, there is no circuit. The chance of a spark when disconnecting or reconnecting is the same, whichever terminal. Nov 19 '20 at 14:58

If he has a classic car with a positive ground (as opposed to almost all if not all modern cars that have a negative ground) then there is no danger and that is the proper terminal to disconnect.

On the other hand, if his car has a negative ground this can be dangerous. The danger is present while disconnecting and reconnecting the battery. If while loosening/tightening the terminal the wrench contacts the body of the car or another grounded metal component, a completed circuit is created. This will just about instantly heat up the wrench and terminal and other contacted metal (like maybe a ring he is wearing). I have seen battery terminals melt in seconds when someone wasn't paying attention. Should the short circuit not be immediately terminated, this poses a serious safety risk to him as he is doing it.

  • The same danger also exists while re-connecting the battery.
    – John Canon
    Nov 28 '20 at 3:37
  • @John very true! I will edit my answer.
    – Mr. Spock
    Nov 29 '20 at 14:26

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