When reconnecting bateery (Ford E-150) sparks come out on negative battery terminal. Is this a shorted circuit or someting else. Also battery power drains if letf connected.t

Asked by Feb 16, 2017 at 06:38 PM about the 1993 Ford E-150 Custom Club Wagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

When I reconnect my Ford E-150 battery sparks come on when reconnecting negative terminal. Is this common or there is a problem?  Also if battery is left connected for a while the power drains.

4 Answers


This is normal if the cable is in contact with the post but not fully seated. And arc of electricity can jump from the post to the cable end.

2 people found this helpful.

A little spark at initial connection might be normal, but a lot of sparking is not. Make sure the battery post itself feels solid and not wobbly or loose, it may have broken free inside the battery. Use a dielectric grease over the battery post and terminal end, you can get that at any auto parts place. Those felt pads are also good, they slip on over the post. Then make sure the terminal is nice and tight and that the battery is bolted down. If the battery is not holding a charge, get a checkup of the charging system (battery and alternator), which can be done for free at any auto parts place. If the battery is being drained it might require a more extensive test of the alternator, or you have a parasitic draw, or possibly an electrical short somewhere that will require troubleshooting.


If it kills a battery in a short period of time then it is a problem, make sure everything is off in the vehicle, then disconnect a battery cable and put a test light in between the cable end and the battery post, if the test light turns on bright then you have a battery draw that can kill a battery in a short time frame, now electrically disconnect the alternator, if the light goes out or faintly glows you have found your problem, replace the alternator, if the light is still on then you have to remove the fuses one at a time noting where each fuse came from until the light goes out or faintly glows, when you find the circuit that is draining the battery then you need to find out what systems are on the circuit and locate and repair or replace the bad component, then start putting the fuses back in one at a time just to make sure you got the draw, reconnect the alternator and that it. Note: parasitic draws will cause a test light to faintly glow, this is not a draw and won't cause battery drain.

2 people found this helpful.

Both above answers make a lot of sense. I will check system tomorrow. Thanks folks!

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