Applying auxiliary power to a vehicle before disconnecting its battery may save untold time and aggravation for all service personnel in your business.
In my last column, I explained that disconnecting a vehicle's battery may erase some of the memory in on-board computers. When the computer loses this "vulnerable" memory, the vehicle may not perform normally when a technician reconnects its battery.
Consequently, the engine, automatic transmission and/or vehicle accessories may not operate correctly.
A technician may have to road test the vehicle to enable an on-board computer to "re-learn" certain values or else perform a manufacturer-specific correction procedure.
Forewarned is forearmed. Your crew's encounters with various makes and models may be your only guide to the potential risks of battery disconnect.
But some technicians play it safe by connecting backup power before disconnecting a battery for any reason. Experience has shown that the several minutes spent connecting backup power pales compared with the time possibly required to make the vehicle normal again.
Fortunately, you already may have a very effective auxiliary power source right now. One is the robust automotive battery that you carefully maintain for emergency jump starts. The other is the ever-popular "jump box" or "booster box," a stand-alone power source for boosting a weak or dead battery in the vehicle.