Ask the Mechanic

Safety Tip of the Month December 2022: Danger - Hot Wire

(Steve Thompson)

The positive battery cable that runs to the starter solenoid will carry many amps when it finds a ground. The full available voltage at this connection has been known to throw sparks, start fires and burn up wires if it's not controlled. If you plan on removing the end of the positive battery cable from the starter solenoid, it's a good idea to first remove the positive battery cable from the battery. With the positive battery cable connected, the stiff positive cable likes to find a ground. The cable on the starter solenoid shown (see photo accompanying this article) has a plastic cover over the connection to help eliminate fires. The second large wire supplies power to the rest of the tractor.


-- Write Steve Thompson at Ask The Mechanic, 2204 Lakeshore Dr., Suite 415, Birmingham, AL 35209, or email, and be sure to include your phone number.