Jim Grant's Tech Tips
would like to know if you have any opinions on dumping the computer by
taking the negative terminal off and touching it to the positive for 20
seconds to clear the computer of any stored codes. If so, will a vehicle
thats equipped with air bags, possibly deploy the air bag?
its a common practice to disconnect both battery terminals and not
only hold them together but to connect them for the duration of the service
being performed. For example when servicing the air bags some vehicles
require the battery cables being joined for 15 minutes to a half hour
before performing service or repairs that involve the air bag system.
It is not uncommon for todays vehicles to have several computers
on-board. Inside the computers there are capacitors that will hold/store
electrical energy. Connecting the battery cables provides a means of dissipating
this stored energy without causing any harm. In most cases (not all vehicles)
the software to operate the systems is not volatile and will be safely
retained in the computer/s. If you have an anti-theft radio be sure you
have the radio code so it can be reactivated.