Why is it called "ground spot"for a jump start cable if its not connected to the ground but to a metal? Like when trying to jump start a car?

6 Answers

Relevance
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Back when high voltage electric systems were developed for homes a common point to complete any circuit was literally through the ground. That way you only need one wire from the generator to the electric device since the electricity could return to the generator through the ground. To this very day, two of the slots in any electrical outlet are still electrically connected to the ground.

    With that, the term "ground" began to refer to the common circuit in any wired system, even in occasions where ground isn't actually connected electrically to the literal ground.

    In a car the frame and body are considered ground. The electric path comes from the positive on the battery and alternator, goes to any fuses and switches or relays via wires, then through whatever light bulb, ignition coil or sensor it runs, and then into the frame of the vehicle. It then goes through the frame to a short wire that connects the frame to the negative on the battery and the alternator.

  • M.
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    The reason why it's called ground is not important. On a car, it's the NEGATIVE side of the battery that connects to the engine block directly, then by grounding jumpers to the body, frame and perhaps front suspension. But you can't connect a negative jumper anywhere. It needs to be connected to the engine block or some bracket that is securely bolted to the engine block. You can't, for example, jump the car when having the negative jumper cable connected to the car frame or body metal or bumper, etc.

    Source(s): Engine overhaul mechanic and electrical system expert, since 1972
    • M.
      Lv 7
      4 years agoReport

      p.s. It's not called "ground spot", it's just "ground", but remember, if you are going to "jump" start a vehicle, any ground is not ok. It must be on the engine because of the large amount of current that a starter draws.

  • bob f
    Lv 5
    4 years ago

    when you attach the negative cable to a battery, sometimes there is a small spark. the problem is that batteries emit explosive gasses, that if caught right, KABOOM ! that is why the ground connection is away from the battery.

    • Omar Ponce4 years agoReport

      Yea ik but my question was why do they call it ground and not metal

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    The whole chassis and engine is a big ground. It is one big ground wire fed by the battery negative (ground) terminal.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 4 years ago

    It is earthed through the body of the car.

  • Ron
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    It is ground.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.