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Old 07-29-2018, 06:01 PM   #1
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Ford and Neg. disconnect

My new toad is a 2018 Ford Fiesta. They ask that before towing 4 down you disconnect the negative batty terminal and when you reach your destination reconnect and start in the first 15 Min. Does anyone know why you need to disconnect? and what if you forget to do it like I did the on the first tow?
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Old 07-29-2018, 06:25 PM   #2
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My new toad is a 2018 Ford Fiesta. They ask that before towing 4 down you disconnect the negative batty terminal and when you reach your destination reconnect and start in the first 15 Min. Does anyone know why you need to disconnect? and what if you forget to do it like I did the on the first tow?
Don't know for sure but it might be to prevent the battery from draining.
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Old 07-29-2018, 06:58 PM   #3
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2018 could be different than our 2014, but the disconnect is for two reasons: no parasitic battery draw, and you must in order to remove the key while in Neutral...

for the ‘reconnect’ within 15 mins, that should make no difference, or no need - what if you are overnighting without unhooking it? Check your owner manual, if it doesn’t mention it, then catalogue that in your ‘someone told me...’ file, never to be repeated again! : )
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Old 08-06-2018, 11:24 AM   #4
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I have a 2016 Ford Focus. At least for my car I think the reason they say to disconnect is that my auto transmission is actually a standard trans but the computer does the shifting, and if you don't disconnect the power it may engage and cause a lot of trouble. If you add a battery disconnect it makes it a lot easier.
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:58 AM   #5
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Your transmission is electronic shifted. It is a safety precaution to prevent it from accidental shifting. Also prevents battery going dead. Lot of activity going on in your car even with the key off.

I tow a Ford Fiesta also. It has performed flawless.

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Charleston SC
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Old 08-31-2018, 12:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ron1Z View Post
My new toad is a 2018 Ford Fiesta. They ask that before towing 4 down you disconnect the negative batty terminal and when you reach your destination reconnect and start in the first 15 Min. Does anyone know why you need to disconnect? and what if you forget to do it like I did the on the first tow?
I tow a 2017 Focus hatchback. When I bought it SPECIFICALLY because you can flat tow it, I asked the dealer why the battery had to be disconnected, they couldn't or wouldn't give me a straight answer, although I agree the transmission being electronic would be the primary reason as well as draining the battery with the key "on". To give you an idea how "clueless" they might be and how even the mechanics can have wrong "opinions", the salesman told me the mechanic stated it would accumulate miles even with the battery disconnected...well, it DOESN'T AND I KNOW THAT FOR A FACT because I've towed it probably 10,000 miles now and it only has around 3,500 miles on it. As an aside, FORD says disconnect the negative cable (which is very hard to get to) but I've always unhooked the positive (which is very easy to get to) and haven't had one problem yet. Regarding starting it up within 15 minutes, I'm not sure but it could have something to do with cooling the transmission after stopping, but that's just my opinion/conjecture. A comment was made regarding overnighting and not starting the toad and I'd like to add I've stopped several times to eat, shop, etc. but not started the toad.
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Old 08-31-2018, 01:26 PM   #7
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no vehicle with a digital odometer is going to rack up miles when towing, only old school vehicles would.

don't rely on what dealers/salesmen at Ford or similar shops say about towing - they don't see it enough to warrant knowing enough about it - they are just 'guessing' at best. Use the owner's manual to determine the facts.
as for the positive versus negative battery disconnection - I imagine there are reasons Ford requests it a certain way, and for some undocumented reasons, but I would imagine either way will work - and you may never know 'why' Ford engineers allude to one way or the other.
Which way does Electricity flow? "The negatively charged electrons are drawn toward the positively charged battery terminal, or the next positively charged atom. ... Electrical engineers say that, in an electrical circuit, electricity flows one direction: out of the positive terminal of a battery and back into the negative terminal."

our disconnect is on the Negative post - no issues in 40,000 miles in our Focus, or 60,000 in our previous Fiesta. I may work just as well on the positive. : )
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Old 09-01-2018, 12:01 PM   #8
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The only reason to disconnect the negative terminal is safety. This prevents a spark if your wrench grounds against the frame. Either terminal being disconnected works for what ever reason Ford has to do so.
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