bad battery or loose battery cable
I would suspect a loose or corroded battery cable. Remove the negative - cable first and clean both cable connection and the battery posts. Hook the positive + cable back up first. Can also be a starter solenoid going bad.
I hope you did not remove a battery post while the engine was running (don't do it)? If so, it may cause damage to your alternator, and it will short out your ignition in the engine (engine stops). If there is no damage, it should work after reconnecting the battery posts. If you didn't do the above situation, I would check for a loose connection on the terminal or a corroded/broken cable. I hope you did not remove a cable from the positive or negative battery posts while the engine was running (don't do it)? If so, it may cause damage to your alternator, and it will short out your ignition in the engine (engine stops). If there is no damage, it should work after reconnecting the battery posts. If you didn't do the above situation, I would check for a loose connection on the terminal or a corroded/broken cable. THe computer may need alittle time to relearn idle.
If You Are Running A Cable From The Battery ( Bypassing The Solenoid ) You Starter Runs Then It Would Most Likely Be You Have Lost Connection On The Solenoid From The Battery Side. ie You Probable Have More Than One Cable On The Battery Incomming Side Of Solenoid Clean All Cables At Battery And Where They Connect To Engine Block ( Negative ) And All Positive Connections Also Check Battery Cables Sometimes They Will Accumilate Lots Of Corrosion Under The Plastic Cable Covers On The Battery End Of Cable, Replace Cable If This Is So. If This Gets It Going I Suggest You Replace Solenoid Also. BEST I CAN DO
A bad starter. A loose connection @ the terminal ends-the battery cables-the starter solonoid-IF IT has Rubber covers around the battery ends corrosion from battery acid could cause it.EVEN a bad ground on the engine from the battery 2 the frame.(battery cables) The battery cable ends could be corroded and should be cleaned. The next step would be to check the starter selenoid and then the starter.
I assume you're asking how can you tell which is positive and which is negative? The red cable is positive in the black cable is negative. But if they are not color-coded the positive battery post is slightly larger than the negative battery post. If you try to connect the negative cable to the positive post it would be a tight fit and if you connect the positive cable to the negative post it would be loose.
There is no way that the positive battery terminal was ever connected to the chassis. This would be a dead short and would fry the battery. Negative to chassis is correct, but positive to chassis, no way. That positive cable goes somewhere else.
Only fuse would be in the PDC that bolts onto the positive battery cable.Only fuse would be in the PDC that bolts onto the positive battery cable.
Cause a no start situation.
Safe practice directs that when connecting battery cables to the battery, the positive cable should beattached first, and then the negative cable last. In disconnecting battery cables, safe practice directs cable order in the reverse, I.E., the negative cable is disconnected first, and and the positive cable last. The reason for this safety procedure is that IF the ground cable is attached first, then when using a metallic wrench to tighten the positive cable clamp, and IF the wrench in contact with the positive terminal clamp were to come in contact with any grounded metal of the vehicle, then a tremendous short circuit would occur. A massive short circuit results in massive arcing [fireball] which can severely burn a person, damage the battery [or cause it to explode], damage the vehicle electrical system, or worse, cause the vehicle to catch on fire. Always connect the negative cable last, and disconnect the negative cable first!
the alternator is out
Poor connection. remove and clean the connector and post and retighten
It would be essentially the same as connecting a battery in the car, except with longer cables. You would have to use jumper cables to extend the car battery cables. Be sure to follow ALL safety procedures. Do NOT let anyone or anything metal touch anything else except where you make the connections. Do not touch the metal connectors themselves. I assume there is no battery in the car. I will call the battery that is not in the car the "external battery". First connect the positive ("+", usually red) jumper cable to the positive car battery cable, & then the other end of that jumper cable to the positive external battery terminal. Then do the same with the negative ("-", usually black) car battery cable & jumper cable. The last thing you connect should be the far end of the negative jumper cable to the negative terminal of the external battery. When you are ready to disconnect the external battery from these cables, do so in reverse order, starting with disconnecting the negative ("-", usually black) jumper cable from the negative external battery terminal.
Year, make, model and engine size would help but if you follow the positive battery cable from the battery to the other end of it, it will be connected to the starter.
poor battery cable connection
It could be lights on in the trunk or a short someplace, your best bet would be to touch positive cable to the battery and if you get a spark something is drawing power from the battery, pull one fuse at a time and recheck the spark at the battery and when you have a fuse pulled and it finally doesn't spark when you touch the positive cable to the battery terminal you have found the circuit that your problem is in.