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Re: Just bought a 58 plate Espace Quest 2.0l 16V...few questions.
Yeh, must be sidelights on before reconnecting battery.
That doesn't make any theoretical sense either though really. By applying load to the battery at reconnecting you are likely to get more arcing rather than less.
The ideal scenario would be no current draw at all from the battery at reconnection - which would mean no arcing whatsoever.
I think the idea of having sidelights on was probably an 'old wives tale' from a while ago which has stuck.
Certainly agree about letting all the systems go into sleep mode before diconnecting though and also leaving 10 secs or so after reconnecting to allow everything to initialise.