Forums > General Discussion   Shooting the breeze...

Has anyone connected up a car battery the wrong way

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Created by petermac33 A week ago, 7 Nov 2019
petermac33
WA, 5461 posts
7 Nov 2019 10:28PM
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My neighbour put in my new battery and it sparked a few times then he realised he must have connected the positive to negative. He eventually got it right and I did not think to start the car up.

Then tonight I went to start the car up and and it starts the same but no brake lights,rear lights,inside lights or indicators.

Im guessing a fuse has blown. His son in law is going to have a look at it tomorrow.

I thought I saw him connect it wrong but I did not say anything for some reason.

Then I got hit by the falling bonnet that has lost its ability to stay up.

Then the silver trim around the bonnet fell off and I'm scared to try to put it back as I'm certain I'll break the fitting.

I just hope I don't need to take it to a auto electrician.

slammin
QLD, 872 posts
8 Nov 2019 5:54AM
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Probs just fuses. Lucky, worst case scenario you could've fried your ecu. Say something next time nobody is perfect!

Imax1
VIC, 2313 posts
8 Nov 2019 7:19AM
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I'm no expert, but I doubt the battery has anything to do with the bonnet and silver trim .
Having said that , nowadays everything is connected to the computer.

actiomax
NSW, 1409 posts
8 Nov 2019 8:25AM
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Did the tin foil hat protect your head ?

Paddles B'mere
QLD, 2584 posts
8 Nov 2019 8:40AM
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Imax, you are in the box seat to kick off a battery "magnetism" health scare conspiracy ................... maybe the battery DOES have something to do with an uncontrolled movement of the metallic trim and the metallic bonnet .............................

clarence
TAS, 915 posts
8 Nov 2019 10:00AM
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The failsafe method for blokes to get it right (from my old workmate Tony Howard).

A bit crude, but I still remember 20 years later:

"Pussy is pink, and pussy is positive- so always put the pink to positive."

Clarence

FormulaNova
NSW, 9522 posts
8 Nov 2019 10:00AM
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petermac33 said..
My neighbour put in my new battery and it sparked a few times then he realised he must have connected the positive to negative. He eventually got it right and I did not think to start the car up.

Then tonight I went to start the car up and and it starts the same but no brake lights,rear lights,inside lights or indicators.

Im guessing a fuse has blown. His son in law is going to have a look at it tomorrow.

I thought I saw him connect it wrong but I did not say anything for some reason.

Then I got hit by the falling bonnet that has lost its ability to stay up.

Then the silver trim around the bonnet fell off and I'm scared to try to put it back as I'm certain I'll break the fitting.

I just hope I don't need to take it to a auto electrician.


Okay, in future, if you want to do this right and don't know how to do this yourself, pay someone to do it. The second important bit after doing something is to check it, and in this case start the car. For all you know the battery could have been dead or a fusible link was blown, but how would you know if you didn't even start it up?

if it starts up and runs, the ECU will be fine. If the lights don't work, then hope its just a fuse and not some special little box that runs all that. If you are no good at checking fuses or your neighbour's son in law isn't then you will have to take it to an auto electrician.

Replace the struts attached to the bonnet, and get someone else to try to attach the silver trim.

In some electronics they built in what they called a 'crowbar', which was essentlally a diode connected the wrong way, so that connecting it reverse polarity effectively shorted it out and blew the fuse quickly. I wonder if they do that sort of thing in cars?

As another aside, a lot of cars make it difficult or impossible to connect the battery up the wrong way if the correct battery is used. The battery leads are just too short, and usually the battery terminals themselves are different diameters, so at best case its very difficult to do. Gone are the days of really long battery leads and a battery in an engine bay with heaps of room.

cauncy
WA, 7609 posts
8 Nov 2019 9:00AM
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Did it go backwards

cauncy
WA, 7609 posts
8 Nov 2019 9:01AM
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Sounds like you had some negative and positives out of it

decrepit
WA, 9610 posts
8 Nov 2019 9:02AM
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"It sparked a few times" indicates current was flowing somewhere.
Formula's "crowbar" perhaps, or something left on, lights maybe.

Pete if you feel like a drive to Mandurah, I'll have a look and show you my 10km away horizon.

firiebob
WA, 2914 posts
8 Nov 2019 9:17AM
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After the bonnet hit you on the head Pete, did you then realise the earth is actually round

If you connect a battery the wrong way around it'll dead short the alternator, sounds like he has blown a fusible link which will be near the battery at a guess. Hopefully he hasn't blown his alternator diodes.

nebbian
WA, 6200 posts
8 Nov 2019 9:49AM
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Some very old VW beetles had a very simple electrical system, that included a positive ground. Occasionally someone would put in a new battery, and connect it up the way that they thought was right (negative ground, which is what just about every other car does). The funny thing is that the electrical system was so simple, that it would in fact start and run with the battery completely reversed. The lights would also work. Apparently the starter motor and generator (not alternator) had field windings that would still work if reversed.

So you'd hear reports of "I replaced the battery, and now my stereo keeps blowing fuses! I can't work it out!". Try diagnosing that problem over the phone!

Dawn Patrol
WA, 1978 posts
8 Nov 2019 11:52AM
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I've done it, was sold the wrong battery and didn't check before connecting...
Just blew a fuse, it was quite a large one, and the car was totally dead because of it. Replaced the fuse then no worries.

decrepit
WA, 9610 posts
8 Nov 2019 12:07PM
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decrepit said..
Pete if you feel like a drive to Mandurah, I'll have a look and show you my 10km away horizon.


Pete, are you back in the water? If the Swan chop is too bad for your leg, I can show you some nice flat water!

petermac33
WA, 5461 posts
8 Nov 2019 2:25PM
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Unfortunately its not looking like I'll be back on the water for another year or so,if ever.

On a more positive note - his son in law fixed the problem in two minutes flat.

I need a white coloured thing that seemingly controls the fuses.

He said it cost 15 dollars or so. He pushed the two metal parts of it together as a quick fix job till I get to a shop.

The metal trim is broken and I need to get another one from a wrecker.

Hoping to be back by around Jan 1st.

decrepit
WA, 9610 posts
8 Nov 2019 5:25PM
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petermac33 said..
Unfortunately its not looking like I'll be back on the water for another year or so,if ever.

Bugger Pete, that's a real pain,
but glad the car's going.

petermac33
WA, 5461 posts
8 Nov 2019 5:29PM
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Jan 1st 2020 in two months.

decrepit
WA, 9610 posts
8 Nov 2019 8:14PM
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Keep fingers crossed!

firiebob
WA, 2914 posts
9 Nov 2019 9:58AM
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decrepit said..

petermac33 said..
Unfortunately its not looking like I'll be back on the water for another year or so,if ever.


Bugger Pete, that's a real pain,
but glad the car's going.


+1

bryan
WA, 118 posts
10 Nov 2019 10:27PM
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Had a 1960 worseley which had the positive lead to earth. The electrons ran in the opposite direction

w8ingforwind
QLD, 232 posts
11 Nov 2019 10:03PM
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Yes and it was a bug. Glad to here you are on the mend

HENDO 77
WA, 241 posts
12 Nov 2019 4:18PM
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bonnet gas struts are cheap on ebay and easy to put on too

Imax1
VIC, 2313 posts
12 Nov 2019 7:39PM
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HENDO 77 said..
bonnet gas struts are cheap on ebay and easy to put on too



Yes , but be careful , if you put them on in reverse , they will pull the bonnet down that fast it will bite your face off .

jn1
SA, 1794 posts
12 Nov 2019 9:39PM
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petermac33 said..
My neighbour put in my new battery and it sparked a few times then he realised he must have connected the positive to negative.


How is that even possible with the cables being so short in modern cars now days ?. He must have put in a good effort to cock that up.

Anyway, good on him for helping.

Mark _australia
WA, 19601 posts
12 Nov 2019 9:02PM
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This from the fellow who KNOWS the truths we all don't.

Gets a mate to put in battery the wrong way around. Phew....

hilly
WA, 4900 posts
12 Nov 2019 9:03PM
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Mark _australia said..
This from the fellow who KNOWS the truths we all don't.

Gets a mate to put in battery the wrong way around. Phew....



Must be a conspiracy

hoop
WA, 1733 posts
12 Nov 2019 9:15PM
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Batteries are science Pete. Science belongs to "them" apparently.
If you don't believe "their" science you shouldn't be using batteries.
Simple



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Forums > General Discussion   Shooting the breeze...


"Has anyone connected up a car battery the wrong way" started by petermac33