Help!! Reversed Cables for Car Battery Charge

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  #1  
Old 08-02-10, 04:59 AM
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Help!! Reversed Cables for Car Battery Charge

I messed up really bad this morning. One of my car batteries was dead this morning and I went to recharge it and I hooked up the jumper cables in reverse order. I was charging for about a minute and a half I would guess before I discovered the mistake when the dead battery car was tured on to see if anything lit up on the dash board. I immediately took the warm cables off and tried to recharge it the correct way and it is not taking a charge.

Is the battery ruined and did I ruin anything else by doing this?

Should I go get a new battery and see if this works and then if everything is still dead, take it into the car repair store.

Thanks for any help you can give me on this as soon as possible, I am running late for work.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-02-10, 06:43 AM
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Get a new battery...take the old one with you to be tested, they'll do it for free. I can't imagine a typical home charger would damage a battery in 90 sec...though it could damage the charger. Possible the battery was beyond hope from the beginning.
 
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Old 08-02-10, 06:47 AM
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Thanks for the help, I did replace the battery and the car started right up!! I guess I kind of lucked out this time. However, I was not using a home charger, I had it hooked up to another running car. Anyway, it worked out OK and it does not seem like I ruined anything else on the "dead" car.Beer 4U2
 
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Old 08-02-10, 07:10 AM
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Ouch.....well...with that info...I'd be concerned about the other car. If you have a multimeter or a friend with one...I'd check your charging voltages on both cars. Not sure if parts stores will do free checks like that.
 
  #5  
Old 08-02-10, 09:15 AM
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I've heard that when this happens, it is the running vehicle which gets damaged...

I would think this might overload the alternator on the car doing the charging.

Check it with a multimeter. Should be around 12 volts with just the ignition on (not started), then after starting should be around 13/14 volts. That would be the alternator kicking in and charging the battery as it should.

If it stays 12 volts after starting, then there may be a fuse to the alternator or a "fusible link" (the wire itself) which was overloaded and fried. Or the alternator may have been damaged.

A car might run for several days without the alternator working. The battery will get lower and lower, then eventually it will no longer start.

How to use a multimeter...
how to use a multimeter on a car - Google Search
 
  #6  
Old 08-02-10, 06:15 PM
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I have a friend who has a multimeter at work that I will be able to use tomorrow. However, I looked for the alternator fuse on my 2009 Toyota Corolla and I could not figure out how I am going to get the tesing probe or hookup from the mutlimeter to the terminals of the alternator fuse. I could not really see a fuse like the normal fuses, it was encased in clear hard plastic in that section of the fuse block.

Can anyone help me try to figure this one out?
 
  #7  
Old 08-02-10, 06:36 PM
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Oh... My bad...

Just measure the voltage at the battery terminals. Use DC volts 20 range on the multimeter.

The battery will show around 12 volts with just the ignition on, then go up to around 13/14 volts after the car is started and the alternator kicks in.

That is a basic test. No need to measure fuses or anything else if you get the above readings. That would mean the alternator is still working.
 
  #8  
Old 08-02-10, 06:42 PM
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Bill190,

Thanks so much for the reply, it is greatly appreciated!! That will make it much easier to only have to do that. If it does not turn out with the readings that you indicated, will I need to take it in to a shop to have it tested further since the alternator fuse is not easy to get to?
 
  #9  
Old 08-02-10, 07:06 PM
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Right. If it remains at 12 volts after starting, then there would be a problem with the fuse or alternator.

If there was a problem, I don't know if you could remove the fuse and try getting a new one? (Some fuses just pull out, but I have seen others which bolt in.)

Whatever you are comfortable doing.

FYI here is info on testing fuses...
Testing fuses Page

And a fuse is sort of like a garden water hose. It allows water to flow from one end to another. If someone were to cut the water hose with scissors, the water would no longer flow to the other end!

And the same thing happens with a fuse. You can sometimes see a wire in the fuse. If that wire is connecting, it allows electricity to flow to the wiring. If that wire in the fuse is cut/broken, the electricity will no longer "flow".

If you overload an electrical circuit, it causes that small wire in the fuse to "melt" and break.
 
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