we were jump starting a 2003 Mazda protege ES. I’m guessing they hook up the terminals backwards. the Battery caught fire. I’m thinking the ignitions system fried. anyone with any suggestions
Before doing anything else, replace the battery, clean the battery cable connectors and reattach wrench tight and try to start the engine.
You won’t cause any more damage, if any is done already.
Most electrical systems have protection built in in the form of fusible links, fuses, circuit breakers, etc.
The battery can catch on fire even if they did it right. It doesn’t happen often, and it’s probably mre likely to catch fire the wrong way. Either way, it wasn’t their best day.
That is why the proper way to jump a car is to connect the ground last and it is connected to a frame part away from the battery to reduce the chance of that battery fire. That may be all there was to it.
did it catch fire as you were connecting or disconnecting the cables, or while charging?
If all the excitement happened before the ignition switch was turned on or the engine cranked, the damage might just be limited to the fuseable link to the alternator. If the alternator fuseable link did not melt soon enough, diodes in the alternator may have been damaged. Any other semiconductor device connected to the battery at the time of the reversal might have been damaged but as previously stated a lot have reverse current isolation diodes, cheap insurance against exactly what you suspect.
Post back to us with all that needed to be done. TNX
hello and thank you for all of your replies. to answer some questions. the battery caught fire just as she hooked the jumper cable to the hot battery. she stil is not sure if the cables were crossed becaused she pulled them off as fast as she could.
GOOD NEWS: I did find one of the main fuses under the hood was burned out. hopefully, that is all I have to replace. It is Saturday at 5pm when I finally found the burned out fuse. I will buy a new one in the morning and let you all know how we made out. again thank you all.