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Can replacing a battery cause serious damage to a cars engine?

I went to walmart to have my battery replaced and now my a/c, dash lights, headlights, radio, power windows and clock doesnt work.

When they replaced it there was smoke pouring out of the engine. How can I prove that Walmart messed all this stuff up?

They probably connected the battery terminals backwards, that is, negative to positive and positive to negative. You will need to take it to another mechanic to get a confirming opinion.

They are saying that it is my alternator is bad and thats why nothing is working in the car…but everything worked before i had taken it in. It is in another shop now but it wouldnt start at all and the power locks barely worked. I had to have the car towed.

What kind of car is it? What were they symptoms that lead you to get your battery replaced?

To answer the original question on your post, replacing the battery will not cause any damage to the engine, but probably ruined a lot of other things. You’re talking about the place that puts their stock boys out in the lube shop if they’re shorthanded. They probably used the wrong battery. For example, if your car calls for a group 24, they probably installed a group 24R, which looks the same except that the terminals are on opposite sides. This should be very easy to prove walmart responsible, and they are probably going to have to sink a lot of money into your car to get it operational again.

it is a 2yr battery that was 4 yrs old…KIA Sephia 2001…I would have to jump start the car every couple of starts but the car ran just fine after we jumped the car. Now nothing electrical works and the battery is not holding a charge…

they did try several different batteries cause they were out of my size battery…and smoke did start pouring out of the engine…they said it was the fuses and started messing around with the relay switches and fuses…now nothing works on the car not even the power door locks…

Change your terminology when you speak about this problem,say smoke started pouring out of the electrical system,don’t say “smoke came out of the engine” as people will get off on the wrong track and think your engine has a mechanical problem.

very sorry…all I know is smoke was coming out from underneath the hood somewhere and it was a disturbing sight…

If you are going to go to walmart for a battery, only let them install the one that is meant for your car. Some skilled people can do interchange, but I would not trust the people at walmart to have that kind of skill. If they don’t have your battery, go elsewhere. Most auto parts stores install them for free. It sounds to me like they were doing anything they could to make a sale, and now the sale of a $60 battery is going to cost them a lot of money and you a lot of downtime. Save yourself the inconvenience later and just go elsewhere. Even if the auto parts stores in your area don’t do the free installation, you can buy the battery from them and pay a real mechanic a little bit to install it if you’re not so inclined.

yes now I know better…

no need to be sorry, I just want people to understand what happened.

When you speak about this explain you are concerned about damage to your electrical system and since there was smoke there was damage.

did you check all the fuses??

I had a dealer leave my car on the garage roof for a week after they did some body repair. They left the headlights on, so without telling me they just replaced the battery. I got about half a mile and the battery light started to show. I turned around and headed back. The faster I went the bright the battery light. (note 1965 Sunbeam Imp) I made it back and we opened the engine compartment.

Turns out they forgot that was a positive ground car. They said all it needed was to change the cables. I said I wanted a new battery generator and starter as well as a year warranty on anything electrical. They insisted, so I told them to change the battery and start it up. It started and in about three seconds smoke started pouring out of the engine compartment.

I got my new battery generator and starter along with the warranty, which I never needed.

Getting them to admit it might have been harder than it was for me.

yes they pulled the fuses and the relays out, checking them but then again it was Walmart that did so…

Contact Walmart Corporate office. The manager at the store may not have a clue (of anything). Then, if Walmart Corporate doesn’t admit responsibility (and, pay for your damages), take that Walmart store to small claims court.
Oh! Have the repair shop send the repair bill to Walmart. Make sure that the repair bill is marked for “Repairs caused by an incorrectly installed battery at Walmart Service Center”. This tactic may work; if, not, nothing lost.

Exactly what i was thinking…I had to miss a full days pay also because of the situation…Make them pay for that too

It sounds like they did connect the battery backwards. If they tried different size batteries because they were out of the one that is specified for your car, some batteries have the positive terminal on the left, some on the right—it would be easy for an inattentive tech (especially a clueless one) to make this mistake. I think at the very least, a fusible link was burned up–this would account for the smoke. But there may be a lot of other damage as well to the car’s systems.

Question—when you say smoke was pouring out of the engine, was this BEFORE or AFTER the battery replacement?

On top of the question oblivion posed,what were the car symptoms that led you to believe the battery needed to be replaced before you went to Wal Mart?

Did this car start right up and you drove it there or what?

The smoke happend after they replaced the battery