In a rush, I accidentally hooked the cables up wrong while jumping it off. Now the lights and all come on, but it will not start at all…
You most likely blew a fuse, relay, or one of the fusible links that are in the wiring.
We get that a lot here.
“I was in a hurry.”
“It was dark out.”
“I let my friend connect the jumper cables.”
But they were connected backwards and now there’s no power/lights/or won’t start.
You fried some components in the electrical circuits. So the vehicle needs to be towed to a shop that can trace down what components were fried.
I have powe and lights. My truck will still arm when I use my keyless entry, and the lights come on when I open the doors and such… I want to try and fix it myself.
Let me see?
You connected the jumper cables backwards. And you want to trouble-shoot this yourself?
Do you own a digital multi-meter?
Check all the fuses first. Maybe you’ll get lucky and just have a blown fuse(s).
When you say it won’t start, do you mean it cranks – that "rrr rrr rrr " sound – but it wont catch and run? Or when you turn the key to “start” nothing at all happens, no sounds.
You need to baseline the situation. What’s different now than before ? For example, when you turn the key to “on” but don’t start the engine, does the dashboard look exactly like it did before this happened? All the dash lights the same, and the gauges the same?
As posted above, this is a pretty common question here. The solution often turns out to be that the fusible links have blown. Fusible links on newer vehicles are often high current fuses placed in a fuse holder near the battery. On my Corolla the fusible links are fuses placed directly in the connector for the + battery.
Basically! Lol! I don’t want my husband to think I am a complete moron. I feel dumb enough as it is… No he doesn’t have one. If it helps at all, the dashboard will not light up at all…
George the dashboard is completely blank, and it makes a rrr rrr rrr sound… Hopefully it is that box on top of the battery…
A blown fusible link could indeed produce the blank dashboard symptom you describe. Fusible links, then the normal fuse box which contain the rest of the fuses, that’s the place to start. It’s entirely possible you can debug this yourself. But such a thing is not a certainty, so be prepared to throw in the towel and have it towed to a shop if you aren’t able to make significant progress yourself. The thing that is good about cars, pretty much whatever’s broke can be fixed. Best of luck.
Because it cranks, but the dash does not light up, I’d first check all the fuses…as others have said.
Because you do not have a digital volt meter I would
start with the power distribution box under the hood. Pull each fuse if you need to, and hold it up to the light to be sure the element is still intact.
A digital meter at the China Outlet store (aka as W*****T) costs virtually nothing compared to mechanic labor, then you will have it. You might have to play with it to figure out how to use it. It has volt scales and also ohms functions for checking fuses.
Since you want to tackle this, even if you fail to find the problem, now is the time to get a meter.
I went looking for mine and found it is an INNOVA brand, I think a 3320. I don’t think it cost very much, like $30 or less. I just looked online and it was $22.50 in McAllen. Other brands are suitable if you get one that is sturdy, with sturdy leads. (Note to the usual suspects: I own no W*****t stock, I recommend this as a good example for a complete newbie.)
If you get one with good leads, which this one has, it will last until you physically damage it or let the batteries corrode inside it. You can get cheaper ones, yes, but the leads come apart with minimal use.
Since you have indicated a desire to learn (One of the best personality characteristics) you will be a better person by trying to fix it. There are oodles of tutorials on the Web.Autozone sometimes has papers on a variety of DIY projects. Look at this as the start of a long term learning program, and do not be discouraged if you have no luck on your first project.
In 1966 I was discharged from the Army, and took a test as technician at a high-tech factory. I had lots of theory but no practice. My first day on the job, I sat with an old hand, and he talked and showed me things all day long. I UNDERSTOOD NOT ONE WORD.
The second day, he talked and showed me things all day long. I UNDERSTOOD NOT ONE WORD.
The third day exactly the same. I wanted to throw up, and assumed I would soon be sent back as a minimum worker at the old Feed Mill. The fourth day, i understood one thing.
The next day, i understood two things. And, it went up geometrically from there.
After two weeks the boss came down and told me, “Your trainer tells me you are doing great!” I couldn’t believe my ears. I stayed there over 31 years and made the highest labor grade in the production area. I worked for years on the avionics rough equivalent of the car OBDII failure reporting system, and had no problem making the transition considering my very limited experience as a DIY auto mechanic.
In the 70’s, I was the first technician to work on microprocessors. No one knew a thing. See above for the exact same description of what the first 4 days were like. The only difference was, they couldn’t fire me now. If I blew it they would transfer me to another project, and break my sword or something, but I would still have a job.
I stuck to it, and for five years was “Top Gun” on microprocessors, including development of a very efficient training course for new techs on microprocessors.
I retired in 1997, and in 1999 started using Linux. Same exact deal, many days before anything made sense. I have been nearly 100% Linux since the first years of this century.
Stick to it. Never say never, and never give up. A bit at a time, and you will become capable to do a lot.
Trust me! You can learn it. It just takes time and determination. You still might have to hire a pro on this problem, but in the long term you will be a better person.
Any time you work around a car battery, learn to disconnect the ground lead before doing much, to avoid high current shorts that can damage YOU OR THE CAR.