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Silly... Backwards jumper cables...sort of

1996 Integra.
Dead bat not chargeable factory battery(or at least VERY old)
Have a battery that fits but the + and - are reversed. And its almost dead & was abused a bit. Went to jump the car off the plain battery with cruddy aluminum cables. Hooked up backwards.
Yea. Like a momo…
Anyway - noticed quickly. Cables got kinda melty. Flipped them around correctly, checked for blown fuses. Tried to start the car. All the dash lights operated properly & car cranked like it had an almost dead battery (which my ‘good’ battery is/was)
I think I’m fine, given no blown fuses & cranking…

Please tell me its OK - and not to be a dummy.

:ok_hand: Grabbing a new battery shortly

Thanks all!

If it cranked and everything worked, you got away with it. Oftentimes it blows the main fuse, which is obnoxious, but you’d know because nothing would work.

Well everything works except for the fact that the car didn’t start but two dead batteries will do that.

I was thinking I probably got away with it when I checked the fuses including the big hundred amp one under the hood.

On my way to get a proper new battery now


PS - ANYONE can make this bonehead move. I needed to move the car to avoid a street cleaning ticket, it was early, etc - and I (thought) I checked twice specifically to make sure I wasn’t going to do what I did…
Don’t be me kids!

what does this mean?

We hear of this problem here all the time OP, so you aren’t the only one who has done it. If it cranks ok, you’ve got that going for you. There are still a few more hurdles you may have to jump though, with a new battery it may crank but won’t start, and it may crank and start ok, but the alternator may not charge the battery. There’s not much you can do at this point but press on with a new battery and cross your fingers that will be all you need.

I expect OP meant to type “don’t be mean kids”

“don’t be me, kids.” i.e. “don’t do what I did.”


ShadowFax for the win!
gotta suss the comma

1 Like

also I should say that I’ve already posted about this vehicle I just
rebuild the distributor and the car runs fine in the alternator charges
properly or at least it did before my snafu. did not make it out to grab a
battery today I will be purchasing one tomorrow and crossing my fingers

Just be sure to do it quickly, because a drained battery can kill a good alternator.

it’s sat for about a year and a garage I rebuilt the distributor after I
blew out the coil testing the car before I bought it drove it a couple
miles home and idled it with the deadest battery but it’s probably run a
total of 15 minutes or so since I bought it hopefully not enough to hurt
the alternator I did throw a multi-meter on it while I was running and got
14.2 volts or so so I’m thinking everything should be good however I didn’t
get a chance to put the new battery in today hopefully it starts tomorrow

just to clarify you weren’t trying to say that letting a car sit with a bad
battery will hurt the alternator were you? I doubt it but if so that’s just
silly. I suspect you meant I shouldn’t be driving it and jumping it
repeatedly which I’m not. you are correct if you meant driving with a bad
battery and constantly jumping things can kill an alternator. I learned
that the hard way as a Young Man unfortunately LOL
i.e. - not my daily, yet.
Gonna soup up my lil zippy Paseo and daily the Acura once I get it’s front end all sorted. Selling my truck to finance… Us silly car guys…

No, sorry, I wasn’t clear. I meant that if you jumpstart the car and then drive around too long on a badly drained battery you make the alternator work too hard, and eventually it gives up.

Paseo eh? AKA the Toyota “This should have been the 3rd generation Honda CRX” car. :wink:

You got it! I sussed out what you meant, after using the old noggin" for a sec.
Toyota Paseo - what the Tercel should always have been…
If I had unlimited free garage & lift space… B18 (the big Honda Civic swap) (comes from my Acura) in a Paseo. LOL 145hp in a Paseo would be F.U.N. - but having swapped stuff before - well, I’m not gonna do it!
DD the Acura & throw money & blood in the Paseo “One piece at a time, and it didn’t cost me a dime”!


I happen to live in a city where there are riots today over a verdict and
believe it or not Walmart nowhere near downtown closed early so once again
no battery but I did use my other car to jump the Acura and it starts runs
and goes into gear so I guess I got away easy.

Now I just need to replace the driver side upper control arm clean all the
leaves out of the inside and from under the hood and probably clean A Rat’s
Nest from the blower motor I turned the car on and it had the fan going I
switched it from recirculate to not recirculate and I got a face full of
crud from the vents very much decreased air flow from the vents and it
sounded like there might be a live gerbil in the blower motor. I had to
reset the maintenance light which required looking at the dash and
someone’s already been at it underneath at some point so hopefully that
won’t be too much of an issue.
Or I could just cut a hole in the cage with a hole saw and blow the crap
out and plug it up. This ride although it has low miles is pretty ghetto my
buddies wife dinged it pretty much everywhere you could the door lock
doesn’t work the sunroof doesn’t work the driver side window doesn’t open
there’s no stereo and the AC doesn’t work. It almost makes me want to keep
my truck…

If you’re measuring 14.1 volts at idle at the battery posts, alternator damage or damage to the wiring/fusible links between the alternator and battery is very unlikely. Sound like you are good to go.

Lots of stores besides walmart sells batteries. I would have no problem buying a used battery on Craigslist for $35.

Ha… Cavell - genius…
First battery - $40, CL find, dead cell. Got my $$ back, and a “free” core for my time.
Found a local guy, works at a good shop - sells 2 year old or so fleet batteries all sizes, $30 each, load tested in front of you.

$30 sure beats $90! Thanks - I dunno why but I never would have though of that.