This site uses cookies. By continuing, your consent is assumed. Learn more

130.4m shares

Happens if you hook up jumper cables backwards

opinion
When you attach the wrong...

Almost all drivers know that a car with a dead battery can be started by jumping it from a car with a charged battery. Automotive batteries are designed to produce the high electrical current required to start the engine.

car the wrong way? This...

This routine procedure can become dangerous if the jumper cables are connected improperly -- if the positive terminal on each battery is mistakenly connected to the negative terminal on the other battery. Damage will result from very high current flow, and possibly from incorrect polarity on the "dead battery" vehicle. Connecting the positive terminal of each battery to the negative terminal of the other battery will result in a huge surge of electrical current between the two batteries.

This will cause the batteries to heat very quickly, and in lead-acid type batteries -- the most common type -- it will result in the generation of a large amount of hydrogen gas within the charged battery. The heat can melt internal and external battery parts, while the pressure from the hydrogen gas can crack the battery casing.

Once the casing is cracked, Happens if you hook up jumper cables backwards hydrogen can Happens if you hook up jumper cables backwards ignite and explode. Jumper cables are not designed to carry the huge surge of electrical current, and will quickly heat up to very high temperatures.

This can melt the insulation on the cables and potentially expose people to direct contact with the electrical cables.

The heat can also melt solder and other components that hold the cables and clamps together.

This routine procedure can become...

The surge of electrical current can blow the fusible link or fuse element that protects the vehicle's main electrical system. If Happens if you hook up jumper cables backwards engine of the vehicle with the charged battery is left running, the electrical surge can damage this vehicle's alternator.

When the jumper cables are incorrectly Happens if you hook up jumper cables backwards, the polarity of the electrical system on the vehicle with the dead battery will be reversed for a few seconds. This can irreparably damage many of the sensitive electronic components that are common on today's vehicles, such as on-board computers and electronic sensors.

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing Happens if you hook up jumper cables backwards, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information.

The employee (not me) grabbed...

To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us. Damage to Happens if you hook up jumper cables backwards Jumper Cables Jumper cables are not designed to carry the huge surge of electrical current, and will quickly heat up to very high temperatures.

Damage Due to Incorrect Polarity When the jumper Happens if you hook up jumper cables backwards are incorrectly connected, the polarity of the electrical system on the vehicle with the dead battery will be reversed for a few seconds. Is it Dangerous to Jump Start a Car? About the Author This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information.

MORE: Compare prices of online hookup sites

MORE: Best online hookup questions to ask a girl

MORE: Write the perfect online hookup message

News feed