Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Can jumping a car "backwards" cause a complete meltdown?(bad alternator, bad condenser fan, bad brake switch, bad ecu).

asked by on

It all started when my car just wouldn't start one morning. It would crank, but wouldn't come on. So I tried to give it a jump, connected both positive terminals, the negative on the charged battery to the frame on the dead car. Still nothing. Towed it to a family mechanic and he said the ECU went bad, you have to take it to the dealer to have it replaced and programmed.

Hyundai wanted $1400. We replaced it, they fired it up, and got some codes, and found the alternator was bad, the battery was bad, and a brake control switch was bad. They claimed I jumped the car backwards....Replaced all of that, now at $2400 and one month later.

I pick the car up yesterday, drive it home, and park it. Run upstairs to get my new insurance card. Come back down, turn the car on, open glove box only for it to fall out completely, leaving all my papers on the floor. Then I hear gas escaping from the engine, and a cloud of white steam/smoke coming from the battery side of my car.

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. From the description you have provided, jumping the vehicle’s battery backwards can cause multiple electronic failures. All the repairs done at the dealership could have been warrantied. The glove box falling out and white steam/smoke from the battery area should not have happened, after picking your vehicle up from the dealership. The question ended with, "I take the car back to". Not knowing what the rest is, makes it difficult for me to respond. Other than to say, your vehicle’s falling out glove box and white/smoke coming from the battery area should be covered by the repair warranty. If, you are not receiving satisfaction from the dealership. I would recommend having your vehicle’s electrical problems be diagnosed and repaired by a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  • Home
  • Questions
  • Can jumping a car "backwards" cause a complete meltdown?(bad alternator, bad condenser fan, bad brake switch, bad ecu).

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: The car had to be jump-started, engine unresponsive, ABS light on

Hello. It sounds like you are continuing to have a voltage issue. I would start by having the battery cable connections inspected. If the battery or body connections are loose, then this will occur. If they are fine, then the...

Q: Air conditioning blowing air speed is suddenly decreased - even though I am keeping the full speed it's not blowing sufficient cool air

The a/c evaporator is most likely freezing over until it restricts air blowing through it. The most common possible causes depending on the model of vehicle you have are: the cycling switch, temperature probe, expansion valve, or electronic control problems...

Q: My radiator fan broke from hitting the shroud.

Hello Jennifer. One way you may be able to tell if the new fan is going to work will be to figure out why the old fan was being interfered with. Was anything about the shroud or the original fan...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...