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?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. 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: 2002 Pontiac Grand Am GT security light on constantly and the car will only start after battery is run down and jumped.

Hello, thank you for writing in. You should start by scanning the vehicle for diagnostic codes to see what the security light is trying to tell you. Do this after you can get it to start and can take it...

Q: Gas tank door button isn't working

The fuel door has an electronic solenoid that opens the door and is also part of the latch. The solenoid is accessed through the trunk and have a green and black wire going to it. Check the green wire for...

Q: Popping noise when turning the car

Hi and thank you for contacting YourMechanic. There are 2 main causes for this popping sound. First off, your tie rod end needs to be replaced. A quick check for this is if you notice that when you turn...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...