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Q: I crossed the lines on one of the new batteries & SPARK went the post, I screwed the pooch...

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Yes, I did and I AM ASHAMED. So, I had installed the drivers side battery with no problem and then I blew it. In my haste and lack of attention to detail, I connected the battery the WRONG WAY. Negative to Positive post and then the Positive to Negative post... FLASH. Whats next guys? Battery must be toast. I don't know what electronics I may have fried or fuses that may hopefully saved them to check. Any help would be appreciated greatly. It's an inherited family vehicle that I know nothing about. My best guess New Battery and cross the fingers, then check fuses?

My car has 144000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

I have seen many different outcomes when it comes to hooking the battery up backwards. If you disconnected the cables as soon as you hooked them up wrong you should not need to replace the battery. Once you hook up the battery correctly, try to start the vehicle to see what is not working and go from there. You may have blown fuses and some wiring issues. Through trial and error see what happens and try to pinpoint any issues. If you need some help with checking for or repairing any issues, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can come to your home to diagnose and service your battery firsthand.

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