Big Mistake; Reversed terminals on Jump

Chyeezy

Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2015
Location
Waukesha WI.
TDI
2010 Jetta
So I was in a rush.. at night and made a huge mistake. While the car was running, I went to jump a friends car and hooked up the jumper cables. The cables on the dead car were correct, but the cables on my Jetta were reversed. After about 45s the car died. No smoke or sparking just turned off. Now the car has power, lights come on, but when key is moved into the position to turn over everything goes dead.
I checked the fuse box under the hood and found no burnt fuses. Still gotta check the driver door fuse box.
What I find odd is that the car has power for all light(radio is not coming on) but when key is moved to turn over the dash and lights(headlights as well) flicker.
Anyways, huge costly mistake I am sure. I will check the remaining fuses today but anything else I can take a look at? even if I could get it turned over I can drive to my mechanic.
 
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eddieleephd

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2012
Location
Asheville, NC
TDI
2002 jetta Wagon
Fuses on the battery might be the first line, but I would think the alternator and voltage regulator are on the list. Not sure what all you're looking at. Could simply be the battery is damaged.

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flee

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Location
Chatsworth, CA
TDI
2002 Jetta GLS wagon
Try to jump your car after connecting it correctly. Or try a different good battery.
It's hard to imagine what would go wrong from jumping another car's dead battery.
Even connected in reverse, I can't see a dead battery hurting a running car too bad.
Your battery or battery connections may have gotten hot during the event and now
are failing to make a good enough contact to start your car.
The worst case scenario is that it acted like a dead short at the battery and blew
the fuse(s) under the hood and could have affected the alternator and elsewhere.
Use a voltmeter to check them.
Where did you have the ground cable hooked up when it happened?
 
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Chyeezy

Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2015
Location
Waukesha WI.
TDI
2010 Jetta
Appreciate the inputs!
So I did have the ground attached to terminal, the red terminal this case on my donor car.
I have had issues with jumping Buicks with the ground on the frame so I had the ground attached to the correct terminal on the dead battery as well.
I can switch out the battery tonight and give that a shot. I checked the battery fuse box last night and everything was OK except I could not tell if the 100A fuse was blown or not. Car is acting like the battery is dead when I turn the key over so I am hoping it is not too serious. Definitely could have done a lot of things better here, including not hooking up the grounds to the terminal
 

flee

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Location
Chatsworth, CA
TDI
2002 Jetta GLS wagon
The fact that it kept running for 45 secs sounds like something took that long
to heat up and open a circuit. I would be checking fuses and fuse sockets for
continuity and looking at the harness for signs of overheating. Use a voltmeter.
 

Vince Waldon

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 25, 2009
Location
Edmonton AB Canada
TDI
2001 ALH Jetta, 2005 BEW Wagon
Every single fuse in the car is now suspect. Those under the hood, but also those on the drivers-side panel, which is where the sensitive electronics like the ECU and the CCM are fused, IIRC.

If all your fuses are good... and best to test 'em with a meter rather than by eye... or you replace the bad ones and still have a no start.. then the next suspects *are* the sensitive electronics, like the ECU. Sometimes the damage is already done by the time the fuse blows.
 

Chyeezy

Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2015
Location
Waukesha WI.
TDI
2010 Jetta
Hey everyone, just an update. I tried to get a jumper pack on it and give it jump after checking the fuses, all fuses were good. I got power back to everything in the car(including radio). When I turn the key after glow plug light signals off I do not hear the start cranking. I am going to replace the 100Amp fuse just in case its failing. Also want to check the grounds off the battery and starter.
Thinking the starter is toast, with any luck that maybe it.
 

jettawreck

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Location
Northern Minnesota-55744
TDI
2001 Jetta and 2003 Jetta
Not uncommon for the power cable between battery and starter to corrode and fail, usually right at starter connection. Then you get nothing, of course..
 

eddieleephd

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2012
Location
Asheville, NC
TDI
2002 jetta Wagon
Solenoid and contacts are more likely than the starter itself. Solenoid is much smaller than the starter.
Also use a wire to jump straight to the starter to make sure it's not working and that it's not in the circuit ahead. Just be sure you're in neutral first, otherwise, bad things

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