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I was jumping the battery but got the cables mixed up and connected the positive to the negative and the negative to the positive. Some sparks flew. Now the car is dead. Is the electrical system totally destroyed? Is it just that I fried the battery? Or were some fuses just blown?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Colleen McGee, Driving Instructor at Americas Driving School Hi Chris! It could be just the battery or fuses, it could also have destroyed the computer in your vehicle. It depends on the path the electricity took. To be safe, a mechanic should check it out. Hopefully it's not too costly to fix! Colleen M

Karen Salvaggio, Owner - Professional Race Car Driver at Thunder Valley Racing It's unlikely (but possible) that the battery is bad. More likely that one of the car's electrical system safetys has blown. This would include a fuse or a fusible link. Fusible links are wires that are smaller than the other wires in the circuit than they are connected to, and they are designed to blow out in the event of a major electrical problem to protect the rest of the system. The alternator and starter may have fusible links or fuses, and should be checked as well. You need to check the continuity of the various circuits. Good luck.

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