What happens when you put jumper cables on wrong?

I was too afraid to help a stranded motorist the other day because I’m not comfortable affixing the jumper cables. Help me face my fears! What happens when you put jumper cables on wrong?

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Answer provided by
Bonnie Stinson
Answered on Aug 02, 2022
You’re right to be concerned! If you put jumper cables on wrong, you could damage your car or hurt yourself.
It’s important to connect the jumper cables in the proper order, to the proper terminals. You should also avoid letting the cables touch, which could cause dangerous sparks.
Here are a few things that could happen: • Jumper cables could melt or catch on fire
  • Damage to the battery
  • Damage to the car’s electronics (fried wires and modules)
  • Sparks and possible flames if hydrogen gas from the battery is ignited (personal injury)
The safest way to apply jumper cables is to wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and consult your owner’s manual to ensure you place the cables properly.
If you don’t feel safe, don’t do it! Call for help instead. If you have AAA, you can call on behalf of a stranded motorist if you wait with them—no need to handle jumper cables.
You can always add roadside assistance to your car insurance policy if you’re concerned about getting stuck yourself. The Jerry app is the quickest way to compare rates, tweak your coverage, and find a policy you love.

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