2008 Chevy Cobalt LS

I was installing a charged battery and accidentally put the positive wire on the negative terminal and then as soon as I touched the negative wire to the positive terminal I realized my mistake and put them on correctly. The car was never started with the terminals switched, in fact it was probably no longer than a split second.

After installing correctly, the car would not start and there was no clicking or anything to indicator the starter attempting to work. All the electronics seem to function as my lights, radio, dashboard indicator lights seem to be working normally. I checked the battery voltage when starting and there was less than 200mV drop, so I think the battery is not the issue.

I'm going to start checking fuses, but just thought I would see if anyone has had this issue before or had any advice


The car will not start in park or neutral, the lights turn on and radio functions, but a check engine light is now illuminated, I don't think this was there before.

  • There should be a box of fuses under the hood with a large fuse. Like 50A+
    – rpmerf
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 17:43
  • I checked all the fuses with a meter, couldn't find any that were bad. Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 18:13
  • My brother did this once and blew a fuse. Also, the CEL is probably going to turn on when the ignition is switched to On when the car is not started. It usually shuts off within a few seconds of starting the car. If you think there is a code, get it read and let us know what it says. Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 18:50
  • I'll check the bigger relays too, all the easy to check fuses were fine. Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 19:25
  • 3
    @Paulster2, yes of course. It's a fuse like anything else, but people look for the few, well-known types of fuses when diagnosing a problem and may look right past a fusible link if they've never heard of it or looked at pictures. I know I did...
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 19:51

1 Answer 1


Turns out the problem was the key security system. Apparently the switched voltage reset the key security, which caused my key to not be recognized by the car. After getting the security reprogrammed to accept my key, the car works as usual.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .