I had made a turn and as I turned a big puddle of water covered my front window / hood. As I completed my turn my truck died so I figured it was something basic. I popped the hood and tried starting the ignition. As I turned the ignition the positive wires on the battery start bubbling and smoking, even just with the key back ... what is my problem?

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! May 24, 2018 at 23:48
  • Are you sure it was smoke and not steam coming off the cable? And when you say the cables started "bubbling" what do you mean? Was the cable visibly moving around? Or was the insulation moving? Or were there bubbles popping off of the battery terminal? May 25, 2018 at 0:17
  • 1
    How long did you try to start and did the engine turn over? If the engine sucked up a lot of water it could be hydrolocked and cannot move. If you try to do it anyway the starter motor will draw a very big current because it cannot turn. If you keep doing this for several seconds the battery cables could get quite hot.
    – MadMarky
    May 25, 2018 at 7:55

1 Answer 1


It sounds as though either the connection at your battery needs to be cleaned up (the positive side), or the cable itself is bad. If there is any corrosion around the terminal, clean it up and put some grease on it after you've got it back together. If you see any bulging in the positive wire, replace it. While you're at it, clean/check the negative as well. You'll want to clean the ground where it connects to things to ensure you have a good connection.

After you've got everything cleaned and back together, check the voltage on the battery. It should be around 12.5-13.1vdc. After that, start up your truck and check the voltage at the battery. It should be in the 13.5-14.1vdc arena. If these ring true, you should be good to go.

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