I accidentally hooked up negotiate cable to battery first causing the wire running to the alternator to smoke. I quickly unhooked it and hooked it up positive side first. But now my car won’t stay running. It keeps stalling out on me as I’m driving. But it does slow first the lights will go then I have no power to nothing then the car dies. Then I jump it again with a jumper box and as long as that’s hooked up I have power to everything except the radio because the fuse keeps popping on the wire running to the battery

  • Hi David! Welcome to the site. Your question won't get much attention as it is written, though. Try rewording the title so people know straight away what they are dealing with. Something like "Car stalls after battery wire mixup" is possibly better.
    – Bevan
    Jan 20, 2019 at 4:56
  • 1
    Test the voltage rectifier by putting your meter on AC voltage on the battery, you shouldn't have more than .5 volts, if you have more than that, change the alternators rectifier, then put it on DC and you should have 13.2-15.1 volts, if you have more or less then your voltage rectifier needs replaced on your alternator
    – user38183
    Jan 20, 2019 at 10:01
  • I’m not sure how to edit the question on this site.
    – David
    Jan 20, 2019 at 21:19
  • I would suggest that you have your battery and alternator tested and you also need to inspect the starter wire that was smoking to make sure it did not short out with any other wires nearby
    – narkeleptk
    Apr 30, 2020 at 21:41

2 Answers 2


When you mis-connect the battery cables the diodes in the alternator get fried. The battery may be servicable but the alternator must be replaced.


Connecting neg first then pos will not damage the system - it is accepted practice so that the final connection from a second battery can be made to the engine or chassis so if there is a small spark it is away from the battery that may be producing hydrogen. Yes, batteries do explode.

If you made the error of getting the leads on the wrong terminals then you may have damaged some electrical components which ones you have to chase down.

If it keeps stalling - have you properly recharged the original battery as some cars are really unhappy with a low battery voltage which causes lots of problems - spurious warnings lights for faults that don’t exist etc

So, charge the battery thoroughly and see if the behavior improves...

  • When Solar Mike says charge the battery, he means Charge the battery, don't try to jump start a battery if it has less that 80% of a charge, you could be suffering from acid stratification and end up burning out one your cells in your battery, shaking the battery back and force might help stir up the H2SO4:H20 solution
    – user38183
    Jan 20, 2019 at 9:59
  • The dash keeps showing-“check charging system”. When I hooked the negative side up first and placed the positive side on that’s when the wire running to the alternator started to smoke and smell really bad. I immediately disconnected the positive side and posts on the battery had melted in the middle. I then went and got another refurbished battery and hooked the new one up. But the wire running from the battery to the stero keeps blowing. It drove fine for about 15 minutes then while it was running I checked the battery voltage and that’s when it read 9 and after that start stalling out jump
    – David
    Jan 20, 2019 at 21:07
  • Battery. Just too make it home I had to leave the jumper boxed hooked to the battery and even then had No lights no power windows nothing worked. Would it drive if the alternator was bad?
    – David
    Jan 20, 2019 at 21:09

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