Jumper Cables Crossed Up - Hope This Helps Someone

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  • 1 Post By ElkRiverVWGuy
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  • 1 Post By sirwired
  • 2 Post By ylwagon

Thread: Jumper Cables Crossed Up - Hope This Helps Someone

  1. #1
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    Jumper Cables Crossed Up - Hope This Helps Someone

    Ok, I realize I'm opening myself up for some ridicule, but here goes ...

    My son's '03 Passat 1.8T sat all winter and the battery was dead, so I went to jump it with my daughter's '05 Escape. And yes, I made the bone head move of mixing up the cable connections on the donor vehicle! Luckily we didn't have an exploding battery, but the Escape ran like crap afterward and the Passat would crank but not start. (A battery disconnect and reconnect on the Escape reset the ECM and luckily everything was fine. Whew!)

    Wading through the forum here, it did not sound good for the old Passat! Visions of troubleshooting obscure electrical issues with ECU, CCM, TCM, relays, fuses, coils, etc, etc, etc about gave me nightmares.

    So, here's what I found and how I fixed it:

    First - I had the battery tested and charged.

    Again, the '03 AWM would turn over but not fire, so I pulled a plug, and tested for spark - nothing.

    I checked all of the engine-related fuses in the interior fuse panel again and they all looked good. (28, 29, 32, 34, 43)

    Next, I plugged in my OBD scanner and got an error indicating it couldn't connect.

    Now getting pretty mad at myself for the dumb mistake!

    Read some more forum posts about similar 'cranks but won't fire' problems and someone suggested checking the ABS fuse #7 because that apparently supplies power to 28 and 29 and maybe others? Pulled it out and it looked fine at first glance, but ohm'd it out and sure enough it was blown. Replaced that and the old boy fired right up!

    Everything seemed good, but the Monsoon radio was dead. Tried the pulling fuse 37 and resetting the radio, but that didn't fix it, so I pulled the radio quick and found the 10 amp fuse at the back was blown. Replaced that and the radio came back to life.

    All is good for now! (Fingers crossed)

    So ... if you hook up the jumper cables backwards on your B5, pound your head against the wall for being so dumb, and then check fuse #7.

    Let the ridicule commence!
    Joelio likes this.

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  3. #2
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    I would say that we've all done it at least once. In my case, I was hooking up a battery charger.

    Hooked it up and plugged it in, but had reversed the leads. Fortunately, it blew the positive lead apart with no harm done to either the car or the charger.

    Whew!

    Sent from the 7th Galaxy.

  4. #3
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    Mistakes happen, that one could have been more serious, but fortunately, sound like everything is fine.

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  6. #4
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    Thanks for posting, this info for sure will help someone out later on. Good fix and sounds like you dodged a bullet and not having to to the electrical song and dance and replace things. Where is the MAIN fuse on this beast, the 120 amp one?
    TomK

  7. #5
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    Thanks for sharing. We generally aren't the type to rag on someone unless it is really deserving. In your case, it was just an accident. It was fixed and you wanted to help others that may have had the same problem. We thank you. There are many new or inexperienced (in cars) owners that may make the same mistake or at least have the same symptoms.

    Again. Thanks for sharing. This will help someone, I'm sure.
    Iowegian and TheRustySuper like this.
    Glutton for Punishment: 13 CC Sport Plus, 04 Passat 1.8T GLS Variant, 99 C-Red Passat 1.8T (crushed)

  8. #6
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    It bears noting that the new compact lithium jump boxes have reverse-polarity protection. Really, if I was fitting out a new car today, I wouldn't even bother buying jumper cables; those lithium jump boxes are superior in every way; more compact than even cables (much less a lead-acid jump box), don't require a donor car, hold charge for a year or so, and can even be used as a portable cell phone charger, because Why Not.
    mjmorrill likes this.

  9. #7
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    Jumper Cables Crossed Up - Hope This Helps Someone

    It takes a big person to help someone learn from their mistakes

  10. #8
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    No bashing from me. It happens. Has happened to me a few times and luckily nothing bad has happened. I made a post a month or 2 ago about the portable jump packs like sirwired mentioned above.

    I jump a lot of stranded motorists and have always had the big long cables and decided to try one of the jump packs by NOCO and it has worked like I needed it to many times over. It has been worth the $100 bucks and has reverse polarity protection so hooking it up wrong is impossible.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElkRiverVWGuy View Post
    Ok, I realize I'm opening myself up for some ridicule, but here goes ...
    Fortunately, with occasional exceptions, that is not the environment at Passatworld, which is why I participate here and not other Passat sites.
    TheRustySuper and jjpark like this.

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirwired View Post
    It bears noting that the new compact lithium jump boxes have reverse-polarity protection. Really, if I was fitting out a new car today, I wouldn't even bother buying jumper cables; those lithium jump boxes are superior in every way; more compact than even cables (much less a lead-acid jump box), don't require a donor car, hold charge for a year or so, and can even be used as a portable cell phone charger, because Why Not.
    Very true!

  13. #11
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    Just wanted to pass on some gratitude for this info. There's an abandoned Passat where I work that hasn't run for about 1.5 years. Turns out that this was the exact issue.

  14. #12
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    I noticed Costco has a sale on the Lithium jumper packs and thought about getting one. I have a larger lead-acid battery jumper module from Harbor Freight that I bought primarily to run LED lighting at craft fairs (but it's come in handy for jump-starting, particularly before I got the Passat and I didn't want to get a new battery for the Sentra before selling it to Cash for Clunkers).

    I think I'll get one while they're on sale at Costco this month (about $50) now that I know they work so well!

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