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dolphins
Clean Up Our Oceans
Premium
join:2001-08-22
Westville, NJ
kudos:7
Reviews:
·Comcast

Car Battery Reversed Polarity

Anybody have experience with this? I had to charge the battery in our church van that had gone completely dead in 3 days. The van had been sitting for the entire 3 days. When I first hooked it up to my charger it would not accept a charge. By chance, I crossed the wires of the charger connecting the negative to the positive and positive to the negative terminals on the battery and it immediately started accepting a high rate of charge. I charged it for approximately 30 hours.

It occurred to me that reinstalling this battery will most likely short out the electrical system in the van or could possibly cause an explosion.

I checked the voltage with leads reversed and it reads 12.12V and measured 559 cold cranking amps. it is rated at 800 CCA.

I read online that it's possible to reverse the polarity back to normal by draining it completely and recharge it normally. Anybody have experience with this? The battery is a Duralast.
--
Stop The Mindless Killings Stop Over Fishing



Bamafan2277

join:2008-09-20
Jeffersonville, IN

Probably safer to get a new battery



dolphins
Clean Up Our Oceans
Premium
join:2001-08-22
Westville, NJ
kudos:7
Reviews:
·Comcast

Yes that's a given but has anyone ever ran across this before?

I always like to get a complete understanding of situations I come across even if only for future reference.
--
Stop The Mindless Killings Stop Over Fishing



mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3
reply to dolphins



I've dealt with that situation more than once. It was about a 50% success rate, so it may be worth the time. We hooked up a 12V trouble light to the battery, and let it discharge down to nothing. We let it rest a day and did it again for about 2 hours to be sure the residual was gone, and then used a slow-charger to bring it back to proper operation.

Obviously it takes more than a couple of days, so you need to be able to spare the vehicle that long. Also, if it is a true "maintenance-free" battery with *no* removable vent caps, it will likely not be successful. Those type of batteries do not tolerate getting fully discharged, let alone being reversed.

So, decide if you have the time, or want to do it as a cost-saving endeavor. If so, give it a shot. Otherwise the simplest cure is replacement...



dolphins
Clean Up Our Oceans
Premium
join:2001-08-22
Westville, NJ
kudos:7

Unfortunately it is a sealed maintenance-free battery.



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to dolphins

Wow - this is interesting - I have never heard of this happening...



mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3
reply to dolphins

said by dolphins:

Unfortunately it is a sealed maintenance-free battery.

You can give it a try--- I won't say it's impossible, but a new battery is likely to be more reliable from here on out.


boogi man

join:2001-11-13
Jacksonville, FL
kudos:1
reply to dolphins

that's pretty wild. I've never seen or heard of that.



dolphins
Clean Up Our Oceans
Premium
join:2001-08-22
Westville, NJ
kudos:7
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to mattmag

said by mattmag:

said by dolphins:

Unfortunately it is a sealed maintenance-free battery.

You can give it a try--- I won't say it's impossible, but a new battery is likely to be more reliable from here on out.

I opted for a new battery as I feel this battery is no longer reliable and may cause damage to the electrical system in the future.

said by CylonRed:

Wow - this is interesting - I have never heard of this happening...

I've been a driveway mechanic for 30+ years and this is a first for me too.

--
Stop The Mindless Killings Stop Over Fishing

Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
reply to dolphins

Same here I never knew a battery could have its polarity reversed.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports


hurfy
Premium
join:2002-08-06
Spokane, WA
Reviews:
·Cutting Edge Com..
reply to dolphins

Interesting, I hadn't heard of that either.

My dad's mechanic installed a battery backwards and they used the car that way...turns out some classic cars don't care...didn't know that either. May or may not have trashed the one-of-a-kind radio, i doubt it got turned on so maybe not and it had issues anyway.

Worst part is, of course we told the mechanic how to install it but us normals don't know diddly compared to a pro...lol



mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3



Well, keep in mind some "classic" cars actually do utilize a positive-grounded system, which on face would appear backwards, but the system was designed to accommodate such a configuration. It is also quite common in older farm equipment too.



No_Strings
Premium,MVM,Ex-Mod 2008-13
join:2001-11-22
The OC
kudos:6

Ford, right? I once watched a guy try to jump a positive-ground car as a kid. Was pretty entertaining. I told him I'd heard about cars with positive ground and he should check the + and - markings.

It reduced the entertainment value significantly and he didn't appear to appreciate getting advice from an 8 year-old but it got the job done.


Tig

join:2006-06-29
Carrying Place, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to dolphins

said by dolphins:

I opted for a new battery as I feel this battery is no longer reliable and may cause damage to the electrical system in the future.

Good call, but we'd still love to know if you are able to discharge and then properly charge this particular battery.
I'm also curious to know if you ever determined the cause of the original discharge? I'd hate to see the new battery drained because of a glove box light.


dolphins
Clean Up Our Oceans
Premium
join:2001-08-22
Westville, NJ
kudos:7
Reviews:
·Comcast

Since it is a church van it has many drivers and is sometimes taken home overnight by said drivers. I myself have no way of knowing what caused the initial discharge but I know the battery was only 2 years old.

I read up on what could have caused the reversed polarity. Some of the causes are, from jumping a dead battery, recharging a dead battery incorrectly, warped plates in the battery itself.




As for battery itself, it has been exchanged for the new one by one of the other church members who has a church credit card. I believe they get a special discount and don't have to pay tax?
--
Stop The Mindless Killings Stop Over Fishing

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
reply to No_Strings

Someone told me he saw a positive-ground and negative-ground jump-start, and the chrome bumpers touched. He said the jumper cables caught on fire and melted.



Alakar
Facts do not cease to exist when ignored

join:2001-03-23
Milwaukee, WI
reply to dolphins

Found this about polarity changing. Pretty interesting.

»www.batterystuff.com/blog/batter···ity.html