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The Risks of Jump-Starting Your Car’s Batteries

July 17th, 2018
By Zach Christiansen of The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation posted in Injuries on Tuesday, July 17, 2018.

JACKSON, Mississippi. In the old days, if your car’s battery died, it was often easy to solve your problem. You asked a stranger for a boost, using jumper cables and went on your merry way. These days, as car’s computer systems have become more complex, boosting your car is not always the best idea.

According to the Globe and Mail, making an error when boosting the battery of modern cars can sometimes have dire consequences. At best, you could fry your car’s computer system and at worst, you could cause a battery explosion, leading to serious injury or even death. The acid inside a car’s battery can be particularly dangerous, leading to blindness or burns on the skin.

Today, when experts give cars a boost, they wear safety googles, safety gloves, and protective overalls. If you plan to take the chance and give your car a boost, it’s a good idea to wear safety googles as well. If you don’t have this safety equipment available or don’t have experience boosting modern vehicles, it’s a better bet to call roadside assistance for help.

The real risk is when strangers give a stranger’s cars a boost. You may not know how the car works and the car’s manual may not be readily available. If you make a mistake, you could cause major damage to the stranger’s car. Unfortunately, many people, particularly older Americans, remember the days when it was safe to give a car a boost. These days, it’s much more complicated.

When boosting a car’s battery, the order of how you connect the booster cables matters. According to, positive cables must be connected to positive terminals on each battery, negative cables must be connected to negative terminals, and then the last cable is used for grounding. This cable can be attached to unpainted metal surfaces on the frame of the car with the dead battery. In the old days, people used to attach the grounding cable to the dead battery’s negative terminal. This is no longer safe, however, because batteries can go dead for many reasons. It could be because you left your lights on overnight, but it could also be a problem with an onboard computer or your alternator. If you ground the cable on the dead battery, and misdiagnose why the battery is dead, you run the risk of overcharging the battery, which can lead to an explosion.

In general, your best bet is getting car help from a professional. But what happens if a professional damages your car? Or doesn’t repair your car and this failure leads to an accident or explosion? You may have certain rights under the law. The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm are personal injury and motor vehicle accident lawyers in Jackson, Mississippi who help victims who have suffered due to another person or party’s negligence or neglect. If you have suffered injuries or if your car has suffered damage, contact us at to learn more about your rights.

The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation

1615 Poydras Street, Suite 1050

New Orleans, Louisiana, 70112

Phone: (504) 586-5200

Toll Free: (504) 586-5200

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