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Hi all -
Went out the Spider this morning to find a dead battery (problem 1)
In my haste to jump the car, reversed positive and negative jumper cables (I know, how stupid).
Found mistake almost immediately but smelled burnt electronics smell from around the ignition switch.
So...what's the likely prognosis?
- is this an automatic battery-killer
- what other electronics may I have zapped (ignition switch)?
Car did start and run, but now has no charge whatsoever.

Any and all input would be welcome!

Thanks
 

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Push hard and live
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You don't say what year your car is, but I'd venture you've fried your alternator at least. If the connection was short lived, you probably didn't burn any wires, but you want to be alert for that. Check all of your fuses, of course.

If you have a later model with L-Jet, then you possibly got off light, as that could have fried the brain and other elements. As the car started, it may have been a missed bullet.
 

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i see the sig. says 83, so is an L-Jet.

if it is not charging then i'd first check current between the battery poles with running engine, just to make sure it is not just the gauge/warning light blown.
If it is not charging, then you might have blown a diode in the alternator or damaged the voltage regulator.

ECU's do not like false polarity, let's hope there is no damage there!

........I'd certainly keep a wrench ready in the trunk by the battery, ready to disconnect it, if some other damage has occured and you smell burning again.....
 

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- is this an automatic battery-killer
No, batteries are pretty robust. But why was your battery dead in the first place? Is it possible that your alternator wasn't charging even before the mishap? Or if it was charging, how long had the car been sitting when you discovered the dead battery? A battery that goes dead after a few days of non-use is likely near its end-of-life. In other words, you may need a new battery regardless of the jumping incident.

what other electronics may I have zapped (ignition switch)?
There is nothing electronic in the ignition switch itself. But anything electrical gives off that characteristic smell when exposed to excessive current. As DPeterson3 wrote, you should do a visual inspection of the fuses and wires in the vicinity of the ignition switch & dash (does the radio still work?).

Car did start and run, but now has no charge whatsoever.
If the car starts and runs OK, I'd say you got off easy. Have your alternator rebuilt and see if anything else still doesn't function. I'm still concerned about that burning electronics smell you detected in the car's interior - but wiring can get hot and burn a bit without doing fatal damage.
 

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You probably blew the diode packs in the alternator, and perhaps the voltage regulator as well. If the car starts and runs, you may lucked out on the ecu.
 
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