What Will Happen If I Hook Battery Cables Up Backwards?

by Pamela Gardapee

Batteries cables must be hooked up correctly when charging a battery while it is in or outside of the vehicle. The red cable is connected to the positive (+) battery terminal and the black cable is connected to the negative (-) terminal or to the car frame.

Battery to Battery

When the battery cables are hooked up with the negative to the positive and positive to the negative terminals, the battery can explode. This is true for the battery being charged and the battery in another car being used to supply the charge.

Battery Charger

A battery charger that is being used to charge a dead battery will be damaged if the positive and negative cables are hooked up incorrectly. The current to the battery charger will burn out component inside the charger.


A battery can explode when the cables are hooked up backwards. Anyone standing near the battery when it explodes could be seriously injured. Battery explosions can cause burns, permanent disfiguration and blindness.

About the Author

Pamela Gardapee is a writer with more than seven years experience writing Web content. Being functional in finances, home projects and computers has allowed Gardapee to give her readers valuable information. She studied accounting, computers and writing before offering her tax, computer and writing services to others.

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Photo Credits

  • dead battery image by Katrina Miller from Fotolia.com