SaturnFans.com
saturnfans.com - classifieds - forums


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series Tech

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-30-2006, 08:12 PM   #1
Magilla
New Member
Magilla is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Little Rock
Posts: 6

2000 SL2
Question Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

2000 Eggplant Purple SL2

Hi everyone:

daughter left the lights on...battery was dead. So I go to jump her car and...

The green and red felt pads under the battery posts were backwards on my 2001 Jeep for some insane reason (I had the battery replaced at Sears 3 months ago), and I hooked the cables to my daughter's SL2 to jump her car...but they were backwards...ugghhhhh. Just a small spark - but it seemed completely normal...but something was nagging me...

About the time I noticed the jumpers were reversed, smoke welled up from the back of the passenger side engine compartment of the Saturn SL2, and my heart sank ... I immediately disonnected the jumpers (max time was about 5 seconds)

The smoke smelled like I cooked a wire - it smelled more like burnt plastic than burnt silicon...but who the heck knows...it came from back of engine on passenger side...

I checked the fuse box next to the battery - no fuses were burned up.

After about 5 minutes of charging it the right way, I attempted to start it - it turned over fine, but would not start.

Of course it was raining, and it was 45 degrees outside, and we were on the corner of Assault and Battery... and it was getting dark.

HELP!

BTW - how much is a new computer for a SL2??? And where to get??


Has this happened to anyone before??
Magilla is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 11-30-2006, 08:25 PM   #2
Gerry Proctor
Master Member
Gerry Proctor has a spectacular aura aboutGerry Proctor has a spectacular aura about
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 2,682

2008 Astra XR
2008 SKY Red Line
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

[QUOTE=Magilla]
BTW - how much is a new computer for a SL2??? And where to get??
...[QUOTE]

I think you're about to find out. Try NAPA. I got my last PCM from them. Though you can test the PCM for comm if you have a scanner, but I've seen the backward cables done before and it's never good news. Lucky that you didn't take out yours as well.
Gerry Proctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2006, 08:31 PM   #3
blackeagle1
Senior Member
blackeagle1 is on a distinguished road
 
blackeagle1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Oxford, MI
Posts: 1,133
 

2000 SL2
1997 SC2
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

More likely melted a wire. The electronic boxes on the car are required to have reverse battery protection built in and be able to handle 5 seconds. If the smoke came from the back side of the engine, I would check the wire going from the starter to the alternator.
...
Current Fleet:
97 Black Gold SC2 Manual
97 Silver SC2 Auto
98 White SL2 Auto
00 Silver SL2 Auto
03 Pontiac Montana
00 Yamaha SUV1200 Waverunner
blackeagle1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2006, 08:36 PM   #4
madpogue
Super Member
madpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud of
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Madison, WI USA
Posts: 25,715
 

1996 SW2
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

(Digression: your car is blackberry; eggplant purple was only '95-'97, as I became painfully aware...)

Two quick tests:
* Put the jumper cables back on, but don't run the engine on the Jeep. You want it to be pretty quiet. (Or just slow-charge the Saturn's battery.) Turn the key on the Saturn to RUN. You should hear a few seconds of "whirr" from behind you; that's the fuel pump back in the tank.
* Remove the #1 and #4 spark plug wires (the two closest to the passenger side of the car) at the coil end. Have someone hold the key in START for a few seconds while you observe. You should see spark between the exposed #1 and #4 coil towers.

If yes to both, the car should start. We're dealing with something more subtle.
If yes on the fuel pump and no on the spark, perhaps you've only blown the ignition module and/or coil packs. Much cheaper than the PCM.
If no on the fuel pump and yes on the spark, check the fuses in the interior fuse box. You might also have blown the fuel pump relay, or the fuel pump itself.
If no on both, then you might well have cooked the PCM (as it controls both spark and fuel). Double-check, and triple-check, EVERY fuse in BOTH fuse boxes, including the big-@ss 30A "maxi-fuses". Especially check the fuses in the underhood box that refer to "PCM".

You can probably find a working used PCM for that car from a salvage yard. You should match year, engine type (so SL2, SW2 or SC2 will work), tranny type, and any options associated with the PCM (cruise, ABS, etc). Try http://www.car-part.com ; it's a national database of salvage yard parts. Also try http://www.saturnautosalvage.com ; it's a salvage yard that sells online (and ships), and specializes in Saturns (esp. the S-car).
madpogue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2006, 09:42 PM   #5
KCW
Advanced Member
KCW is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: upstate NY
Posts: 675
 

2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

If the PCM has reverse voltage protection, the way that is normally done is with a big diode across the inputs. If you wire it backwards it forces the fuse to blow

so definately check the big 30A fuses. They dont burn up, a little piece of wire in the middle melts.

Its also possible a wire burned up before the fuse blew, in which case your PCM might still be ok and the wire that powers it burned up?
KCW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2006, 09:48 PM   #6
Magilla
New Member
Magilla is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Little Rock
Posts: 6

2000 SL2
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

Thanks,

I'll try the checks and get back to you guys...

Good god, you'd think that I would avoid such a rookie mistake - I've been working on cars and engines for 20 years. I just looked at the red and green felt pads and then hooked up the jaws on the Saturn. I got a little spark, so I looked back at the Jeep, and the realization hit me. I turned back, and woof - acrid burnt smoke.

Thanks for all the help - will get back to you soon

Spencer
...
Spencer Robinson
2000 Blackberry SL2
Magilla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2006, 09:59 PM   #7
KCW
Advanced Member
KCW is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: upstate NY
Posts: 675
 

2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

I cant remember where I was, in a resturant or an office window. There were two cars outside nose to nose, and two women in their nice winter dress coats

one had jumper cables.

I could see them talking, and waving their hands, and looking closely at the battery terminals

more hand waving, more animated discussion

and finally one reached in with the jumpers and POW!

It looked like someone struck an arc with a big old Lincoln stick welder.

More handwaving, more discussion, then POW! there it goes again.

At this point some guy ran over to help them.

[I knew this would make you feel better - you're not the only one ]
KCW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2006, 10:05 PM   #8
Magilla
New Member
Magilla is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Little Rock
Posts: 6

2000 SL2
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

When I turned on the key, I got all the bings and the dash lit up.
Car turned over. All lights worked.
All fuses in the front fusebox were good to go (including ALL of the mongo 30A fuses)

Fan works

Radio does not work - no power there

Where is the "other" fuse box??

I kind of figured the wire between the battery and the alternator as the culprit - but this is my daughter's car, and I am not familiar with the location of the alternator, etc.

It was also 45 degrees, raining, and I was in a bad neighborhood, and no tools. It was to be a simple (arrrrrrrrgggghhhh) jump.

Anyone actually experience this before?

Man, the doofus at Sears put the felt pads on the wrong poles, and I never caught it. I AM NOT AN IDIOT, but I sure do feel like one!!

Thanks for the post comparing me to the two ladies attempting to short a battery. Hell, I'm a helicopter test pilot for goodness sakes.!!!
...
Spencer Robinson
2000 Blackberry SL2

Last edited by Magilla; 11-30-2006 at 10:15 PM.
Magilla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2006, 10:11 PM   #9
KCW
Advanced Member
KCW is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: upstate NY
Posts: 675
 

2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

how far to tow it home, or have it towed?

$150 is cheap compared to getting mugged.

If the car has power steering you will have to raise it up to get to the alternator from underneight (if thats the wire that burned up)
KCW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2006, 10:13 PM   #10
Sky King
Master Member
Sky King is on a distinguished road
 
Sky King's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Memphis Tennessee
Posts: 2,305

1999 SC2
1995 SL2
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackeagle1
More likely melted a wire. The electronic boxes on the car are required to have reverse battery protection built in and be able to handle 5 seconds. If the smoke came from the back side of the engine, I would check the wire going from the starter to the alternator.
I second the suggestion to check the wire from the starter to the alternator. That wire is a FUSABLE LINK, not just a wire. If the starter cranks, obviously it is still intact. But I think right now the most vulnerable items at this point are that link and the alternator.

I presume from your account of what happened, you noticed the smoke before and attempt was made to start the car. If that is so, can it be presumed that the ignition key had not yet been turned on? If that is true, it is quite possible that it may not have gone any further.

So I am going out on a limb and say that it probably didn't damage the ignition system or the fuel pump. HOWEVER, since the PCM is always powered, there is still a risk that it could have been damaged. But check that fusable link first and the alternator next.
...
1999 SC-2 280,000 miles -mine now also dead, RIP
1995 SL-2 296,000 miles - my wifes totaled, RIP
1993 Chevrolet S-10 Pick-up - mine
2003 Harley Davidson Low Rider - mine
Sky King is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2006, 10:23 PM   #11
fetchitfido
Super Member
fetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant future
 
fetchitfido's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 15,165
 

2001 SC2
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

You got lucky.
My dad (from what he and my mom have told me) did the same type of thing, but with the "older" post style (not the screw in the side style) and had both posts buzz his ears and ventilate the hood with a couple of nice holes. I think this was on his old Mustang too.
...
The proper way to fix a S-Series automatic is to replace it with a manual
fetchitfido is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2006, 10:27 PM   #12
SonnyD
Advanced Member
SonnyD is on a distinguished road
 
SonnyD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Overland Park, Kansas
Posts: 794
 

1999 SC1
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

Where is the "other" fuse box??


Should be on the passenger side of of module that holds the radio and other controls....it's just has a little cover over it.

Regards Sonny
...
I LOVE MY SATURN!!!!
99 SC1 "Marvin"
2007 Harley FLHX "Street Glide"
Fender 50's Strat...The Guitar That Put the "Rock" in Rock&Roll
SonnyD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2006, 10:39 PM   #13
Magilla
New Member
Magilla is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Little Rock
Posts: 6

2000 SL2
Cool Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

FUSIBLE LINK!!

Ha - I've smelled that smell before!! I had an '86 Jeep Grand Wagoneer that had a short, and the fusible link burned up!!! I remember the smell exactly!!

Outstanding!!!

Thanks - I didn't know Saturns had fusible links. That's good news.

FYI - Ignition in the Saturn was off. I'll check the interior fuse box for any fuses blown there.

That fusible link must go between the alternator and the ignition circuit or the PCM. Makes sense!!

I will have the car towed home tomorrow instead of to the Saturn Stealership. I should be able to relace that fusible link myself.
...
Spencer Robinson
2000 Blackberry SL2
Magilla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2006, 10:57 PM   #14
harsha
Advanced Member
harsha is on a distinguished road
 
harsha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 585
 

2006
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magilla
FUSIBLE LINK!!

FYI - Ignition in the Saturn was off. I'll check the interior fuse box for any fuses blown there.

I think your problem is right there. If you saw smoke from passenger side of the car, then I doubt your PCM(driver side) is fried up(but you never know). If the smoke was from the back of the passenger side engine, then it either shoud be that FUSIBLE link or starter. As long as starter is turning(as you mentioned) I think it's one of those fuses inside the car. Good to have some spare fuses in hand.
harsha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2006, 08:50 AM   #15
97coupe
Master Member
97coupe is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,260

1997 SC2
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCW
If the PCM has reverse voltage protection, the way that is normally done is with a big diode across the inputs. If you wire it backwards it forces the fuse to blow
The proper way for reverse current protection is to have a diode is series with input feed internally in device because this blocks reverse current. A fuse/shunt would not stop current quick enough for some devices.
97coupe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2006, 10:03 AM   #16
eljefino
Master Member
eljefino will become famous soon enough
 
eljefino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Standish Maine
Posts: 5,788
 

1995 SW1
2000 SL1
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by 97coupe
The proper way for reverse current protection is to have a diode is series with input feed internally in device because this blocks reverse current. A fuse/shunt would not stop current quick enough for some devices.
Don't tell us, tell GM.
eljefino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2006, 03:55 PM   #17
Sky King
Master Member
Sky King is on a distinguished road
 
Sky King's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Memphis Tennessee
Posts: 2,305

1999 SC2
1995 SL2
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magilla
FUSIBLE LINK!!

That fusible link must go between the alternator and the ignition circuit or the PCM. Makes sense!!
.
Actually the fusable link is in the wire that goes between the starter and the alternator. Of course the positive battery cable goes directly to the starter.
It is easy to see and change from underneith the car. It is a short wire and normally it is a white wire. Of course since you may have burned it, it may no longer be white .
...
1999 SC-2 280,000 miles -mine now also dead, RIP
1995 SL-2 296,000 miles - my wifes totaled, RIP
1993 Chevrolet S-10 Pick-up - mine
2003 Harley Davidson Low Rider - mine
Sky King is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2006, 04:02 PM   #18
97coupe
Master Member
97coupe is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,260

1997 SC2
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljefino
Don't tell us, tell GM.

No need to, they way they are doing it costs less to do and hence the reason they do it that way because lower quality diode can be used and a series one require a more expensive one with very low foward resistance.
97coupe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2006, 04:13 PM   #19
KCW
Advanced Member
KCW is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: upstate NY
Posts: 675
 

2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by 97coupe
The proper way for reverse current protection is to have a diode is series with input feed internally in device because this blocks reverse current. A fuse/shunt would not stop current quick enough for some devices.

what Ive seen on some designs is a big honking diode, that can take 100A, right from the negative input to the positive.

It will clamp reverse voltage to 0.5 or 0.7V when its connected backwards, which is not enough to damage anything inside the module

then a huge current will flow through the wire and the fuse box, and the fuse will blow before the wires melt.

you are correct, a series diode also works, it would block all reverse current. But since he saw wires or something spewing smoke, I assumed the reverse parallel diode is whats in there.

actually Im thinking now it was probabally the diode bridge in the altenator that was taking all the reverse current, since the PCM fuse did not blow, and the wire to the altenator cooked its fuseable link.
KCW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2006, 04:21 PM   #20
97coupe
Master Member
97coupe is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,260

1997 SC2
Default Re: Jumper cables reversed, white smoke, no start, HEEEELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCW
what Ive seen on some designs is a big honking diode, that can take 100A, right from the negative input to the positive.

It will clamp reverse voltage to 0.5 or 0.7V when its connected backwards, which is not enough to damage anything inside the module

then a huge current will flow through the wire and the fuse box, and the fuse will blow before the wires melt.

you are correct, a series diode also works, it would block all reverse current. But since he saw wires or something spewing smoke, I assumed the reverse parallel diode is whats in there.

actually Im thinking now it was probabally the diode bridge in the altenator that was taking all the reverse current, since the PCM fuse did not blow, and the wire to the altenator cooked its fuseable link.

Yes I would look for the main fuseable link between battery and car accesories that is usually around altenator (never traced the circuit in a saturn) I will be surprized though if no other damage was done.
97coupe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Blue Smoke or White Smoke...some defintions 2NDSOUT S-Series Tech 0 07-08-2009 10:16 AM
White smoke from exhaust steve_oj08 S-Series Tech 17 02-01-2009 03:28 PM
Ahh Yes, White Smoke! RedVision_350 S-Series Tech 10 10-18-2007 05:14 PM
wtb: white or reversed face gauge for '97 sl2 SimPlyxTriPPiN Classifieds 2 12-07-2004 11:51 PM
Uh, WHITE SMOKE!!!!! Cronus Miscellaneous Tech 22 09-22-2004 01:29 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:05 AM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.