First, the good news: modern cars don’t get flat batteries as often as older ones, thanks to better calcium-plate batteries and power-management electronics. The bad news is a cack-handed attempt to jumpstart them can fry those fancy electronics with a voltage spike.
“If the dash lights come on and fade away, don’t try a jump start,” says NRMA technical expert Jack Haley. “It shows there’s an open circuit that could damage the electronics.”
It’s a Gas, Gas, Gas
There’s another sign telling you to give the jumpstart a miss. “If you can smell rotten eggs, that’s hydrogen sulphide gas, which means your battery could be venting hydrogen. Don’t touch it,” says Haley. You don’t want to turn your car into the Hindenburg.
Photo by Anthony Calvert Aug 23, 2012