Jump-Starting-a-Car

Barry Hodgkins

G’day Allan, my fairer half and I recently bought a late model Ford SUV for her to get around in. Last week she accidentally left the interior light on overnight and ran the battery flat. No problem I thought, I’ll just run the jumper cables from my Rodeo to the Ford’s battery and she’ll be back on track in no time.

So I hook up the cables, start up my engine and then go to start the Ford. It fired up but drove like an absolute dog! No power anywhere. We took it up the dealership who informed us after a very expensive ECU reset that jump starting it overloaded the computer and it went into limp mode.

Is there any special technique to use when jump-starting a computer control-led vehicle or is simply a matter of rolling the dice? I’d be interested in hearing what you have to say on the subject.

 

read Allan's reply and comment on the blog here


Jump-Starting-a-Car

Barry Hodgkins

G’day Allan, my fairer half and I recently bought a late model Ford SUV for her to get around in. Last week she accidentally left the interior light on overnight and ran the battery flat. No problem I thought, I’ll just run the jumper cables from my Rodeo to the Ford’s battery and she’ll be back on track in no time.

So I hook up the cables, start up my engine and then go to start the Ford. It fired up but drove like an absolute dog! No power anywhere. We took it up the dealership who informed us after a very expensive ECU reset that jump starting it overloaded the computer and it went into limp mode.

Is there any special technique to use when jump-starting a computer control-led vehicle or is simply a matter of rolling the dice? I’d be interested in hearing what you have to say on the subject.

 

Allan

Well Barry, the only thing I can tell you on the subject is that you can’t use ordinary jumper leads on an ECU-equipped vehicle, you have to use special units that are designed with a spike arrester and a couple of other little things that can be seen as a small bulge along one of the cables.

In an emergency, if you turn all of the lights on in the vehicle with the flat battery before trying to start it, it might be enough to get away with it in an extreme emergency, but damage to the computer is still a possibility. Get yourself a pair of the special jumper leads, they’re not terribly expensive but are still three times the price as an ordinary pair. Sorry about that, but that should help you, Barry.