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Replaced battery, car still won't start - Possibly fried the electronics

23061 Views 26 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  0dyfamily
I'm affraid I may have screwed the pooch this time. Let me know what you think...

Wife called from home today that our 04 Odyssey EX wouldn't start. Within the last 6 months or so our kids have managed to drain the battery twice by leaving on some interior light. Because of this I bought a Batttery Tender to help charge the battery back to full capacity after jumping the battery. Just 3 weeks ago I used the Battery Tender to top off the battery.

When I got home I hooked up the Battery Tender, but it showed a constant red flashing light, normally indicating a bad battery connection or (after I looked it up) a battery below 3 volts that might not recharge.

To make a long story short, I wanted to hook up my battery from our '97 Acura 3.2 TL on the van to at least start it and turn off whatever interior light was on that drained the battery.

In the process of connecting the Acura battery I hooked up the wrong battery terminals! As soon as I connected them the car horn sounded. In a single car garage this scared the heck out of me and my ears are still ringing. I assumed the horn sounded because of the car alarm. So I tried several more times to turn off the 'alarm' by hooking up the battery and then trying the remote key fob, the keys in the door, and the keys in the ignition. Each time I would connect then disconnect the battery terminals.

Now it seems as though the horn sounding was an indicator that the battery was hooked up in reverse. It wasn't until later that I figured out my blunder. (The acura battery had each terminal on the opposite side, and there was some red anti-corrosive stuff surrounding the negative terminal which made me think it was the positive. Plus it was dark in the garage. Argg!!!)

Now for the bad news. I replaced the van battery with a new one, go to start the car and still nothing. Ughh....
Oddly enough the emergency flasher lights and the brake lights work when I tell them to, but nothing else as far as I can tell.

I checked the fuses near the driver's side left leg. Those all seemed fine.

I'm stuck now. Don't know what to do. I'm affraid I fried some electrical componenet by repeatedly hooking up the Acura battery in reverse.

Anything else I could check before handing it over to the shop along with all of my credit cards?

I'm also literally stuck... in the garage. We have a single car garage and I don't know how to push the car out if I need to get it towed. Is there some way to take the car out of Park without starting the car? I tried by turning the key all the way in the ignition, placing my foot on the brake, but it won't come out of park.

I really appreciate any help.
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Unless I'm thinking of a different car, there's some large fuses under a cover on the passenger side under the hood. Not a fuse you can buy at Walmart, they are like 30 amp I think. As for getting out of park, there's a small plastic plug on the horizontal cover behind the steering wheel. Remove the plug and your key will fit in there to allow getting it out of park.
Here's a picture, it's listed under "CONTROL UNIT (ENGINE ROOM)" on Bernardi Honda's site. 5 thru 8 and 24 thru 28 are the fuses.


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Bernardiparts only lists a 120 for your van so maybe someone blew it before and stuck a 150 in there. You should be ok, can't see you ever going close to that high.
I agree with Pete, check into it more. You'll be peeved if you buy a new radio and it doesn't power up. Pull the radio and check the connector for power and ground when the key is on. You should be able to locate the pinout somewhere. Radios have accessory power and always on power for the memory. If either is out it will not work. The memory power would be a different fuse and may be shared with something else.
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