Dear Car Enthusiasts and Experts,
I'm sure this will get some laughs and rolling eyes. I did do a search to see if the answer was already posted, but it seems no one else is as stupid as me.
I've been driving my SUV and let the 86 sit for over a month. Despite having a relatively new battery, the car wouldn't start, even when I jumped it. I seem to go through batteries, but that's a separate topic.
I phoned Halford's call out service (I know, Halford's sucks, but I figured battery installation is pretty basic and they couldn't screw it up. Instead, I'M the one who screwed it up haha). But apparently, if you don't buy a battery, they can't come out. I guess they don't do mobile diagnostics. I didn't phone AA because they wanted £200 for a new battery installation, which seemed steep, because I'm a member. So, I figured I'd do it myself. I used to work on my cars when I was younger and I've changed batteries before (before I became senile).
I checked around which is the correct battery for my car. Several sources said Bosch S4 024, so I ordered that one on Amazon, being the best price and having excellent ratings. A box popped up on Amazon confirming that this battery IS compatible with my car.
So I installed it and SPARK, BANG, POP! Yes, turns out the polarity on the new battery is reversed. I'm freaking out, of course, assuming I've fried my electricals. There seems to be some sort of fuse thingy on the positive connecter, and that had a little explosion inside. Both of my battery cables are black. There is no red one/black one, like on every other car I've ever owned, and it didn't even occur to me check which one was grounded. And no, I didn't pay attention to how the old one came out. I assumed that because several sources said this was the correct battery, it was correct, and I just popped it in there. I'm the dumbass. And, TRUST ME, lesson learned. The cables aren't long enough to just turn the battery around, so I had to get another battery.
Rather than order another from the internet, I headed over to Euro Car Parts. He looks up my car, and brings out a battery with reversed terminals. I was a bit confused, because I told him the negative terminal needs to be on the right. So he goes and gets another battery, and, again, the terminals are reversed. WTF? This time I got very assertive and then he came back with the terminals on the correct sides. (Why the hell do auto parts stores have employees who know nothing about cars? Again, that's a separate topic). Of course, this battery was way more expensive, at £116. It's a Varta. Anybody heard of that??
I installed this second new battery and, yeehah!, we have power! The dash lights are flashing and the alarm is on (keeps coming on, in fact). However, the car won't start. I assume a fuse is blown, but I don't know which one(s). I bought a 12v fuse tester, but either I can't get a good connection on the chassis or all the fuses I tested are blown.
I read online that when a battery is put in backwards, it can blow the main fuse. But which fuse is the main fuse? I took the fuse lid in with me (it has the fuse diagramme on it) to Halford's and to Euro Car Parts, and nobody in either store had any idea (again, is it just me, or are the clerks morons?). I used to work in an auto parts store in my early 20's, and those guys were the bomb. They knew everything. Anyway, I digress.
So, bottom line: Should I replace all the fuses, call AA, or tow it to a garage? If a garage, which one? lol. HELP!
Dumb and desperate in east London