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My battery jump charger blew up in my face !! Why ?

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So I have a portable pocket style jump starter device for my Mondeo (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08LKY23WX/). I have a poor functioning battery which is being replaced on 13th December, in the meantime I have been using my jump starter to get the car started each time, it needs it doing all the time, I have used it about 12 times with no problem always started it instantly. I also have a mains car battery charger which won't charge the battery above 12.2v hence me getting a replacement.

Anyway, today I attached the jump starter kit and when I crocodile clipped the positive red clamp to the battery it blew up, my jump starter was literally smoking and stank of smoke like a old cap gun smell, there was a massive load of sparks and a bang, shocking when not expected. I have never had so much as a spark before, let alone that much. The red cable literally blew apart and the portable battery charger was hot in places. Although the charger still turns on, it is broken as it won't turn off manually and the torch no longer works. 

When I first connected it I first connected the negative as I usually do, then the positive. I am now terrified of using anything on my battery, but I need to get it started to get it to the garage on the 13th. I could call the AA but the less I use them the cheaper I can get each renewal. I am going to get a replacement jump starter, but it is less than a year old and worked great for the previous 12 times, I was amazed how good it worked, car would start instantly when connected and turned on, guess that made me a bit cheapskate in replacing the battery sooner.

Any ideas what may have caused this ? It was very cold out and I keep the charger in my car, and I had tried to start the car 3 times before attaching battery to the jump starter. Should I have connected the red lead first ? 

Other issues before this went bang is my climate control centre ticks a lot and sometimes doesn't come on, it will go on and off during a journey. I also have a permanent yellow ABS light on my dashboard. Unsure if they are related at all, but those things have been happening for a few weeks and I have used the jump starter okay when those issues had already begun. 

Thanks !!

(you may notice I am not a major car guy, so not overly technical on car stuff)




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Damn, I always thought it was the other way around (as in red first, black second). Maybe this is the reason ? I can't remember how I have done it before now you mention this, I wonder if I used to always do it the other way around ? Damn it, wish I could remember, I have done it so often can't believe I can't remember. I definitely remember this time though.

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Always positive first is what I was taught, if you ground the car first and then accidentally touch the positive lead to the earthed car it will short the battery - that's unlikely what happened to you though.

A depleted battery produces (I think it's) hydrogen, this is a highly flammable gas. The potential for sparks is always on the last connection, and the greatest spark potential is from the positive terminal. The most likely explanation is that the bad battery created a short because of the gases.  That's why I connect the ground to an earth point on the chassis (follow the thick black lead from the negative terminal and it will go to a suitable 'lug'), that way any sparks are far away from the battery.

Perhaps on the 13th you can jump the car from another vehicle?

*Red to bad battery

*Red to donor

*black to bad battery

*black to ground point on donor

Reverse for removal.

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'Red to dead' is a good way to remember where to start. :smile: 


I hate jumping batteries myself.  Many years ago I watched someone else blow a battery (as in the casing!!) when disconnecting a big garage type jump pack without switching off/unplugging first!  Not sure how these small jump packs work, is there an on/off switch at all?  If not, that could explain it...

I was also given a top tip by an old tech at college, if charging indoors or it's a calm day, blow across the battery before disconnecting the charger to remove any gasses that may have built up.

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