Good Samaritan fries car computer by helping man with jump start


Auto technicians around Kern County tell Eyewitness News they've seen cases of a rare issue that's been recently popping up -- jump-starting cars with cables, destroying car computers.

Brenda Ruiz learned about the problem by helping a man whose car battery had died. He needed a jump start, had the cables and asked her to supply her car to connect the power.

In doing so, she helped the man start his car but quickly learned hers wouldn't restart. The surge of power had fried the sensitive electronic parts of her own vehicle, making her car's central computer shut down.

Ruiz took her car to Lamont Auto Repair, where she found out her good deed would quickly become a big problem.

"Essentially, you have 20 or more computers driving your car," said Emanuel Espinoza, the shop's owner. "Any one of those computers can go bad if you have a high surge of power."

Not only can it happen easily, said Don at G&G Auto Repair, but it is costly. Replacing car computers usually costs around $1,000.

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