8 Reasons Your Car Battery Popped And Smoked

If your car battery popped and smoked, it’s clear that something is wrong. However, you may be curious to know what caused it and what to do now! In this article, you’ll have both questions answered as well as some you didn’t even know you had yet!

So keep reading to find out everything you want to know!

Can A Car Battery Pop?

That pop you heard before your car battery started to smoke is actually the battery exploding. But unfortunately, knowing the cause can be a little bit more difficult. There’s not just one cause behind why a battery would pop but actually multiple!

Reasons Your Car Battery Popped And Smoked

There are a whole bunch of reasons that the battery in your car could have ended up exploding. And the smoke is just a natural after effect of this happening. Here are all the different reasons that could have caused it!

The Battery Overheated

One of the most common reasons that your battery popped and then continued to smoke is because it overheated. This is especially common if you live in a hot country during hotter months. Batteries can charge under a lot of conditions; however, charging under excessive heat might end up causing them to explode.

Even if the battery hasn’t exploded, you might still notice it smoking in hot conditions as the electrolytes in the battery starts to boil and evaporate. When you notice this, you should kill your engine to reduce the chance of the battery dying.

The Battery Was Overcharged

When your battery is overcharged, excess gas is going to be a by-product, which in turn builds up and builds up inside the battery before it eventually ruptures.

If you’re charging a battery with a charger, then you should always make sure you’re using a charger that regulates the amperage and voltage to make sure it’s being charged correctly. Some of the older and cheaper battery chargers don’t stop even when the battery is full, which can often result in the battery blowing.

It’s also important to realize that if your battery is being overcharged, then the chances are it’s going to be expelling toxic and flammable gas, even if it hasn’t blown up yet. So making sure it’s charging correctly is extremely important.

A Loose Connection/Short Circuit

Sometimes when there’s a problem with the connections or a short circuit, it can cause the battery to explode as well. The most likely scenario is that the positive and negative plates have touched each other. This is one of the reasons you need to make sure that the battery terminals have been screwed together properly.

Faulty Alternator

Sometimes the battery itself might not have been a problem, but the components around it might have been. If there’s a problem with the alternator, then it may end up overcharging your battery, causing it to eventually explode.

You can check your alternator’s output range by looking at the batteries terminals when the car is running. If you notice that the output is between 13.7 to 14.7 volts, then that’s normal. However, if you notice that it’s higher or lower, then there’s a problem.

The Battery Is Dirty

Sometimes when the battery is dirty, it prevents a good connection between the components of the battery and results in electrical arcing. When this happens, it can result in the battery exploding and smoking. This is one of the reasons you should check your car regularly to make sure everything is clean.

You Weren’t Jump Starting It Correctly

You may notice that the battery explodes when you’ve tried to jump-start it. A lot of people make mistakes when jump-starting their car, which can result in the battery breaking.

When you’re jump-starting a car’s battery, you should always make sure you’re attaching the cables to the dead battery first before the good battery. You also need to remember to attach the negative jumper cable from the dead battery to an unpainted part of the car’s frame rather than the battery post itself. That way sparking isn’t going to occur near the battery.

A Build-Up Of Gas

As you now know, the gas in your car’s battery is highly flammable, so if it starts to build up, it can often result in the battery blowing up. In fact, the gas that is created (hydrogen) is so powerful it’s also used to power rocket engines.

And once the hydrogen has built up, it will only take a spark from your battery to ignite it.

The Battery Is Old

If you haven’t replaced your battery for a while, then this could be one of the reasons that the battery ends up exploding as well. As the battery gets older, it will lose water. This then causes the top of the lead plates to be exposed to the air inside. The longer they’re exposed, the more likely it is they’ll begin to warp.

In moments when a lot of pressure is being put on the battery for energy, the warped plates can start to shift and change shape. And if they touch, a spark is created, which ignites any gas in the battery.

What Should You Do If A Battery Starts Smoking?

If the battery starts smoking, then the first thing you should do is switch your car off immediately. Once you’ve done this, you should evacuate everyone away from the car, so they don’t breathe in the noxious fumes.

Ideally, you should also leave your car somewhere cold to help the battery cool down quicker. You should then find an expert to take a look at your battery and figure out what’s gone wrong. Remember, sometimes it may not be the battery itself but another component of the car like the alternator.

What To Do If The Battery Explodes?

If the battery has exploded once again, you should turn the car off immediately, move everyone away from the car and call a professional. If you can do so safely, you can also try neutralizing the battery acid in the engine with baking soda.

Try sprinkling baking soda on the affected areas and washing it down with a little bit of water.

Can You Drive With An Exploded Battery?

If your car battery is exploded, then you should avoid driving at all costs. The acid that will be leaking from the battery isn’t just bad for your car. It’s also terrible for the environment, and the fumes it releases are bad for your health as well. (And, of course, it’s also terrible if the acid gets on your skin too!)

Can Dead Batteries Explode?

It’s absolutely possible for a dead battery to explode. In fact, the term ‘dead battery’ is a little bit misleading. Even when batteries won’t start a car anymore, it’s still possible that it’s holding around 80% of its charge. (According to the Royal Society Of Chemistry.)

Does A Smoke Battery Release Fumes?

Not only does a smoking battery release fumes, but these fumes are also both flammable and toxic for you. So it’s recommended to stay away from a battery that has exploded or is smoking. The gas that is released most often is hydrogen sulfide, and you’ll recognize it immediately from the smell of rotten eggs it emits.

How To Prevent Your Car Battery Exploding?

The best way to prevent your car battery from exploding is to make sure you’re checking it regularly and maintaining it correctly. You should ensure the battery leaves are correct if it’s lead-acid and that the charging systems are still working.

As well as this, it’s recommended to replace a battery around every 24 months, and you should do this when you’re getting your car serviced.


As you can see, there are a whole bunch of reasons that your battery could have exploded and smoked. However, with proper maintenance of the car and battery, you can greatly reduce the chance of this happening again in the future!

If you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website! Otherwise, have a great day!

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