1. When reconnecting a battery, connect and tigthen the positive cable first. This lessens the chance of shorting out the positive terminal to ground as you tighten the negative cable. (A small spark is not unusual when you connect the negative cable to the battery -- parts of the electrical system are always "live" even when the key is off.)
2. It's *possible* that the transient caused when you shorted out the battery has made the computer (or the instrument module) "go stupid". Try disconnecting the *negative* battery cable *only* and letting it sit for at least 5 full minutes. Reconnect the negative cable *carefully*, cross your fingers, and hope it works. If not, my guess is that you've probably fried the instrument panel and it will have to be replaced.
Monday, March 1st, 2010 AT 1:45 AM