How to Jumpstart a Car

Jumpstarting a Car
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A jump start is a helpful solution if your car’s battery dies. However, improper use of jump leads poses risks to vehicles and drivers. We recommend calling us instead of trying to jumpstart your car for your protection and ours.

Want to save money by doing it yourself? Check out our tips on how to jump start a car. However, before proceeding with our methods, please check your manual to see if there are any specific directions.

Keep the Following in Your Car at All Times:

  • Jumper cables: The longer the jumper cables, the better.
  • Mechanic gloves: Heavy-duty gloves provide the most safety, but disposable gloves are fine in a pinch
  • A flashlight: Keep a flashlight in your car at all times.
  • Paper coveralls: Protect your clothing with paper coveralls, available at most paint stores.
  • Owner’s manual: Your vehicle’s owner’s manual is typically in the glove box.

Finding another driver who can supply a jump start to your dead battery is essential. Getting help from strangers requires caution and good judgment. Don’t take help from strangers unless you’re sure you can trust them, and be sure you call a loved one to fill them in on your whereabouts and condition.

Double Check if Battery Is the Problem

Inspect the headlights. How bright are they, if at all? (In some vehicles, you’ll need to turn the key to turn on the headlights.) A weak battery is probably the reason for dull lights. Bright headlights indicate that the battery is fine and that a jump start will not be necessary.

Turn the key and see if the lights come on as they should. Make sure the stereo works. Even though your car’s battery is dead, the dashboard lights should still come on, and the stereo should play. There could be an issue with your ignition switch if your dashboard doesn’t even light up.

Do anything you can to get the automobile going. Does it have a slow rotation or a fast crank? If it starts right up, there’s no need for a jump start because the battery is fine. A dead battery is likely the cause of a sluggish or nonexistent cranking motion.

How to Jumpstart a Car: A Step-By-Step Explanation

Locate Batteries in Each Car

The owner’s handbook will tell you if you’re unsure where to look. Typically, they’re under the hood, but they could be in the trunk. Inspect each battery. Calling roadside help is preferable to risking an acid burn or a battery shock if you notice damage, corrosion, or fluid spilling.

Position Cars

Put the vehicles in a position where the jumper cables can connect both batteries. They should be close without touching, though, to prevent dangerous electrical shocks. Place the vehicle in park (or neutral if a manual transmission is used) and secure the handbrake before turning off the engine.

Attach Jumper Leads

Only use jumper cables with surge protection to prevent a power surge from damaging modern vehicles’ sensitive electrical systems. As long as you follow the steps to the letter, this procedure is straightforward and risk-free:

  • Find the ‘+’ symbol on the terminal of the dead battery and clamp the red positive jumper connection to it.
  • Connect the positive terminal of the solid battery to the opposite end of the red positive lead using a clamp.
  • Put the grip end of the negative black jumper leads on the ‘-‘ symbol on the good battery’s negative terminal.
  • If the car’s battery is dead, move the other end of the black negative lead far away from the battery and clamp it to a bare metal spot on the engine block. Connecting it to the negative terminal could cause sparks or an explosion, so be careful.

Care must be taken to prevent the sparking that can occur if the black and red clamp ends come into contact with one another. Additionally, ensure that no wires can entangle any engine’s moving components.

Try to Start the Car

After connecting the cables at each end, wait five minutes. Start the car’s engine using the charged battery and let it operate for a minute. Please don’t turn it off, but keep it on while you try to start the automobile with a dead battery. Try again in a few minutes if it doesn’t begin within the first five.

Detached the Cables

Assuming the flat-battery car is operating, you should leave the other car’s engine running for 10 minutes. The cables must be unplugged in the opposite sequence (shown below). When removing the clamps, ensure neither the metal nor the clamps touch.

  • The car’s flat battery disconnected, and the black lead connects
  • For a car with a fully charged battery and a black lead
  • With the red leads detached from both vehicles

Removed all wires from the car without touching any of the car’s metal surfaces. You should check that your car is in good working order. To recharge the battery, you must drive it for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Taking your automobile in for repairs as soon as you notice a problem increases your chance of avoiding future complications.

What if the Car Won’t Jump Start?

But what if you need a jump and your car doesn’t start? There must be some problem, and now is the moment to solve it. Is that a clicking sound you’re hearing? There may be a problem with your starter.

Have you checked to see if your electricity is working? It could be a problem with the fuse, the battery, the starter, or the ignition switch. How long did it take for your car to die after a successful jump? Give it another shot, but let your car run for a longer time following the leap. If you do this, your battery can recharge more completely.

Use Jump Leads Safely

Never forget that batteries release flammable fumes when you try to jumpstart an automobile. Here are some precautions you can take:

Check the Battery and Jump Leads

  • Warning: Never jump a leaking or visibly damaged battery.
  • It would help if you didn’t use ragged or cracked jumper cables.
  • If the jumper cables get too warm, you should not use them.

Make Sure the Environment Is Safe

  • Before you begin, remove any loose clothing that could get caught in the moving engine parts, such as a scarf or tie.
  • Do not contact the car batteries with metal objects; doing so could produce a spark and an explosion. All jewelry and accessories, such as necklaces, bracelets, watch bands, hand tools, clips, loose wires, etc., fall into this category.
  • It is imperative that neither battery ever be used in proximity to any open flame.

Carefully Disconnect the Jumper Cables

It would help if you left the jumper cables connected to the vehicles’ engines. The cars’ electronic systems may be severely impaired if this happens.

It’s helpful to have the ability to jumpstart a car with a dead battery, but doing it improperly can cause serious injury or even death to the persons involved and their vehicles. Jumper cables, mechanic gloves, a flashlight, paper coveralls, and the owner’s manual are all essential items of equipment that should be on hand if you plan on attempting any repairs before calling a professional mechanic.

Ensure the battery is the problem, the cars are in the right place, and the jumper cables are attached securely before attempting a jump start.

Chris Turner

Written By

With a lifelong passion for automobiles, Chris brings a wealth of knowledge from his years as a mechanic and a car reviewer. He’s dedicated to providing in-depth, practical advice to car enthusiasts and novices alike.

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