Stranded with a car that won’t start? No need to worry! Here’s a guide to jumpstart it safely. Follow these steps to get back on the road fast and secure. Don’t let car issues halt your journey! Master how to jumpstart it with confidence.
Jumpstarting your car can seem scary if you’ve never done it. But it may be needed if you’re left stranded because you’ve left your headlights on or you have a bad battery.. It’s simple and safe – as long as you take precautions. Follow this guide to jumpstart your vehicle correctly and safely:
- Make sure the jumper cables are connected correctly.
- Turn off all electrical accessories.
- Start the working vehicle and let it run for a few minutes.
- Start the vehicle with the dead battery.
- Once the vehicle is running, disconnect the cables in reverse order.
Battery Safety Precautions
Always take safety precautions when jump-starting your car. Park both vehicles close to each other but not touching. Make sure all passengers are inside and the engines and lights are off.
Check the batteries have enough water/fluid, and that the cables are good quality, not frayed or dirty. Put any plastic covers on the terminals before attaching the cables.
When connecting the jumper cables, remember:
- Connect one end of the red positive lead cable to the positive terminal of battery A.
- Connect the other end to the positive terminal of battery B.
- Connect one end of the black negative lead cable to the negative terminal of battery B. Leave the other end unconnected.
Next, loosen the negative terminal’s nut on Battery A, attach the black negative cable’s loose end, and tighten the nut again. Start the engine of car A first, then car B. Wait until the charge builds up and the recharging alternator starts to charge the battery of car B. Finally, remove the cables in the reverse order.
Before you start your car, make sure you’re prepared! Follow this checklist:
- Look for any broken wires in the starter, battery cables and other related parts. Fix or replace if needed.
- Check your owner’s manual for instructions on jumping your car.
- Position both cars facing each other nose-to-nose with 18 inches between them.
- Turn off all lights and accessories.
- Let the working vehicle idle for a few minutes until the battery is fully charged.
- Connect the jumper cables to the batteries, following the manual’s directions.
- Make sure the clamps aren’t touching each other.
- Start up ignition on dead vehicle – sparks are normal.
- Watch out for smoke. Move away if this happens!
- Disconnect jumpers once both cars are running.
Preparing the Jumper Cables
Before jumpstarting your car, make sure you have the correct tools. These include jumper cables, which you can buy cheaply from an auto parts store or online. Get thick, long gauge cables – these are better for bigger vehicles. Twist the ends of the cables several times, so they fit firmly. Ensure the clamps are attached and undamaged before beginning.
Connecting the Jumper Cables
When jumping a car, follow these steps:
- Connect one red clamp to the positive (red) terminal of the dead battery.
- Connect one black clamp to the negative (black) terminal of the working battery. Clamp each cable firmly onto its terminal.
- Attach the other red clamp to the positive (red) terminal of the working battery. Attach the other black clamp to an unpainted metal surface near the engine, away from any moving parts or fuel lines.
- Start the working vehicle’s engine and let it idle. Then attempt to start the dead vehicle’s engine. If not, keep running at full speed for a few more minutes.
- Once both vehicles are running, disconnect in reverse order. First disconnect negative (black) connections. Then positive ones. Be sure not to make contact between the jumper cables.
Starting the Car
Attach the jump-box or jumper cables firmly. Turn off electrical accessories in the car receiving the jump, and the one providing it. Put the cars into park or neutral with the parking brakes engaged. Start the working vehicle first. Let it idle a few minutes so its battery can charge. Then start your dead car. Let it run for several minutes, then turn off the working car. Leave off all accessories until both cars are fully charged.
Hopefully, your car will be cranked over and ready to go!
Disconnecting the Jumper Cables
Once the engine is running, it’s time to take off the cables. It’s just as important to disconnect them the right way as it was to connect them. Do it in the opposite order you did when connecting. Start with the red cable from your battery, then the black cables from both cars. Then you can throw away the cables safely.
Take caution when working with electrical systems. Never use metal tools on battery terminals and don’t let them touch. If the vehicle has been damaged in a fire, be extra careful and cover the wiring. If any of the car’s electrical components appear damaged, get it checked by a professional mechanic before jumpstarting.
By following these steps, your car will be jump started safely and efficiently. Have the right tools and knowledge for this job – it will make things much simpler!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What type of car battery do I need to jumpstart my car?
A1: It is best to use a car battery with the same voltage as your own car battery.
Q2: Can I jump start my car battery in the rain?
A2: No, it is not recommended to jumpstart your car in the rain. Doing so can create a risk of electric shock.
Q3: How do I attach the jumper cables correctly?
A3: Attach one of the red/positive clips to the positive terminal of your car battery and the other to the positive terminal of the donor battery. Do the same with the black/negative clips. Start the donor car, then your own car.
Q4: How much does a new car battery cost?
A4: A new car battery costs between $75 – $200 depending on the size of your vehicle and it’s electrical requirements.