Jump-Start a Car Battery

How to Jump-Start a Car Battery Properly in 10 Easy Steps

Correctly jump-starting a car can save time and money, whether you're stranded in a parking lot with a dead battery or a kind Samaritan who stopped to help. The procedure is essential, but there are a few details to pay attention to for safety. 

Follow these ten steps for a quick and safe start.

1. Make sure that jumping the car is safe.

Modern cars are not as simple to operate as older types. Jump-starting can harm electronic components and computers in many newer cars. So, before you dig out your cables, double-check the owner's manual.

2. Ensure that both vehicles are in the park position and that the ignition switch is off.

Make sure both automobiles are off, in the park position, and the emergency brake is activated. You'll need to align the automobiles nose to nose unless you have a long pair of cables. You'll have to open the bonnets of both cars to get to the battery, and if one of the cars roll, you can get trapped between them. You must switch off both vehicles before proceeding. Even though 12-volts isn't much, it's enough to shock you or start a fire.

3. Track down the 12-volt battery.

Finding the battery in a car used to be easier, but today's alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles contain several batteries, and the ignition battery is not always easy to locate. Almost every car has a 12V battery or a post that you can use instead. If you fail to see a battery, look for a +12V box and a post inside (usually under a red cover).

4. Clamp the positive (red) clamps in place.

It's safe to connect the jumper cables in virtually any order if both vehicles have been switched off. Still, the recommended sequence is to attach one of the positive clamps to the dead battery first, then the other positive clamp to the functional battery.

5. Clamp the negative (black) clamps in place.

Negative clamps are more difficult to use than positive clamps. Connect one end of the black cable to the functional battery and leave the other end unconnected to the dead battery. Instead, clamp it to an unpainted metallic portion of the engine, frame, or chassis to ground it.

6. Next, you should start with a functional car.

Before starting the running (functional) car, double-check that the clamps are secure and attached correctly. Let the engine idle for a few minutes before starting the vehicle with the flat battery (receiver) car.

7. Now you should start the recipient's car.

Try starting the stalled vehicle after the engine has run for a few minutes. If it still won't start, double-check your connections and give it a few more minutes. It may be necessary to wait 5 to 10 minutes for old or cold batteries to charge. It can be beneficial to rev the engine of a running car.

8. Once running, you should disconnect the cables.

Reverse the order in which you connected the connections. Remove the black ground on the recipient car first, then the donor battery's black clamp. Then, on the donor automobile, remove the red clamp, then on the receiving vehicle, remove the red clamp. Please make sure the clamps don't come into contact with one another until they're all disconnected. They will spark and start a fire if they contact when there is electrical current going through them.

9. Allow the vehicle to run for a few minutes.

Do not turn off the motor of the vehicle immediately. The battery will still need to be charged fully, but you can do it by allowing your vehicle's engine to do so. Before driving out into traffic, it's preferable to stay stationary and let it run for a while.

10. Check your battery's condition.

If your battery fails for any reason, it's always a good idea to get it examined by a professional. A battery can lose charge for various reasons, and having yours examined might help you avoid the same situation in the future.

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