Guide to Jumping your Dead Car Battery

Guide to Jumping your Dead Car Battery
02 Feb 2018

Whether you accidentally left on your headlights or battery is just getting worn out, there may come a time when you need to jump start your car’s battery. If you’ve never done this before, it may seem like a daunting task, but we assure you it can be quick and easy! Read on for a step-by-step guide to jumping a dead car battery, and become confident in your ability to face this challenge head on.

With Dead Car Battery

1. Find someone who can give you a jump:

Oftentimes, people are under the impression that a large vehicle with a powerful engine is needed to jumpstart a battery. This is untrue. Virtually any car can be used to jump start another, although we recommend avoiding the odd car which houses its battery in the trunk, as these can be harder to get to.

2. Get hold of some jumper cables:

There’s a decent chance that whoever you flag down to give you a jump will have a set of cables, but our friends with Browning Dodge say that your best bet is to keep a set of your own in your vehicle at all times.

3. Get the vehicles close together:

Ideally, you could pull the cars up nose-to-nose, but side-by-side works too. Just make sure that you get as close as possible, so that you can be sure that the cables will reach between your battery and theirs.

4. Make sure both vehicles are staying put:

Turn off the engines of both cars, and put them in park (manuals should be put in neutral.) Take the extra precaution and engage the parking brake as well.

5. Identify the positive and negative terminals:

You may need to remove rubber or plastic caps. The positive terminal will probably be marked in red and have a “+” sign. The negative terminal will be black with a “-“sign.

6. Attach the cables:

Clamp one end of the positive cable to the positive terminal of the dead battery, and then attach the other end of the positive cable to the positive terminal of the live battery. Next, attach one end of the negative cable to the negative terminal of the live battery, and then the other to the negative terminal of the dead battery.

7. Fire up the “live” car:

Start the engine of the live car, and allow it to run for several minutes, It may be useful to rev the engine by pressing lightly on the gas pedal (making sure the vehicle is still in park or neutral with the parking brake engaged).

8. Get your car running:

Go ahead and try to turn on your own vehicle. Hopefully, it will get started! You may have to take more than one try, but if you try four times or so and still don’t get any results, you should give it a rest and let the good car run for a longer time while attached.

There is a possibility that you’ll charge your battery with the other car for a long time and still not get any results. If this is the case, your battery may be completely dead, or there may be an underlying issue such as corrosion on your battery terminals or a problem with your alternator. You may need to have your vehicle towed to an auto shop and looked at to identify the issue.

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Ana

Ana is full time teacher, consultant and passionate writer!

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