Jumping Dead Batteries
07 Jun 2016
It happens to every car owner at some point. Someone leaves a light on, or a door ajar, in your car and your battery loses all its charge. The symptoms are pretty obvious; when you go to turn the key to start your car, nothing happens – no lights come on, nothing makes a clicking sound. When this happens, the quickest way to get it up and running is to “jump it” with another vehicle. Never done it before? With the help of the service team at Bob Pulte in Lebanon, OH, a Chevrolet Dealer, we have a 10 step guide that will step you through it.
- Find someone with a yuasa battery under the hood of their car (not in the trunk) that will give you a jump.
- Make sure someone has a good pair of jumper cables.
- Bring the two cars close together. Head to head is ideal but side-by-side is OK too. Try and position the cars so that the two batteries are close to each other.
- Make sure both cars are turned off. Put automatic transmission cars in Park, manuals in Neutral. Engage the parking brakes on both cars.
- On the batteries, identify the terminal with “+” polarity sign (red) indicator for positive, and terminal with the “-” sign (black) indicator for negative. These polarity signs are usually on the battery but you may have to wipe the battery off with a rag to see them.
- Attach one end of the positive cable (red) clamp to the positive terminal of the “dead” battery. Attach the other end of the positive cable to the positive terminal of the “good” battery. (In other words, “positive” goes to “positive”).
- Attach one end of the negative cable to the negative terminal of the “good” battery. Attach the other end of the negative cable to the negative terminal of the “dead” battery. (In other words, “negative” goes to “negative”).
- Start the engine of the good car. Allow it to run for 4-5 minutes while giving the engine a little gas to pick up the idle speed.
- Attempt to start the engine of the dead car. If it starts, remove the jumper cables and close the hood on each car.
- If the dead car doesn’t make a loud clicking sound when you turn the key, the booster cables may not have good connections. Try rocking the cable clamps slightly back and forth to get the clamps to dig into the terminals.
Note: if you don’t have a set of jumper cables, you should purchase some and keep them in your car. You never know when you’ll need them. Our advice is not to purchase the inexpensive $10-$20 cables because they generally have small gauge wires in them and may not pass enough current to start your car. Look for the heavier cables, generally $30 and up. They will be robust cables that you can count on.
Image by Cali4beach