Safely Jump-Start Your Car

Close Up of Jumper Cables in Use.

It seems like car batteries only die when you’re in a hurry. You jump in the car, ready to take off to your destination, and then hit a major roadblock. You’re frustrated and worried because you have someplace to be, and you need to fix the problem fast. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long to jump-start a car. Find out what you need to do to safely jump-start your vehicle, so you can get back on the road quickly.

Equipment for Jump-starting a Vehicle

First, you need to make sure you have the right equipment to jump-start your car. You need jumper cables and a power source. The power source can be another vehicle or a portable jump box. If you use another vehicle, make sure that the voltage matches your car’s battery. For instance, if you have a 12V battery, the other vehicle needs to have a 12V battery as well.

Prepare the Vehicles

If you are using another vehicle to jump your car, you need to park it next to yours. Both vehicles need to be neutral, and the ignition needs to be off. Also, set the parking brake just in case. Once the cars are in the right positions, open the hoods.

Attach the Jumper Cables

Next, you will need to attach the jumper cables. Start by connecting the positive (red) clip to the positive terminal located on the dead battery. Then, attach the other side to the donor battery’s positive terminal. If you are using a jump box, you will attach the cable to it.

Then, connect the negative (black) clip to the jump box or the donor car battery. You then need to connect the other end to an unpainted metal portion of your vehicle. This should not be attached to the battery in any way.

Charge the Battery

Once everything is connected, fire up the donor car or let the jump box get to work. Idle the donor car for a few minutes and then open your car door. If the lights come on when you open the door, start your vehicle. If not, let the donor car idle for a few more minutes and try it again.

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Unclip the Cables

Keep your cars running and remove the jumper cables. This time, you want to go in the reverse order. Start by removing the black clip you placed on the unpainted metal and then move onto the black clip on the donor car. Next, remove the red clip you placed on the donor car’s battery, and finally, remove the last clip.

Keep your car running for at least 10 minutes, so the battery will have time to charge. Then, you should be good to go.

If your car doesn’t start after jumping it, you might have a bigger problem. It could be a dead battery or something more serious, such as a faulty starter or defective engine switch. Instead of dealing with costly repairs, you can start fresh with a new vehicle from Doug Henry Ford of Ayden in Ayden, North Carolina. Browse the inventory and pick out a nice new ride that will start right up when you slide behind the wheel.

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