A Step-by-Step Guide for Jumping Your Car Battery
If you’ve ever had car trouble, you know how stressful it can be to struggle without a working vehicle. And from time to time, even the most careful people will leave their car’s interior light on overnight, only to wake up to a lifeless automobile. No matter your gender or age, if you drive a car, you should know how to properly jump start your battery. With the help of a good samaritan, you can follow our handy guide to get yourself back on the road and on with your life:
What you will need: A second working car, jumper cables, hand & eye protection.
Step 1: Keep away from traffic and bring the two cars nose to nose. Be sure both cars are turned off, with their brakes on, and open each car’s hood.
Step 2: Verify that both batteries have the same voltage. If your car is 12 volt, use another 12 volt battery. Decide which terminals are positive and negative on both batteries. A “+” indicates positive and a “-” indicates negative. The positive terminal is also typically wider.
Caution: Do not touch the metal portion of the jumper cable clamps to each other or any other part of the car except for the appropriate terminals from this point forward.
Step 3: Look at your jumper cables and determine which are positive and negative. They are typically marked with colors or symbols to help you keep track of the separate wires.
Step 4: Attach one end of the positive cable to the positive terminal of the dead battery. Then attach the other end of the positive cable to the positive terminal of the working battery. Finally, attach one end of the negative cable to the negative terminal of the working battery.
Caution: From this point your cables are live. DO NOT touch the remaining metal clamp portion to anything, anyone, or any other part of the car except for the negative terminal of the dead battery.
Step 5: Attach the final end of the negative cable to a metal section of the engine, such as a racket or block, and keep it away from any moving parts.
Step 6: Be sure that everyone is away from the engine compartments. Get into the driver’s seat of the good car and start the engine, allowing it to run for two minutes. Rev the engine very slightly by lightly pressing on the gas pedal.
Step 7: Start the engine of the dead car. It may take more than one try, so don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t initially start up.
Once you’re finished, remove the jumper cable from the vehicles in the order you attached them: the negative clamp attached to the previously dead vehicle, both clamps from the working vehicle, and finally the positive clamp from your formerly dead battery. Finally, be sure to keep the car with the jumped battery running for at least twenty minutes to charge.
See, it is relatively easy to jump start your vehicle’s battery. By following these directions and the proper safety precautions, your car should be up and running again in no time at all.