One of the absolute most frustrating things is to jump into your car and learn that you have a dead battery, exactly when you need to get going and on the road. Luckily there just a few items that you need and a few steps to follow to get your car up and running again.
- Jumper Cables
- Vehicle Owner’s Manual
- Additional Car With Functioning Battery
- (You may also want to add work gloves to the list, but that is optional)
Before we go ahead and get started, make sure to check your owners manual first for any specific instructions on jump starting your vehicle. Different cars can have different electrical systems and some manufacturers may even advise against jump starting the car yourself.
Also, inspect the battery to make sure it is in good working condition, and isn’t frozen, leaking, cracked, damaged, etc. If this is the case, do not attempt to jump start your car. Take your car to a shop and have an ASE certified technician replace the battery.
Here are the steps to jump starting your car:
Step #1) Open the hood of the vehicle & inspect the battery as we discussed above. If need be, refer back to your owners manual to determine exactly where and how you can open your hood.
Step #2) Find the battery terminals and determine which terminal is positive and negative. Your battery should have two terminals, a positive, which can be indicated by a + sign and may be red, and a negative, indicated by a – sign and is black. These battery terminals may be convered by plastic covering the metal under it.
Step #3) Park the additional car next to the vehicle with the dead car, ensuring that the jumper cables can reach both batteries at the same time. Turn off the additional car you will be getting power from.
Step #4) Connect the jumper cables:
- Connect the positive end of the jumper cable to the dead batteries positive terminal.
- Connect the other end of the cable to the additional vehicles battery, first connecting the positive cable clamp to the positive terminal.
- Connect the negative clamp on the cable to the same kind of negative terminal on the additional working battery and car.
- Finally, connect the black (negative) cable clamp to some kind of metal surface on the engine block of the car with the dead battery. Look for some kind of nut or bolt that helps with the clamp on the cable.
Step #5) Double check all of your connections to make sure they are secure
Step #6) Start the additional vehicle and keep them connected for at least 3-5 minutes. Once you have done that, try to start your own car, with the jumper cables still connecting the vehicles. Try again after a few minutes if the first attempt at starting your car doesn’t work.
Step #7) Now that the car with the original dead battery is running, disconnect the cables in reverse order that you attached them, black cables first. Never let the cables touch each other while they are connected to any batter.
Step #8) Take the newly started car for a short drive to recharge your once dead battery.
If you do find that you have to keep jumping your battery, you may need a new one. Take your car in to a certified shop to have it inspected by an ASE technician. Contact us online or call us at to have your car inspected right away at 336.294.2137