Having a dead car battery is a frequent and frustrating condition that can happen to anyone. However, learning how to jump-start a car battery is an important skill that may save you time, money, and the aggravation of waiting for roadside assistance. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of jumpstarting a car battery.
What You Will Need to Jump Start a Car Battery
Before attempting to jump-start your car, check that you have the following supplies:
- Jumper Cables
- A functioning car with a charged battery.
- Safety gloves.
- Safety glasses (optional, but recommended).
- Position the vehicles
Park the working car next to the dead one while avoiding touching them directly. Make sure both cars are in park (automatic transmissions) or neutral (for manual transmissions) and turned off.
- Locate the battery and turn off all accessories
Some batteries are easily accessible, while others are located under or inside the fender. Some may even be in the trunk or under the seat, depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
Turn off all the accessories, including the inside light. If you have anything on, it may cause the battery to arc as you work on it.
- Move the two vehicles closer to each other, but do not let them touch
The car with a working battery should face the vehicle with a dead battery. Keep them apart. Make sure the cars are far enough apart so they don’t collide; about 18 inches is a decent gap. Remember to use the parking brakes on both cars so they remain completely still. and make sure both vehicles are off.
- Locate the battery terminals and attach your cables
The black cable will have a negative (-) symbol, whereas the red or positive wire will have a plus (+) sign. Do not proceed with the jump if your battery terminals are unclean. Use a toothbrush, a cloth, or a brush to remove corrosive debris, which can cause your battery to malfunction.
The Best Way to Connect the Jumping Car Cables
Here’s the proper order for putting jumping car cables:
First: Red (positive) (+)
- Connect the red wire to the dead battery: Secure the positive cable clamp to the dead battery’s positive terminal.
- Connect the red cable to the second car’s battery: Using the same cable, secure the opposite end of the red cable clamp to the positive terminal on the vehicle with the operating battery.
Then: Black (negative) (-).
- Connect the black cable to the working vehicle. Attach the negative cable clamp to the negative terminal of the car with a good battery.
- Avoid connecting the negative cable clamp to a malfunctioning battery.
- Attach the negative clamp to a metal part of the car. Make sure the metal part is free of paint.
Start the vehicle with a working battery.
Once you’ve connected the cords, start the vehicle with a good battery and wait. Remember that it may take a few minutes for the jump process to produce results.
Try to start the vehicle with a dead battery
Next, attempt to start the car with a dead battery. How long should it take to jumpstart a car? Expect to wait 10 to 15 minutes for your vehicle to start.
Disconnect the negative jumper cables, and then the positive cables.
Begin with the negative clamps and then remove the positive clamps. Remember that while linked to the cars, the clamps should never come into contact. If they come into contact, a spark may be produced.
How to disconnect Cables
When the dead car restarts, gently unplug the jumper cables in the reverse order of connection:
- Remove the black clamp from the previously dead vehicle’s metal surface.
- Disconnect the black clamp from the working vehicle’s negative terminal.
- Remove the red clamp from the functioning vehicle’s positive terminal.
- Finally, remove the red clamp from the previously dead car’s positive terminal.
Push the car
Push the car into motion with the assistance of a friend. Release the clutch quickly when you have adequate momentum.
Drive the Jumped Car
Drive your car for 30 minutes to allow the battery to charge. This way, your car will operate normally without the battery malfunctioning again.
What Happens If the Jump Start Fails?
While jumping a car is a straightforward process, it is not always easy, especially if you have done everything correctly but the car still won’t start. If your battery cannot keep a charge, you should:
- Keep the connections connected to allow the battery to recharge for longer periods.
- Check for signs of corrosion on the terminals.
- Check the starter motor for any signs of damage.
The reason for a failed charge is difficult to identify and can suggest an issue with:
- Faulty alternator or ignition switch
- Starter connection.
- Dead battery.
This last point is important. If all of the other components are working properly but your battery still won’t charge, it may be a sign that your battery has reached the end of its life. Continuing to try to charge a dead battery would be a waste of time and effort. If this occurs, the best option is to take your car to an auto shop.
Safety precautions to keep in mind.
- Avoid touching the metal clamps together
- keep the cables away from any moving engine parts.
- To avoid an accident, adhere to safety requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I connect to an unpainted metal surface?
It ensures a proper electrical connection because paint might block the passage of power.
Why should I wait before restarting my car with a dead battery?
Allowing the charged battery to transfer some charge to the dead battery results in a smoother start.
Should I keep both vehicles running once the dead car starts?
Yes, let both cars run for a few minutes to recharge the dead battery. Then, gently detach the jumper cables in the reverse order.
What happens if the car still doesn’t start after being jumpstarted?
If the battery is old or damaged, it may no longer hold a charge. In such instances, you should seek assistance from a professional or replace the battery.
Knowing how to jump-start a car battery is essential for avoiding being stranded with a dead vehicle. You can revive a dead battery and continue your travel by taking the proper steps and remaining safe. Keep jumper cables in your car, follow the instructions carefully, and put safety first.
Remember that jumpstarting is only a temporary solution, so solve the underlying issue, whether it’s an aged battery or an electrical fault. Regular maintenance and care of your vehicle’s battery can not only prevent future breakdowns but will also provide a smoother and more reliable driving experience.