How to jump to start your car
Knowing how to jump start your car may just save you from what could be a very frustrating experience. The most irritating time many car owners do not want to get into is that of a car that will not start when you seriously need to drive to a place. There are many reasons that could make a vehicle not to start. It is always important to have a rough idea of the problem so that you do not struggle to jump start your car when the problem is actually not with the battery. It is very essential to verify that the car is failing to start as a result of battery failure and not any other electrical or technical fault.
Learning how to jump start a car will depend on two main things. After establishing that the battery is actually the reason behind its failure to start, you should check out the vehicle’s transmission system. Manual vehicles will require different method as compared to automatic cars. For owners of automatic cars, many will simply require that you get another battery that is tested to have the voltage and current that your vehicle needs to start. If you cannot get another battery within range, you can simply talk to another motorist to assist you by helping you jump start the vehicle.
Make sure both batteries are the same voltage (most batteries are 12 volts) and the same polarity (both have a negative ground). You can check this information in your owner’s manual in your glove box.
Jump start your car
Pull your cars close enough to each other to connect the cables, but never let the vehicles touch. This could cause a short.
Shut off the ignition switch, lights and accessories in both cars. Be sure the vehicles are in park or neutral and that the parking brake is set. Wear safety glasses.
Don’t smoke. Sparks near a battery can cause an explosion.
If the weak battery is frozen, don’t try to jump it! It could explode. You can tell if it’s frozen by looking through the inspection cap to see if the water is frozen. One or more sides of the battery case will bulge if it’s frozen.
Make sure you can identify the positive and negative terminals of both batteries. Also be sure you’ll have enough room to clamp to the cable terminals. The positive terminal is most likely connected to the car’s starting/charging system with a red cable that has a plus sign. The negative is connected to the engine of the vehicle and usually has a minus sign.
Clamp the positive (red or yellow) cable to the positive terminal of the weak battery. Make sure the other end doesn’t touch any part of the car’s engine or body or you could get a dangerous spark.
Clamp the other end of the positive cable to the positive terminal of the good battery.
Clamp the negative cable (black) to the negative terminal of the good battery.
Clamp the other end of the negative cable to a clean metal part of the engine (like a bolt head or bracket) in the car with the weak battery. Keep the clamp away from the battery, any moving parts and fuel system.
Now start the car with the good battery, let it charge the weak battery for 5 minutes, then try to start the car with the weak battery. If it doesn’t start, shut off both ignitions, make sure the cable clamps are making good contact and then try it again. When the car with the weak battery starts, wait (about 15 minutes or so) to make sure it doesn’t stall.
Disconnect the cables in the reverse order: First remove the negative cable from the car you jumped, then the negative cable from the car with the good battery. Then remove the positive cable from the car with the good battery (don’t touch a grounded part of either car with the clamp of the positive cable). Finally, remove the positive cable from the car with the weak battery. Remember, both engines will be running (with any luck!). so work carefully as you remove cables to avoid belts, fans and other moving parts.
If it won’t start, make sure that the cables are properly connected and have the good Samaritan run his or her engine for five minutes. Then try to start your car again. If it won’t start, your battery may be beyond help.