A blue car jump-starting a red car

How to Jump-Start Your Vehicle

Steps to Take When Jump-Starting a Vehicle

Almost all of us will be in a situation someday where either we need our vehicle jump-started or we need to help someone else jump-start their vehicle. It is good to know the mechanics of how to jump-start a battery, so you can be better prepared. Follow these steps so you are ready to tackle that dead battery.

Tips Before Attempting to Jump-Start a Vehicle

There are some things you are going to want to consider before attempting to jump-start a vehicle. First, check the owner’s manual to ensure the vehicle is safe to jump-start. Some vehicles have a sensitive circuitry and should not be jump-started. Check the condition of the battery. Do not attempt to jump-start a battery that has cracks, leaks, visible damage, or is frozen or dry. Get in the habit of not touching the clips together at any time.

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Steps to Jump-Start a Battery

Jumper cables attached to a donor battery in a car

Place the car with the dead battery and the car with the donor battery side-by-side. Lift the hoods and grab your jumper cables. You are going to want to attach the cable clips in a certain order. First, place the red positive clip onto the positive terminal of the dead battery. Then, place the red clip onto the positive terminal on the donor battery. Next, the black negative clip should be placed on the negative terminal on the donor battery. Finally, the black clip should be placed on an unpainted metal part of the car with the dead battery. This should not be placed near the battery. One of the metal struts holding the hood open will work.

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Now, the donor vehicle should start its engine so the power can be transferred to the dead battery. Idle the donor car for a few minutes. Test the interior lights on the car with the dead battery. If the lights turn on, there may be enough of a charge to start the dead battery. Attempt to start the vehicle with the dead battery. If the vehicle starts, remove the clips in the reverse order they were placed onto the vehicles. Allow the car with the dead battery to run for 15 to 30 minutes. It is best to take the vehicle for a drive, rather than letting it sit and run.

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