How To Jump A Car: Simple Steps To Bring Your Car Battery Back To Life
Dead batteries are one of the most common vehicle problems. Even if you learn basic car maintenance in driver’s education, starting a car isn’t something everyone learns to do. Having the right emergency kit is a great start, but you have to know how to use it. So here’s what you need to know about how to jump a car.
What do you need to know how jump a car?
Jump-starting a dead battery is something almost every driver will have to do at least once. Before you can recharge and get going, here’s what you’ll need to start your car:
*Power source: either a portable jump battery (a jump box) or another vehicle
Jumper cables are long, thickly insulated cables with serrated clips on one or both ends. The clips are distinguished by color, usually red and black, to indicate positive and negative polarity. The red clip is positive. The black clip is negative.
Jump boxes are portable batteries used to start a vehicle with special jumper cables. These cables connect the booster battery directly to the car’s dead battery. Roadside assistance typically uses a jump box when helping stuck vehicles.
How to use jumper cables to connect a car to another vehicle
Most people don’t have a charged jump starter in their vehicle (although it’s highly recommended), so bringing a dead battery back to life usually requires a jump start with another donor vehicle and a pair of jumper cables.
It is not too complicated, but it is necessary to know the steps to follow and how to connect the cables to guarantee the safety of everyone and the vehicles. This is what you must do!
Step 1 – Prepare the vehicles how to jump your car
using jumper cables
Before you do anything, make sure the battery you’re making the jump to has sufficient voltage and is the proper voltage system type (12V, 6V, etc.). If everything looks good, position the donor vehicle so that the vehicles are side by side or next to each other. Vehicles must be close enough for jumper cables to reach each battery.
Now do the following:
Put both cars in park or neutral.
Turn off ignitions.
Put on the parking brake.
Open the hoods of the car and secure them.
Step 2 – Connect the Jumper Wires
With everything in place, it’s time to put the jumper cables back in place and get your vehicle running again.
Attach the clips to the terminals in the following order:
Red to Dead: Connect the positive (red) clip to the positive terminal of the dead car battery.
Red to Donor: Connect the positive (red) clip to the positive terminal of the donor battery in the other car.
Black to donor: connect the black clip to the negative terminal of the donor car.
Black to Metal – Attach the black clip to an unpainted metal part of the dead car that is not directly next to the battery. One of the metal struts that holds the hood open is a good place.
Step 3 – Start the Donor Vehicle
Now that everything is connected, it’s time to start the donor vehicle so it can supply power to the dead battery. Let the donor vehicle run for a few minutes.
Step 4 – Test the dead battery
After a few minutes, check one of the interior lights on the car that is jumping. If it continues, power is getting to the battery.
Step 5 – Jump Start the Dead Car
Start the car with a discharged battery. Hopefully everything goes as expected and the vehicle can be driven again.
Step 6 – Release the Jumper Wires
Now that the vehicle is running, you can release the jumper cables in the reverse order that you connected them:
The black clip on the unpainted metal.
The black clip of the negative terminal.
Donor car red clip.
Red dead car battery clip.
It is best to let the vehicle run non-stop for at least 10-20 minutes to get the battery back up and running.
What if the car won’t start after the jump start?
If the dead car won’t start after a few minutes of charging, check the connections and try again. If the car does not start after several attempts, the battery may be too discharged to be able to jump start.
What you need to know about batteries to start a car
Car batteries have two larger protrusions, called terminals. There is a positive terminal and a negative terminal. Each must be clearly marked. It is important to connect the wires to the terminal correctly to complete the circuit and power the discharged battery.
Positive Terminal: The positive terminal is usually the larger of the two terminals. It is marked with “POS” or “+”. It will connect to the positive clip of the jumper wire, which is usually red.
Negative Terminal: The negative terminal of the battery is usually marked “NEG” or “-“. This will be attached to the other clip, which is usually black.
As long as you have it and you have a couple of jumper cables, you should be able to get the battery up and running again.
Important safety tips for fast boot
Read the owner’s manual. Some cars are not recommended for starting because they have sensitive circuitry.
Never try to jump batteries that are corroded, cracked, leaking, or visibly damaged.
Never try to jump frozen batteries.
Never try to jump dry batteries.
Don’t touch the clips together.
For more safe driving tips and defensive driving information, check out the idrivesafely.com blog.
how to jump a car
Jump starting a car is commonly done from another car, although it can be done from an auxiliary battery. You will connect the batteries of the two cars with the jumper cables. Make sure the cars are the correct distance apart so the jumper cables reach each battery. Pull the cars so they are lined up side by side or side by side.
Protect donor battery
To ensure that the car that donates a charge (the donor car) is protected, take these precautions:
Match the system voltage type of the donor battery to the depleted battery to be jumpered. For example, a 6V and a 12V should not be used together.
Connect the alligator clips in the correct order.
Make sure the donor battery is not low.
The order of the connection (red to dead, red to donor, black to dead, black to metal) reduces the chance of shorting out the good battery.
A quick test that there is enough voltage for the donor, make sure the starting car headlights are stable and bright when the car is started. If the headlights dim, that may indicate a low battery.
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