Ultimate Guide to Jump Starting a Vehicle

It is a situation no one wants to be in, but you may one day have to deal with a car with a dead battery. Hopefully you are not too far away from an auto shop where you can get a new battery, quickly. In the meantime, a good Samaritan might be able to assist you in jump starting your car or truck.

Determining If the Battery Is Actually Dead

A jump start is not going to do you any good if something else is to blame for why your car is unable to start. One way you can test this is to try to start the engine. If you hear a cranking sound, then a dead battery is not the problem. Trying to start the engine and being greeted by a series of clicks, or no sound at all, is a sign that the battery is dead or at a low charge.

Following the Steps

During this occasion, it is incredibly helpful if you have your own pair of jumper cables. Otherwise, you are just going to have to hope that anyone who stops has a pair. Here are the steps to follow in order to effectively jump start your automobile.

  1. Make sure the cars are facing each other and they are both in “Park.”
  2. Turn off the ignition for both cars.
  3. Attach one of the jumper cable’s red clamps to the positive component of your car’s battery. You can tell which is positive because it will have either “+” or “POS” on it.
  4. Attach the additional red clamp to the positive component of the other vehicle’s battery.
  5. Attach a black clamp to the negative (-) part of the other car’s battery.
  6. Attach the remaining black clamp to the negative battery terminal of your vehicle, or in some cases, the vehicle will have a jump start lead designated under the hood for this.
  7. Start the other vehicle. Let it run for several minutes.
  8. Attempt to start your car.

If your vehicle does not start the first time, then make sure all the clamps are properly attached. Readjust if necessary, and ask the person to keep going for a few more minutes. Once your car’s engine starts, do not shut it off. Try to get your vehicle to a service center or auto parts store where your battery can be tested and/or replaced as soon as possible.

A battery can die for any number of reasons. Someone willing to lend a helping hand can be a real lifesaver. In the event you simply need a new battery, then get it from a professional auto repair shop promptly.