Jump-starting A Car

Have you ever been burdened with a dead battery in your vehicle? Most of us have experienced the pain of going to start our cars and getting nothing but a rapid-paced click, or nothing at all. A dead battery can happen at any time, and having the right knowledge and equipment is essential to get back on the road in an emergency. Jump-starting a car is a skill that every driver should know in case they’re ever stuck with a dead battery, so in this blog, we’ll be diving into How to Jump-start Your Car.


Why do car batteries die? Car batteries have a lifespan in which they will work as intended, typically four to seven years. After that, they’ll start to lose their ability to hold a charge. A car battery will also lose its charge if something draws power from the battery after the vehicle is turned off. This can be something as simple as leaving a light on, but can also be very intricate like a power draw from a module or radio. You may also notice a greenish/teal-colored corrosion over the battery terminals or wires, which should be cleaned off because it can affect the battery connection. Whatever the case may be, it is important to find the source of the dead battery so it doesn’t continue to happen, and you don’t get stranded again. 


Before attempting to jump start a car, you'll need a few things. This includes jumper cables OR a jump starter, which is a battery pack with little jumper cables attached to it. We recommend that you carry a set of jumper cables or a jump starter in your car in case of emergencies. If you have a set of jumper cables you will also need another car with a fully charged battery to hook them up to. Carrying safety gear is never a bad idea either, and a set of gloves and safety glasses will help keep you safe if you ever need to jump-start your car. It is also important to mention that you should never touch the metal parts of the jumper cables together, as it will create sparks and possibly damage your battery. Before using them, inspect the cables and battery carefully for damage. Trying to jump start a car with a damaged battery or cables can result in injury or further damage to your vehicle.


Step 1.) Locate the battery.

You’ll first need to locate the battery. It is usually under the hood, but in some cars can be in the trunk, or under one of the seats. Once the battery has been located, you’ll need to differentiate between the positive and negative battery terminals. The positive terminal is marked with a plus sign and will also usually be marked red. The negative terminal will be marked with a minus sign and is usually marked black. If the jumper cables or pack are incorrectly attached when you try to jump it, then you will most likely short the battery and kill it for good.


Step 2.) Attaching the jumper cables/jump starter. 


Remember reading about the positive and negative terminals? The jumper cables, or cables coming off of the jump pack, will also be marked positive or negative. Start by connecting one end of the red cable to the positive terminal of the dead battery, and the other to the positive on the live battery. Then connect one end of the black cable to the negative terminal on the live battery, and the other end to the negative on the dead battery. The black cable, which is the ground, can also be connected to an unpainted metal surface of the motor or chassis under the hood. Once everything is connected, make sure the connections are strong before moving forward. If you are using a jump pack, all you need to do is connect the correct positive and negative cables to the battery and make sure the jump pack is turned on and ready to use.

Step 3.) Jump-starting the car. 

Now that everything is ready to go, the vehicle can be jump-started. If cables are being used, it is best to start the other vehicle first. Let it run for a few minutes to help charge the dead battery, then try to crank the dead vehicle over. If it doesn’t start on the first try, don't fret. It may take a few tries to get the dead car to start. When it does start, you can remove the cables and close the hood, but KEEP THE CAR RUNNING! Letting the car run after it starts for at least 15 minutes will give the alternator time to recharge the battery so it doesn’t just die again.

With a jump pack, all you need to do is start the vehicle. Once it starts, you can disconnect the jump pack, close your hood, and be on your way! If the vehicle still doesn’t start after trying it a few more times, unfortunately, it may be time to call for a tow and seek professional help to diagnose the issue. Jump-starting a car can be a straightforward process when done correctly, but it's crucial to follow these steps carefully to avoid damage to the vehicle or injury to yourself. Knowing this skill can help you out of a situation and save you both time and money when you get stuck. Again, we highly recommend keeping a set of jumper cables or a jump starter easily accessible in your vehicle in case of an emergency. While we hope you don’t find yourself in a situation where you’ll need to use this information, we also hope this gives you more confidence in handling such situations effectively. If there are any questions or concerns we ask that you please reach out to us so we can help clear them up! Thanks for reading!




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