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How to Jump a Car Battery

Friday, June 15, 2012

Image Courtesy of Flickr

Every driver should have a set of jumper cables in their car in case they need to jump start a car’s battery. Many drivers have jumper cables but are unaware how to properly use them. The following steps will help you understand the correct way to use jumper cables.

1. Assess the Situation

Before using jumper cables on your car’s battery, you first need to make sure your battery is the problem with your car starting. A car with a dead battery will make a clicking noise but won’t start when the key is turned. However, if electrical accessories come on but the engine doesn’t start, a dead battery is not normally the problem.

2. Prepare the Cables

Find someone with a charged battery and a few minutes to spare who is willing to help you jump start your car. Make sure the jumper cables are fully unraveled. Pay attention to the black and red colored clips at the ends of each cable.

3. Position Your Car

Next, park your car directly in front of or next to the car with the charged battery. You don’t want to overreach your jumper cables, so make sure you are close enough to the other car that your jumper cables will easily reach. Open the hoods of both cars and use the bar to safely keep both engines uncovered.

4. Red Clips

Always attach jumper cable clips to the metallic part of the terminal. Secure one of the red clips to the positive terminal of your dead battery. If you are unsure which of the two terminals the positive one is, look for a clearly marked plus sign. Attach the other red clip to the positive terminal on the fully charged battery.

5. Black Clips

Connect the black clip to the negative terminal of the charged battery. The negative terminal will be somewhat smaller and be marked with a minus sign. Take care not to be touching anything metallic and ground the other black clip to the engine block of the engine with a dead battery. Some sparks may appear, do not be alarmed.

6. Start the Car

Start your car with the help of the connected charged battery. In the event your car doesn’t start, double check the jumper cable connections. Once the car is running disconnect the clips in opposite order, starting with the grounded black clip and finishing with the red clip on your battery.

Properly using your jumper cables will ensure your safety during a jumpstart and get your car started effectively.