If you’ve never done it before, the thought of having to jump start a car battery can be a bit intimidating. First, there are those incredibly scary looking cables with clamps on the end that look a lot like torture devices. Second, there’s the car battery itself, which doesn’t exactly look like your average harmless D-cell. But as it turns out, jump starting your car’s battery is actually a very simple procedure that can kick your car to life long enough for you to take it to a repair shop and have it recharged or replaced.
Here’s how to jump start a battery in 10 easy steps.
1) Enlist the help of someone willing to lend their perfectly healthy car to jumpstart your dead battery. Once you’ve accomplished this sometimes difficult task, position the cars so they’re facing each other and pop the hood on both. Be sure the engine is off in the car you’ll be using for the jumpstart.
2) Remove the plastic battery terminal covers from both batteries.
3) Take those scary looking jumper cables in hand and remember: positive to positive, negative to negative. With this in mind, connect one positive cable clamp (red color) to the positive battery terminal on the dead car. Positive and negative are indicated directly on the battery with the symbols + and -.
4) Connect the other positive cable clamp (also red) to the positive battery terminal on the car with the working battery.
5) Connect the negative cable clamp (black) to the negative battery terminal on the car with the working battery.
6) Connect the other negative cable clamp (also black) to any solid metal part under the hood of the car with the dead battery. This serves as a safe “ground.”
7) Turn on the car with the working battery.
8) While one person revs the engine in the car with the working battery, turn the key in the car with the dead battery. The borrowed charge from the operational battery should give it enough of a boost to start it.
9) Keeping the engine running, remove the battery cable connections in reverse order. Start by removing the negative ground on the formerly dead battery. Next, remove the negative clamp from the booster car’s battery, followed by the positive clamp from the booster car. Finally, remove the positive clamp from your jumped battery.
10) Don’t turn off your engine. In order for it to recharge fully, you should leave your vehicle running for at least a half hour before turning it off – otherwise, it may not start again and you’ll need to do it all over again.
Often, a simple jump start and an extended period of time running may be enough to fully recharge your battery. If you find you’re needing to jump start your car battery again soon after, your best bet is to have a professional take a look. Use Openbay to compare pricing from top repair shops in the area, and book service with the click of a button.