How Do I Jump Start a Battery?
The best time to learn about jump starting a battery is before you become stranded and need to know. These instructions should help you become familiar with the process. Once you've read through these instructions, print them and purchase a set of jumper cables. Then, keep these instructions and your jumper cables together somewhere in your vehicle or trunk, in the event you should ever need them.
- Pull the car with the good battery next to the vehicle with the dead battery, where the jumper cables will easily reach between the vehicles’ batteries. The cars should not be touching and both ignitions should be shut off. Prop open the hood of each vehicle.
- Visibly locate the batteries and their terminals. Each battery has two metal terminals. One is marked positive (+) the other negative (-). There are also positive and negative cables in the jumper set. The red one is positive, the black one is negative.
- Connect the positive (+) clamp of the jumper cable on the positive (+) terminal of the “dead” battery.
- Connect the positive (+) clamp of the jumper cable on the positive (+) terminal of the “live” battery.
- Connect the negative (-) clamp of the jumper cable on the negative (-) terminal of the “dead” battery.
- Connect the negative (-) clamp of the jumper cable on the negative (-) terminal of the “live” battery. OR, you may connect the negative (-) clamp of the jumper cable on the body of the vehicle (it acts as a ground). It can be the engine block or another metal surface away from the battery. This is the final connection.
- Start the car providing the jump start. Wait a moment, and then try to start the car with the dead battery.
- If it doesn’t start, wait a few moments and try again. If it still doesn’t start, you may need a new battery. Or your battery’s cable connections could have corrosion. If so, you will need to clean them. Every time a battery is discharged and needs to be jumped, it weakens the battery. After a few jump starts, you may want to consider buying a new battery.
- Remove cables in the reverse order that you put them on.
- Remove the negative clamp from the jumped battery.
- Remove the negative clamp from the live battery.
- Remove the positive clamp from the jumped battery.
- Remove the positive clamp from the live battery.
Remember: Print these instructions and keep them with your jumper cables in your vehicle.