When you’re in a hurry, the last thing you need is to jump into your car, try to turn your ignition, only to find you have a dead battery. We hate to see you struggle like this, so here’s a handy guide on how to give your car battery a jump start.
What you will need?
First, you’re going to need the right tool for the job, and secondly, you’re going to need a working car to jump-start from. We recommend using jumper cables – affordable and easy to pack away into your garage once you’re done. Note the gauge of the cable – the lower it is, the stronger and thicker the cable – gauge six is standard. Ranging from 10-20 feet in length, longer cables may save you from moving the car with the dead battery, but it also means the energy has further to travel. Shorter cables will save you losing power.
Ensure all small children are a safe distance away from the engine when jump-starting. Be sure to read your vehicle’s manual before you start too – some vehicles require extra steps. If you’re unsure, please contact a professional for advice. Remember, the jumper cable is transmitting electrical current, so be extra careful in making sure the metal clamps only ever connect to their target. You’ll need a pair of protective glasses too to protect you from any sparks.
Preparing to Jump-Start
Park the working car about 18 inches away from the other vehicle (never allow the vehicles to touch), with both facing each other. If you have automatic transmission, the vehicle will need to be in park, whilst manual transmission will need to be in neutral.
Ensure both cars are turned off, with keys removed from the ignition, and parking breaks are on.
Ensuring the metal clamps do not touch each other, set the jumper cables on the ground.
With the hoods of the cars open, locate their batteries and battery terminals. Your vehicle’s manual will direct you here. You will generally be looking for two terminals, red or black, with a + or – sign on top. Make sure your terminals are clean to ensure that you can clearly see which is which.
Using your Jumper Cables
Ensuring a solid connection, attach the red, positive cable clamp to the positive battery terminal of the dead battery.
Next, attach the positive cable clamp on the other side of the red cable to the working vehicle’s positive battery terminal.
Now connect the black, negative cable to the working battery’s negative terminal. If the battery’s negative terminal is not accessible it is possible to use an unpainted, metal part of the vehicle, like a clean nut on the engine block.
Charging your Battery
Start up the working vehicle.
After about a minute, depending on the age of the battery and how long it’s been dead, try starting up the dead car.
If the car still won’t start, give it another minute or two before trying again. You could also try giving the working car’s engine a rev.
Once the dead car is running, remove your jumper cables, disconnecting the black, negative cable clamps first, and ensuring the clamps still do not come into contact with each other whilst any part is attached to a car.
Take your vehicle for a quick drive. This allows the vehicle’s alternator to charge the battery, so that it doesn’t die when turned off.
Still No Joy?
If your car still fails to start, or starts but dies again, there’s something more going on. If your battery’s older than 4-6 years, then that’s most likely it, otherwise you could have a problem with your starter connection, ignition switch, fuses, or there could be battery corrosion or a faulty alternator.
Hopefully this guide will have your car up and running again, but if you’re still having problems locating the source, we recommend contacting a professional to get to the root of the issue.
If you need help with any automotive issues, contact our professional team today on: 01626 888600 or email: email@example.com