Beginner’s Guide to Jump Starting a Car Safely
There are certain skills in life everyone should have if you want to live a more stress-free and simple life. One of these is knowing how to jump a car. This might seem like something unrelated to less stress, but jump starting a car yourself means you don’t have to call someone to solve the problem for you.
The feeling of your car not starting when you turn the key will sink anyone’s heart. But, if you remember the easy steps to safely jumping a car you can be off and driving in no time. You won’t need to call anyone and can still get wherever you were going on time!
Jump Starting a Car Takes Two Cars
First, you’ll need to get a second gar and move both cars in place so each car’s battery is within reach of the other. You can eyeball this or do a quick test with the jumper cables, but make sure not to touch anything with the jumper cables and shut off both cars before testing. When you’re in position, double-check to make sure both cars are off and then grab your jumper cables.
How to Use Jumper Cables
Jumper cables and a second car are the only tools you’ll need when jump starting a car. The first rule for using jumper cables is safety. Try to make sure you don’t have either of the clamps dangling as you connect the other one to reduce the chance of injury. Then, follow the below steps to connect the jumper cables:
- Connect one red clamp to the positive terminal (+) on the dead car’s battery
- Connect the opposite red clamp to the other car’s positive terminal (+) on the battery
- On the good car, connect one black clamp to the negative terminal (-)
- Connect the other black clamp to any unpainted metal surface in the engine compartment of the dead car to ground the connection. This can be anything from a bolt to a solid crossbar.
Ensure everything is connected firmly and the second black clamp isn’t near to any parts that might move on the engine. You want to be confident the clamp will stay in place when the car starts.
Start the Car
Jumping a car consists of transferring the power from one good car’s battery to a dead one. In order to make sure this works, you need to start the car with the good battery first. If the dead car has had a dead battery for a while, it might be good to let the good car run for a couple minutes before moving to the next step.
Once the good car is started, you can start the dead car. It should catch and start up right away and if it hesitates, you can try lightly tapping the gas pedal as well. If this doesn’t work after a few tries, you should stop immediately. You can let the good car run for a little while longer and then give it another try.
If the car still doesn’t start, the batter might be totally dead or there could be a problem with the starter. Figuring out exactly what’s wrong might be tricky, so it might be best to bring your car to a professional in this case.
Safely Disconnect Your Jumper Cables
Once your car is back up and running, you’ll need to remove the cables. Disconnect the cables in the reverse order as you previously connected them, so start with the black clamp on the unpainted metal surface. You should be extra careful when doing this and make sure only touch the handle of each clamp. After you remove all the clamps, you should be all set and can happily drive away! Make sure you either drive or have your car idle for about 15 minutes, to ensure the battery gets a full charge.
Hopefully, you’ll be glad you don’t have to go spend the money on a new battery and feel accomplished about solving the problem yourself!
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