Repair & Maintenance
How to Jump Start a Car
positive to positive,
negative to negative.
battery gives up. At other times the charging system just fails,
in which case you're out of luck.
But more likely,
you simply parked the car and forgot to turn off the lights, draining
whatever power your battery has stored up for the trip home.
Hey, it happens.
When it does,
a good pair of heavy gauge jumper cables stored in the trunk becomes
a lifeline to getting back up to speed, either for yourself or for
a fellow-traveler who's stuck on the side of the road with a dead
Before you try
jump starting a car, think safety:
to jump start a damaged battery can result in serious injury from
possible acid explosion or resulting fireworks. If the battery
casing is cracked or bulging slowly back away from the vehicle
and call a tow truck.
bad science experiment is when "hot jumper cable meets FROZEN
car battery". In cold weather, it's a disaster waiting to
and other reasons, never lean directly over the battery while
connecting the cables, and wear goggles if you have them.
or allow sparks or flames near a car battery.
How to jump
start a car
cars turned off, position them front-to-front or parallel, and
open both hoods.
the positive and negative terminals on each battery and connect
one RED clamp from the jumper cables to the POSTIVE (+) terminal
on the dead battery.
the other RED clamp to the POSTIVE (+) terminal on the live battery.
one BLACK clamp to the NEGATIVE (-) terminal on the live battery.
the other BLACK clamp to a ground somewhere on the engine block
away from any moving parts. DO NOT CONNECT THE SECOND NEGATIVE
CABLE TO THE SECOND NEGATIVE TERMINAL of the dead battery unless
you want to see flying sparks.
start the disabled car. If it doesn't, start the engine on the
live car and allow the battery in the disabled car to charge for
a few minutes.
the disabled car again. Once the car starts, disconnect the jumper
cables in the exact reverse order, being careful not to touch
the clamps to each other or anything else on the cars.
jumped car to idle for 15-30 minutes to allow the battery to charge
completely before getting back on the road.
jump starting a car around the Web:
- Jump Start a Car
see -> How
to replace an air filter | How
to change a car battery
to do an oil change | How
to change a tire
For informational purposes only. For complete expert advice,
see your car dealership or professional auto mechanic.