Jump Start a Car

Use jumper cables to jump start a car.

Cold weather slows things down, including automobile batteries. Using jumper cables to start a dead battery is safe and easy if you follow these steps:

Step 1: Position a working vehicle next to the stalled automobile so that the distance between the two batteries is minimal. Do not allow the vehicles to touch in anyway.

Step 2: Turn off both vehicles and securely prop the engine hoods open. Check the dead battery for cracks or leaks before proceeding. If a problem exists, do not jump start the car.

Step 3: Untangle the jumper cablesand hold the four cable ends carefully, making sure the clamps do not touch each other or anything else.

Step 4: Clamp the red cable end to the positive (red) battery post of the dead battery.

Step 5: Clamp the remaining red cable end to the positive post of the working battery.

Step 6: Clamp the black cable end to the negative (black) post of the working battery.

Step 7: Clamp the final black cable end to a shiny, non-painted metal piece within the engine of the stalled vehicle. There is a good chance that sparks will fly when the final clamp touches the metal. Choose a piece of metal that is some distance from the battery to avoid any possible explosions. Clamping the final black cable end to the negative post of the dead battery should only be done as a last resort.

Step 8: Confirm that each clamp is securely fastened to the metal portion of the battery posts.

Step 9: Start the engine of the working vehicle and allow it to idle for 2-3 minutes. Revving the engine a few times is helpful.

Step 10: Try to start the stalled vehicle. If the battery is still too weak, turn the key off and allow the working vehicle to idle for another few minutes.

Step 11: Once the problem vehicle has started, remove the jumper cables by detaching the clamps in reverse order. Remove the black clamp from the problem vehicle, then the black clamp from the good battery, followed by the red clamp on the good battery and finally the red clamp from the problem battery.

Allow the originally stalled vehicle to run for at least thirty minutes before turning the engine off. If the problem persists the battery may need to be replaced or there maybe bigger issues under the hood.

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