The remedy for a dead battery is not always to simply replace it. Sometimes, the solution is as easy as giving your car a jump start. It can safely be assumed that everyone who owns or operates a vehicle will come across this problem at least once in their life. However, what most people don’t realize is that knowing how to jump start a car is pretty easy.
Just follow the steps below:
1. Make sure that battery really is dead
You can carry out two simple tests to confirm that the battery is dead. First, check the headlights. If they are dimly lit, the problem really is a dead battery. The other test is to start the car and see what happens. If the car starts but produces strange sounds, the problem is not the battery. However, if the car does not start at all, then you have diagnosed a dead battery and should carry on reading following steps.
2. Find a car with a good battery
Once you find a car that has a working battery, park it close enough to the dead car so that you can connect the jumper cables to each car’s battery without straining the cables.
3. Turn off both cars
Turn off the ignition of your dead car, as well as the running car. As an extra precaution, you can take out the keys from the ignition.
4. Connect the jumper cables
When connecting the jumper cables it is very important to follow the steps as outlined below.
A. Connect one positive (red) terminal of the jumper cable to the positive (red) terminal of the dead car’s battery.
B. Connect the other positive (red) terminal of the jumper cable to the positive (red) terminal of the good car’s battery.
C. Connect one negative (black) terminal of the jumper cable to the negative (black) terminal of the good car’s battery.
D. Important: Connect the other negative (black) terminal of the jumper cable to a clean metal surface on the dead car; any surface under the hood that is clean and unpainted will work. Do not connect this end to the dead car’s negative terminal as it could very easily lead to sparking or worse.
5. Recheck your jumper cable connections
Before anything else, make sure that you have indeed connected the jumper cables as instructed.
6. Start the car with the good battery
Leaving the dead car turned off, start up the good car and let it run for a couple of minutes; around 3 or 4 minutes is good.
7. Start the car with the dead battery
Now you can start up the dead car; it should have already gotten the kick start it requires. Let it run for approximately 30 minutes.
8. Remove the jumper cables
Once the dead car starts, you can start removing the jumper cables. This should be done in reverse order of how the cables were connected.
A. Remove the negative (black) terminal from the car that had the dead battery.
B. Remove the negative (black) terminal from the car with the good battery.
C. Remove the positive (red) terminal from the car with the good battery.
D. Remove the positive (red) terminal from the car that had the dead battery.
Then, replace any terminal caps on the batteries that you may have had to unscrew when connecting the jumper cables.
A word of caution: do not let the jumper cable terminals touch you as they are removed. Also, do not let them dangle anywhere within the engine compartment.
9. Let your car idle
To give the previously dead battery a sufficient boost, run the car for a while longer. Congratulations, your work here is done.