How to Jump Start a Car

By Product Expert | Posted in Tips and Tricks on Friday, November 8th, 2019 at 7:30 am
Jumper cables on battery with How to Jump Start a Car in text to the right

Step-by-Step Instructions for Jump Starting a Vehicle

There’s nothing worse than getting ready to leave for work in the morning and making your way outside to find that your vehicle won’t start. You can tell it’s a problem with your battery if the dome light didn’t turn on when you opened the door, the radio doesn’t turn on when you put the key in the ignition and the engine cranks slowly when you turn the key. If your car isn’t experiencing those symptoms, but it’s not starting, check out common truck starting problems and solutions. Luckily, you can revive your vehicle with a jump start, so grab your jumper cables, call up a friend with a vehicle and read the steps below.

Precautions before JumpingRusty jumper cables on a battery

It is important to inspect both batteries to help make sure neither the cars nor individuals jumping them are injured. Make sure the battery being jump-started isn’t corroded, leaking or frozen. Next, check the voltage on the batteries and make sure they match, so you want a 6-volt battery jump-starting another 6-volt battery, as mixing voltages could cause damage to both vehicles. Also, make sure you do not connect the alligator clips to each other.

Read more: How Often Should You Replace Your Brakes?

How to Jump a Car

  1. Turn off both vehicles after they are parked either side by side or with hoods facing each other with their hoods open
  2. Locate the battery and the terminals or nubs on the battery’s top, both should be marked indicating which is positive or negative
  3. Attach the red jumper cable to the positive terminal on the vehicle with the dead battery, and then the donor car
  4. Attach the black jumper cable to an unpainted surface on the car with the dead battery and the negative terminal of the dead car
  5. Put both vehicles in neutral, start the donor car and allow it to idle for several minutes
  6. Start the dead car and let it idle once started
  7. Disconnect the black clip from the dead car, then the black clip from the negative terminal on the donor car, followed by the red clip from the donor car and lastly, the dead car’s battery
  8. Allow the previously dead car to run and recharge its battery

After you run your vehicle for several minutes, head to your destination and make sure you have all doors closed and lights off. For more tips, check out our blog!