Staying Safe While Connecting Cables
A dead car battery can leave you stranded and be a real headache. But if you carry jumper cables or a jump box in your trunk and know how to use them properly, your problem is solved. Once your engine is running, and if the battery is still good, the alternator will recharge it. If the car battery is bad, at least you can drive to an auto parts store to buy a replacement battery. Often, stores will install a car battery for free.
Jump-starting a car is easy, but you should do it with caution. Since the car battery is located in the engine compartment, where flammable gases may be present, a spark could set off a fire. So while you’re hooking up the weak battery to the live battery in the booster car, you’ll want to do it without creating any sparks. Connecting the jumper cables in the right order will minimize the chance of sparking. With this in mind, here is a step-by-step guide to jump-starting a car.
It’s important to make sure the metal ends of the jumper cables do not touch each other or any metal surfaces on the car until they are connected to the correct battery terminals. This is more difficult than it sounds. Under the hood, most areas are metal. If two people are available to jump-start a car, one person can simply hold the ends of the jumper cables safely separated while the other person moves between the cars, making the proper connections. One person can jump-start a car, but it requires close attention.
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Bring Your Dead Battery Back To Life
Your car battery is an essential piece of your vehicle, providing one of the most important functionalities: starting the car. In most traditional vehicle types – that is, cars that run on gasoline – the battery is an SLI, a starting, lighting, and ignition battery. Itâs primarily used to start the engine, but also powers auxiliary components of the automobile including the lights and radio. Once the engine is running, the majority of the energy used to power your car is generated by its alternator. But turning the car on is an essential function of the car battery, a function without which the car is rendered pretty useless. When you turn the key and hear some sputtering, or maybe nothing at all, but the engine fails to start, a dead battery is probably the culprit.
A variety of things can cause your battery to die: cold weather, leaving your lights on for too long, or of course, an old or dysfunctional battery. Regardless, a jump start can sometimes do the trick to solve all your battery troubles – or at least get your car started so you can drive it off to the mechanicâs shop and figure out what the bigger issue is. Jump starting your battery yourself requires some special tools and a little bit of knowledge – but never fear, this guide will tell you everything you need to know!
You can jump start a car either using a portable jump starter, or with the help of another vehicle.
The safest order to attach the jumper cables is as follows:
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After you have parked the vehicles next to each other, turn off the ignitions, put on the parking brake, open the hoods of the vehicles, and attach the cables.
Once you’ve attached the cables, which we explain below, start the working vehicle and, after about a minute, try starting the car with the dead battery.
If this doesn’t work, leave it running for up to five minutes, but turn the engine off if the lead gets too hot.
Once your car is running, leave the engine running for a couple of minutes to charge the battery.
Then simply remove the leads in reverse order to how you attached them and make sure they don’t touch each other, or any metal surfaces.
How To Prevent Your Battery From Dying
Of course, its optimal to keep your battery from dying at all. This isnt always possibleeventually, every battery dies outbut there are some things you can do to prolong your battery life for as long as possible.
Battery life is something you can extend through regular, preventative maintenance. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment for a battery test, we invite you to reach out to your nearest Meineke service location today. Ask us how we can help you keep your vehicle battery in good working order!
This could be a part of bigger problem.
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How To Jump Start A Car With A Spare Battery
If you dont have the jump leads or another car, dont worry. Here is another quick method through which you can jump-start a car with a dead battery. In this quick method, a boost battery is tipped upside down to a dead battery to start the car.
You only need a powerful spare battery. Try to find a maintenance-free and spill-free battery with a crack-free casing. It is because, in this method, the car is jump-started with the powerful spare battery is flipped upside down to a dead battery, so that the liquid inside the battery does not spill out.
Step By Step Procedure Of Jump Starting The Car By Tipping The Battery Upside Down
Step 1. Get Into Condition
Turn the ignition switch to an open position and turn off all the accessories such as radio, roof light, headlights, etc.
Step 2. Tip The Battery Upside Down
Place the tip of the boost battery upside down on the cars dead battery in such a way that the red terminal of the boost battery becomes properly lined up to the red terminal of the dead battery. Similarly, the black terminal of the boost battery lined up to the black terminal of the dead battery.
Step 3. Start The Car
Now you should turn the ignition key to the start position. The car should start. Remove the boost battery from the car and run the car for 15-20 minutes to charge the dead battery
Where To Buy Jumper Cables
You can buy jumper cables at your local hardware or auto parts store. For instance, Autozone or Advance Autoparts generally keep jumper cables in stock.
If you are looking for a certain brand or voltage, you can always try shopping online.
The US army has , including a list of eight essentials to keep in the car.
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How To Jump Start A Car With A Portable Jump Starter
You dont need to be an expert to carry out a jump start, just follow the proven method above and you should get the desired results.
The rest of this guide will take you step by step through the above method in much more detail. I have also researched which methods others use for useful tips and documented the main safety aspects talked about by the experts.
Whenever you work on batteries, there are certain risks involved so I highly recommend that you read the Battery Safety Section below.
How To Charge Your Cars Battery
Car batteries dont last forever, and if yours dies, it can leave you stranded. Thats why its important to know how to safely charge a car battery.
Charging a car battery can be dangerous if its not handled correctly, so its essential to know exactly how to handle the task before you begin. You can charge your car battery using either a portable car battery or jumper cables. Well cover both in this article.
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Stay Safe And Keep The Lights On
We know that it can be intimidating to have to jump your car. Especially if you need to ask a stranger in a parking lot or on the side of the road thats something even seasoned car gurus have trouble with.
We hope that you can use this guide to feel a little more confident and get your car to a shop where the problem can be fixed quickly and painlessly. After all, it concerns your safety and comfort, and we want as much of that for you as possible.
Locate The Battery Terminals
It’s time to locate the positive and negative battery terminals, to which you will be connecting the jumper cables momentarily. As shown in the above illustration, the terminals are clearly marked with a “+” and a “-” sign. The positive terminal is often covered by a plastic cap . FYI, the wire running from the car to the positive terminal is red the wire to the negative terminal is black. The jumper cable’s clamps are color coded in red and black as well, so it’s easy to know what goes where as you get set for the jump-start.
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How To Connect A Car Battery To A Portable Jump Starter
It is important to know how to connect a portable jump starter in the correct way to avoid harm to yourself or damage to the car battery, or even the car itself.
A wrongly connected jump pack can cause a fire or battery explosion at the very worst, or damage to the cars electrical system.
The above examples are very worst case scenarios and I have known many people that have connected both jumper cables and jump boxes in the wrong manor with no damage caused but it is always better to lean on the side of caution.
To connect a potable jump starter correctly, you must first read the instructions that came with your portable jump starter or jump box.
It is essential to check that the output of your jump box matches the battery of your car, usually 12 volts. Passing 24 volts into a 12 volt battery could cause it to heat up, catch fire, explode, or could cause damage to it.
The instruction manual that came with your jump starter will explain these specifics.
You should also read the manual for your car as in the very rare event that your car has a positive ground, the instructions for attempting a jump start will be different.
Be aware that some car manufacturers do not recommend jump starts and any damage caused could be void of any warranty.
Make sure that the ignition on your car is off and that your power pack has been switched off.
Your portable jump starter should have two jumper cables. They may be permanently attached, or they may need to be connected first.
Before You And Your Helper Begin The Jump
- Read your owners manual, first. Your manufacturer may advise against jump starting a vehicle due to sensitive electronic circuitry.
- Dont try to jump a frozen battery.
- Do NOT jump a battery that is cracked or leaking. This is very dangerous. You will need to purchase a new battery at this point, so call a tow truck or a friend that can help you out.
- Ensure that the battery isnt dry. Check individual cells for fluid levels and add water accordingly. Check your owners manual for details and warnings.
- If there is corrosion on the battery, try to clean it off with a wire brush, aluminum foil or anything but your hand as the chemicals can be damaging to your skin. Be sure you cover your nose and mouth to avoid inhaling the dust as it is a lung irritant.
- Once you begin the process of hooking the cables up NEVER allow any of the hook-up clamps to touch. Each person should hold an end of the cables and keep the two clips separate .
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Store Your Jumper Cables And Thank The Other Driver
Return your jumper cables to their storage area in your car and prepare to drive away. It is a good idea to drive your vehicle for at least ten to fifteen minutes before you turn the ignition off again. Depending on how low your batterys charge is or if the battery isnt holding a charge, it may be necessary to drive directly to an auto parts store to purchase a new battery for your vehicle.
If you are unable to access a pair of jumper cables or find someone to help out, roadside assistance is the next best option.
Inspect The Condition Of The Cables After The Jumpstart
Before you put away your set of jumper cables, carefully inspect them.
If the cables are warm or even hot, its an indicator that the cables are probably broken and in poor quality. You should not use them again and replace them as soon as possible.
Cheap cables are usually made of poor quality copper wires and cannot withstand high or even medium electric power running through them. Stay away from cheap jumper cables and always buy thicker and more expensive ones with high-grade copper inside.
This way you can use them for a long period of time without worrying when it will spoil.
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By Step Procedure To Jump Start A Car With Portable Jump Start
Below is the step-by-step procedure of jump-starting a car without another car through a portable jump starter by yourself.
Step 1. Be Ready
Do not smoke near the battery. Make sure the car is away from flammable material.
This is a DangerKeep the dangling clothes, jewelry, bracelet, face away from the battery.
Step 2. Make The Connections
- Put the positive lead on the batterys positive post and negative lead on an unpainted clean car frame or engine block .
- Make sure the jump starter leads are firmly connected.
- Turn on the jump starter.
This is an InfoYou can connect the jump starter negative lead to the cars dead battery negative terminal, but engineers dont recommend it. The chances are it could spark and cause a fire.
Step 3. Power The Ignition
Now crank the engine for a short time. It should start in the first attempt. If it doesnt start, then wait for a few minutes to try again.
This is a TipYou do not need to crank the engine for a long period of time, it could damage the starter motor and also rapidly discharge the portable jump starter.
This is an InfoThe portable jump starter does not charge your cars battery but rather provides the necessary amperage to the starter motor to crank the engine and start it.
What To Do After Jump Starting
After the engine starts, turn off and remove the jump starter. Let the car run for 15-20 minutes to charge the battery.
How To Attach The Jumper Cables
Attaching jumper cables is something that not every driver knows how to do.
However, it is fairly simple. All you have to do is follow the steps below:
- Red to Dead – Connect the positive clip to the positive terminal on the battery of the dead car.
- Red to Donor – Connect the positive clip to the positive terminal on the donor battery on the other car.
- Black to Donor – Connect the black clip to the negative terminal of the donor car.
- Black to Metal – Connect the black clip to an unpainted metal part of the dead car that is not directly next to the battery. One of the metal struts that hold the hood open is a good spot.
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How To Jump A Car
Jump starting a car is commonly done from another car, although it can be done from a jump battery. You will be connecting the two cars batteries with the jumper cables. Make sure cars are in the right distance to have the jumper cables reach each battery. Pull the cars so that they are either nose-to-nose aligned or side-by-side.