In terms of frustrating scenarios, encountering a dead car battery when you’re in a rush to get somewhere has to be near the top of the list.
Fortunately, jumpstarting your vehicle is a relatively simple procedure. Follow these steps and your car will be up and running again in no time:
-Vehicle Owner’s Manual
-Second Car With Functioning Battery
-Work Gloves (Optional)
Before commencing your jumpstart efforts, be sure to consult your owner’s manual to see if there are any unique or specific instructions for your particular vehicle. Sometimes cars have unorthodox electrical systems and manufacturers recommend having a professional auto technician perform the jumpstart.
Also, you should inspect the battery to make sure it’s in good working condition, and isn’t cracked, frozen, leaking, damaged, etc. If there are any issues like these whatsoever, do NOT attempt to jumpstart your car and have an ASE-certified technician replace the battery.
In the event that your battery appears to be fine, keep your hood open and locate the terminals to determine which is positive (+) and which is negative (-). These terminals are typically covered by plastic (red for positive, black for negative).
After you’ve located the terminals, have the operational car you’ll be pulling juice from park next to the car with the dead battery, ensuring that your jumper cables can reach both batteries at the same time. Once the additional car is in place, turn it off.
Next you’ll connect the jumper cables to their corresponding battery terminals on the dead car. Positive (+) clamps on positive (+) and negative (-) clamps on negative (-). On the functioning car, connect the positive cable to its corresponding terminal but connect the negative clamp to an unpainted metallic surface (nut, bolt, etc.) that isn’t near the battery.
You should double check that all of this is in order before proceeding to the next step.
Once the cables are properly setup, start the vehicle providing power and keep it connected to the vehicle with the dead batter for 3-5 minutes. At this point, you should be able to start the dead car.
After both cars are running, detach the jumper cables in the reverse order you attached them in, being careful that they never touch while they’re connected to the batteries.
Now that your car has been jumpstarted, take it for a quick drive to complete the battery recharge.
If you have to perform a jumpstart on your car with any sort of regularity, it’s definitely time to replace your battery. If you have any questions about your vehicle’s electrical system, give us a call at 804-642-2440!