How Do I Jump Start My Car?

September 19, 2019 2:02 am Published by Leave your thoughts

It never happens at a convenient time, but it happens—you get in your car, buckle up, put the key into the ignition and… nothing. Maybe you left your lights on, or it was just the end of the road for this battery, but if you’re going to move the car, you’ll need to jump your battery.

Hopefully, you carry jumper cables in your car. Jumper cables are large, thick cables that have alligator clips on each end. They have positive (red) and negative (black) ends. Once you’ve got that sorted, you’ll also need a power source—either a jump box (a portable power source) or a Good Samaritan’s car battery. At this point, you’re ready to get started with this fairly simple DIY auto repair in Port Charlotte, FL:

  1. Read the owner’s manual: Always check your owner’s manual before you attempt to jump a battery. Some cars have circuitry that’s too sensitive to survive the jump. In that case, you’ll need to replace the battery.
  2. Check power: Ensure that the donor car battery has a matching voltage to the dead battery (6V is not compatible with 12V, for example), and that the battery is not low.
  3. Bring cars nose to nose and turn them off: Have each car face each other, put them in park and turn off the ignitions.
  4. Connect the cables: Each car battery has a positive and a negative terminal, which are usually marked with +/POS or -/NEG. You’ll connect the cables in this order:
    1. Red to dead: Connect the red clip to the red, positive terminal on the dead car.
    2. Red to donor: Connect the red clip to the red, positive terminal on the donor car.
    3. Black to dead: Connect the black clip to the negative terminal of the dead car.
    4. Black to metal: Pay attention—this is different! Connect the other black clip to an unpainted metal part of the car not next to the battery.
  5. Start the donor car: After you’ve started the donor car, let it idle for a few minutes to power the dead battery.
  6. Test the lights: Test the interior lights of the dead car. If they turn on, the battery probably has enough power to start.
  7. Start the dead car: If the car starts, allow it to run 10 to 20 minutes without stopping.
  8. Disconnect the cables in reverse order: To disconnect, follow the reverse order: black clip on unpainted metal, black clip on the negative terminal, then the red clip on the donor car. Finally, remove the red clip from the dead car.

If the car isn’t able to start after the first attempt, try again. If you’re still unsuccessful after three attempts, the battery is probably too far gone to start.

When you’re in dire need of a replacement car battery or need any type of auto repair in Port Charlotte, FL, come to Ice Cold Auto Repair. Our highly-skilled team of ASE-certified technicians all have years of experience with all the issues your car might develop. Stop by or contact us today to see how we can help you!

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