Whether it’s travelling, buying groceries, or just soaking in the scenery, most of us spend a substantial amount of time behind the wheel. However, many of us are not well informed about car maintenance and repair fundamentals. If your car’s battery runs out, you may not be able to go home safely and may be stranded for several hours, so you must learn how to get out of that sticky situation. In this article, we will discuss how to properly jumpstart a car so you can help yourself and other drivers.
What are the steps to jump-start a car?
Before you can begin the process, you will need to ask the aid of another driver that can help you jump-start your car’s battery. When asking for assistance from people you don’t know, it’s very crucial to exercise caution and good judgement. You do not need to act out of desperation, do not rush and accept help from the first person that pulls over. Refuse to take help from anyone with whom you do not feel safe to be around. Also, it will always be a good idea to call a loved one or close friend to let them know where you are and what’s your current situation right now.
Here are several safety measures to keep in mind before you attempt to jump-start your vehicle:
- First and foremost, read your owner’s manual. To protect the electronic circuitry, your car’s manufacturer may recommend against doing a jump start on your vehicle.
- When a battery becomes frozen, please do not attempt to thaw it out.
- Jump-starting a battery that is damaged or leaks should always be avoided. This is something that professionals should handle due to the danger and potential damage it could cause you. At this point, you’ll need a new battery, so call a tow truck or someone who can help you bring your car to a mechanic.
- Check to see if the battery is dry. Check the fluid levels in each cell and add water as necessary. If you have questions or concerns, refer to your owner’s manual once again.
- If the battery has corrosion, use a wire brush, aluminium foil, or something other than your hands to remove it, as the chemicals can harm your skin. To protect your lungs from the dust, wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth.
- During the process of connecting the cables, never allow any of the clamps to come into contact with each other. Each participant should hold both clips on the cables separately.
Using these instructions, you can safely jump-start your car:
- Prepare your jumper cables. If you don’t have any, ask the driver assisting you if they brought theirs.
- Place both vehicles in park or neutral and turn off their respective ignitions. Apply the parking brakes on both cars as well.
- Connect the red (+) clamp to the battery’s positive terminal.
- Attach the red (+) clamp to the working battery’s positive terminal.
- Connect the black (-) wire to the working battery’s negative terminal. Then, attach the remaining black (-) on the exposed metal surface of the car with the dead battery.
- Let the working vehicle’s engine run for a few minutes, then try to start up the dead car, as well. There’s a chance the battery will power up, and the engine will start. Try turning the key again after letting the car run for another 5-10 minutes if nothing happens when you do so.
- To remove the jumper cables, go backwards from the sequence in which you applied them. Ensure that you drive your vehicle for around 30 minutes before stopping so that the battery can continue to charge. Otherwise, you may require a second jump start.
There are other techniques that can be used to start a car outside of jumpstarting your vehicle. One of the most popular would be the approach of hotwiring a car. In order to learn more about this technique, check out our “how to hotwire a car” article.