How to Jump Start a Car

Jump starting a car is a skill everyone should have. You may have left your lights on, or maybe you’re just being a good Samaritan. Either way, jump starting a car can be quick and easy with a few simple steps:Engine Start

Jump Starting 101

1. Park both cars about a foot and a half apart, nose to nose. Be sure your parking brake is on, or for automatics, that your car is in park.

2. Make sure both cars are turned off–obviously the car that needs a jump will be off. Make sure neither car’s battery is not corroded or otherwise suspect. If either battery is corroded, take your car to a professional mechanic and have your battery replaced.

3. Find the positive and negative terminals on each battery. The positive terminals have plus signs and are colored red, and the negative terminals have minus signs and are colored black.

4. Identify the proper ends of your jumper cables. The positive and negative ends correspond with the red and black battery terminals.

5. Attach the red/positive jumper cable to the dead battery’s positive terminal.

6. Attach the other red/positive jumper cable to the live battery’s red/positive terminal.

7. Now attach the black/negative end of the jumper cable to the live battery’s negative terminal.

8. With the other black/negative end of the cable, attach it to an unpainted metal part of the car under the hood with the dead battery. Keep away from the battery itself, but attach the cable to to the engine block–preferably to an unpainted bolt.

9. Clear the area.

10. Start the car with the live engine’s battery.

11. Now start the car with the dead battery. If it turns over, let it run for a few minutes. If it doesn’t start the first time, let it set for another minute or two with the live battery car running. If it still doesn’t work, you’ll need to have your car towed to a qualified mechanic who can get to the root of the problem.

12. If the dead car runs, disconnect the cables in the reverse order of which you attached them. Always check your owner’s manual for manufacturer’s recommendations.

Contact Us Today

If you still can’t get your car up and running, call Performance Truck and Auto at (334) 245-6600. We’ll be happy to diagnose the problem.


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