When you’ve got places to be, the worst thing that can happen is your car failing to start. In many cases, the cause is a dead battery. All you need are some jumper cables and a friend with a car and you will be back on the road in no time!
Before you begin, check the dead battery for low electrolyte levels and top with distilled water if necessary. If the case is cracked, you will need a replacement battery. If the case is bulging or frosty, the battery is frozen and will need to be thawed in a warm place; jump starting a frozen battery may cause it to explode.
Here is the step-by-step process for jump-starting your car:
- Position the two vehicles to allow the jumper cables to reach each car’s battery, but make sure they are not touching. Complete steps 2-6 for both vehicles.
- Remove the key from the ignition. If either car has a keyless ignition system, the smart fob should be at least 10 feet away from the vehicle before connecting the cables.
- Set the parking brake.
- Turn off all factory-installed electrical systems (radio, lights, heater and air conditioning).
- Disconnect any aftermarket electrical accessories (radar detectors, cell phones, stereo amplifiers).
- Look for the positive and negative terminals on the discharged battery and the booster battery.
- Install one end of the positive jumper cable, the one with the red clamps, to the positive terminal of the dead battery.
- Install the other end of the positive cable to the positive terminal of the booster battery, the battery in the other car.
- Install one end of the negative jumper cable, the one with the black clamps, to the negative terminal of the booster battery.
- Connect the other end of the negative cable to the ground point of the car with the dead battery. This may be the engine block or an accessory bracket, and should be as far from the battery as possible. NEVER connect the negative jumper cable to the dead battery.
- Try starting the car. If the engine seems to be running too slow, stop cranking and start the other car to avoid draining both batteries, and try starting the car again. After it starts, run it idle for at least 30 seconds.
- Turn on the headlights and heater blower motor to provide a path for any voltage spikes to travel through when disconnecting the cables.
- Remove the jumper cables in the opposite order they were installed.
- Turn off the headlights and heater blower motor.
- Get back on your journey!
Courtesy of The Car Connection