How to Jumpstart a Car

jump start car

With the arrival of the cold winter months, the chances of you finding your car battery to be dead are increased. A handy way to re-start the battery is a jumpstart, using jump leads attached to the dead battery and one from a working car. It’s important to know how to correctly jumpstart a car to ensure you do not put yourself in danger.

First, check the battery. Do not attempt to jump start it if the battery looks damaged, or is leaking. Make sure the battery is dead before jump starting the car, rather than the problem being due to another issue. You can tell it’s not dead if headlights are still bright, no lights flicker on the dash, or if the ignition cranks quickly.

Locate the battery

It should be obvious where the battery is once you open your car bonnet, but for reference, most car’s battery is located at the front of the car. The battery will have a positive and a negative terminus marked with + or – signs; it’s important to take note of the terminals in order to connect your jump leads to the right place.

Park the working car near the ‘dead’ car

Make sure both cars are in neutral, and close enough to attach the cables but not touching. If two cars are touching whilst jumpstarting one a dangerous electrical arc could be formed.

It’s also important to make sure all electrical components are switched off on both cars e.g. lights, fans, radio, engine, to avoid any sparks or dangerous currents.

Connect jumper cables

The cables should be connected in the following order:

One end of the red clamp to the positive terminal of the dead battery

The other end to the positive terminal of the good battery

One end of the black clamp to the negative terminal of the good battery

The other end of the black clamp to a piece of grounded metal on the dead car (e.g. the bolt where the negative cable from the battery connects to the chassis)

Ensure the cables are not touching each other, or in contact with any moving parts before starting the working car.

Start the working car

Turn on the ignition for the working car, and let it idle for a few minutes. You could rev it a little above idle for 30 seconds and a time, which will help to charge the battery in the dead car. Waiting a few minutes to charge the dead battery before switching it on is essential.

Start the dead car up

If the car doesn’t start the first time, retry after a few minutes to ensure it is charged enough by the working car. If the car doesn’t start, there may be a bigger problem than just a dead battery.

Remove the jumper cables (once the car starts)

This should be done in reverse order to which they were attached, and it is important that you do not let any of the cables or clamps touch each other while you are doing this.

Disconnect the black clamp from the grounded metal on the ‘dead’ car (which should now be running!)

Disconnect the other end of the black clamp from the working car

Disconnect the red clamp from the terminal on the good battery

Disconnect the red clamp from the ‘dead’ battery

Keep the engine of the ‘dead’ car running

It’s important to keep the car running for approximately 30 minutes after jumpstarting it to ensure the battery charges enough to start again the next time you try. Either run the car above idle, or better yet, take it on a drive to keep the engine running.

It’s important to have your car serviced regularly to prevent breakdowns such as a dead battery occurring, potentially leaving you stranded or without a car!

Here at Fast Fit Express, our expert team carry out the essential checks that can spot any issues with your car, and also help extend the life of your vehicle.

Contact us today for more information, or to book your car in for a service now.

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