How to Jump Start a Car
If you own a car it’s a great idea to learn how to jump start it in case of a flat battery. Of course, a flat battery can happen unexpectedly and jump starting your car may be the only option available to you.
The good news is, it is not too difficult to jump start your car. Anyone can do it, including you!
In case you’ve found yourself with a flat battery or you want to help a friend who has a flat battery, here are the steps to take. Before you can kick-start the process, you need to get another car in good working order and with the same battery voltage.
Make sure the two cars have their handbrakes on while their ignitions are switched off. Then, turn off all electrical systems in the car with flat battery.
Open the bonnets of the two cars. Use the manual to locate the levers for the bonnets in case you can’t find them. The two vehicles should be parked very close to each other without touching.
Now, attach one of the red clips of your jump cables to the positive terminal of the car with flat battery. You can identify the positive terminal with a ‘+’ sign, or a ‘POS’.
Then, attach the other red clip to the positive terminal of the car with working battery.
You can now take one of the black clips and attach it to the negative terminal of the flat battery.
This time around, you will attach the other black clip to an unpainted metal surface in the car with the working battery. This should be somewhere away from the battery. You can attach it to one of the metal poles that hold the bonnet open.
Get in the working car and start the engine. Leave the engine to run for a few minutes.
After waiting for a few minutes you can get into the other car and try starting it. Once it starts, don’t turn off the engine! Try driving around for about 30 minutes to help the battery recharge.
If the car with the flat battery doesn’t start, check the connections. You can repeat the entire process again if you are unsure. If it fails to start after this then you should contact your breakdown provider to check for other possible faults.
How to Disconnect the Cables
Whether you’re able to start the car or not, it’s important to also learn how to safely detach the jump cables. Take the following steps:
- First, disconnect the black jump lead on the unpainted metal surface.
- Then, disconnect the black jump lead on the previously flat battery (hopefully, it starts).
- Now, disconnect the red jump lead on the original working car.
- Finally, disconnect the red jump lead on the previously flat battery.
Safety and Things to Consider During the Process
- Please note that you can only jump start your car with another car with the same voltage. Don’t attempt jump starting a car with an alternatively fuelled vehicle. Using a hybrid or electric car can cause damage to your car.
- Please ensure that no metal objects like rings or other jewellery touch the terminals on the car’s battery.
- If there is any form of damage to any of the two batteries, please do not attempt to jump start.