How To Jump Start A Car Battery Safely and Correctly

I’m glad I know how to jump start a car! It happened to me!!  I took my daughter to her volleyball tournament on a nasty day in February. Our minivan has automatic shut-off on the lights, so under normal circumstances there is little chance of getting a dead battery.

Except, if the nasty weather makes it just wet and dark enough that you should have your headlights on but, the headlights’ auto-on feature is set so that the lights won’t come on automatically in that light and you have to switch to manual mode to get them to come on!

how to jump start a car astro spo616 cablesThe wind had to be blowing over 40 mph and it was raining hard.  After the tournament was over, we went out to the car and found that the battery was too low to start the car.  The sunk and helpless feeling has to be experienced to be believed! Fortunately, our volleyball coach had an SUV and jumper cables nearby. Also, I know how to jump start a car. She was our guardian angel!  We hooked up the cables and the car started fine though in the time it took to jump the car, I got more soaked and colder than I can remember getting in February in Virginia!!

What if this happened to you?  Do you carry jumper cables with you or maybe even a jump starter?  Would you know the proper way to connect the cables to minimize sparking and get a safe and secure connection on both batteries?  In other words, do you know how to jump start a car safely? These days it is an angel of a person who will allow you to jump start your car using their vehicle’s battery.  With modern electrical systems and on-board computers, you can cause expensive damage to the donor car if you’re not careful.  Nothing will be less comforting to your guardian angel if they’re your cables and you don’t know what you’re doing!!

How To Jump Start A Car: The Steps

Follow the steps below to safely and securely jump start a car:

1. Jumper Cables:

Get out your jumper cables that you carry with you at all times…  Remember, if you don’t have jumper cables then your guardian angel has to agree to jump start your car and furnish the cables.

2. Battery Location:

You need to determine where the batteries are located on both vehicles. how to jump start a car battery location Hopefully, one of them is not in the trunk but, you never know.  If they are both under hood, then make sure you know which side of the vehicles both batteries are located…driver side or passenger side.  This is important, particularly where you have shorter cables, so that you will easily be able to reach both batteries with the jumper cables.

 

3. Personal Safety:

There are few situations more fraught with potential disaster than parking two cars facing each other with you standing between them.  Make sure both vehicles are properly placed with their batteries as close together as is safe and then make sure the engines of both vehicles are off and they are both in Park and the emergency brake set.

4. Connect First Red Clamp:

red insulated alligator clampThe order of connecting the cables is important so pay attention to the order.  Begin with your battery.  Connect a red clamp to the positive (POS or +) post or terminal of the battery.

5. Connect Other Red Clamp:

Connect the other red clamp to the positive post of the other vehicle.

6. Connect First Black Clamp:  

Okay, red is all done.  Next black.  Go to the guardian angel’s vehicle and connect the black clamp on that end of the cables to the negative (NEG or -) post or terminal of their battery.



7. Connect Second Black Clamp:

Almost there!  Now comes the tricky part.  You want to connect the black clamp on your end of the cable to an unpainted metal surface under the hood as far from the battery as you can.  Why is this tricky?  Often times it can be difficult to find an unpainted metal surface under the hood that will provide the proper ground for a good connection.  Sometimes you may have to grind the clamp a little on the metal surface to make a good connection.  CAUTION: Avoid as much as possible the urge to connect the black clam to your negative (NEG or -) post or terminal!!  Why?  You will almost always get a spark when connecting the black cable on your end.  That spark can ignite highly flammable gases that escape from the battery and cause an explosion.  It is rare these days but, still a concern.

how to jump start a car

 

 

8. Try Starting Your Vehicle:

how to jump start a car start with a keyYou will know if you have a good connection when you try to start your vehicle.  If your car still won’t start, adjust the black cable on your end until the connection is made.  Try to start it again.  If despite your best efforts and knowing you have a good connection, the car won’t start, with the cables still connected, ask your guardian angel to start their car and run it for approximately 5 minutes.  If your vehicle won’t start after that, you may have a battery problem.

9. Keep It Running:

If you’re able to start your car, don’t shut it off right away.  You need to run or drive it long enough to allow the alternator enough time to recharge the battery.  If after you have given the alternator enough time, the battery still doesn’t have enough charge to start the car on its own, you have a battery problem that needs to be taken care of.  This is all part of knowing how to jump start a car safely.

10. Disconnect Cables:

Now you can disconnect the cables, in the reverse order that you connected them.(a) First disconnect your black clamp from the metal of your vehicle.
(b) Next disconnect the black clamp from the other vehicle.
(c) Next disconnect the red clamp from your vehicle.
(d) Finally disconnect the red clamp from the other vehicle.

 

Top 5 Jumper Cables for 2013

Image
TitleAAA 4326AAA Heavy Duty 16' 6 Gauge Booster CableColeman Cable 08660 Heavy-Duty 4-Gauge Auto Battery Booster Cables with Polar Glo-Watt Clamps (20 Feet)Capri Tools Heavy-Duty Auto Jumper Cables - 20Ft Length - Heavy 4-Gauge Wire with Storage BagPit Bull CHIBC12-16A 16-Feet 4-Gauge Booster CableAstro SP0616 Smart Plug 6 Gauge 16-Feet Booster Cables
FeatureCables are Heavy Duty which delivers 100 percent more power than light duty cables
Cables are extra long at 16-foot
Fits top and side post battery terminals
Quality rubber insulation
400-Ampere color coded clamps
Fits top and side post batteries
Ergonomically designed handles
Engineered for warm and cold climates
Polar-Glo polarity labels glow in the dark
Made in America
Essential safety and security tool for every car and truck
20 feet in length, nice set of jumper cable
Plus extra-thick real 4-gauge copper plated aluminum wire
Heavy-duty spring-loaded steel clamps, PVC coated for safety; copper jaws provide sure connection
Avoid being stranded waiting for a tow truck
400 Amp
Heavy Duty Booster Cables
Tangle Free Cables for Easier Use
The Safest, Easiest Way to Jump-Start your car
LED illuminates when clamps attached to battery terminals correctly
Protects You and Your Car?s Electrical System while eliminating shocks and sparks
Built and tested in strict compliance to original Automatic equipment standards
Fits all batteries. top or side post terminals
Model4326AAA086600104CHIBC12-16ASP0616
WarrantyLimited Warranty: Manufacturer's liability is limited to product replacement or cash refund with proof of purchase within 1-year of purchase date.1 Year
Price$24.73$42.48$25.00$22.91$34.16
Rating4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars3.9 out of 5 stars5.0 out of 5 stars
ReviewsRead ReviewsRead ReviewsRead ReviewsRead ReviewsRead Reviews
LinkMore InfoMore InfoMore InfoMore InfoMore Info

Product prices and availability are accurate as of Jul 7 23:42:16 UTC but are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the merchant site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

 

Top 5 Battery Jump Starters for 2013

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TitleClore JNC660 'Jump-N-Carry' 1,700 Peak Amp 12-Volt Jump StarterClore JNC300XL 'Jump-N-Carry' 900 Peak Amp Ultraportable 12-Volt Jump Starter with LightSchumacher PSJ-2212 DSR ProSeries 2200 Peak Amps Jump Starter and Portable Power UnitSchumacher PSJ-1812 DSR ProSeries 1800 Peak Amps Jump Starter and Portable Power UnitClore ES2500 'Booster PAC' 900 Peak Amp 12V Jump StarterPowerAll PBJS12000R Rosso Red/Black Portable Power Bank and Car Jump Starter
Feature1700 peak ampere
Battery status indicator gauge
46 inch heavy-duty #4 cables
DC outlet to power 12 volt accessories
This item is not for sale in Catalina Island
900 peak amps and 225 cranking amp, with 27 inches of #4 gauge jumper cables
Full size clamps to penetrate battery corrosion
Equips with a high intensity work light
Note: This item is Hazmat and non-returnable
This item is not for sale in Catalina Island
2200 peak amperes, 330 cranking ampere and 275 cold cranking amperes
22 Ah professional grade, high output AGM battery
12 Volt DC power outlet
3 ampere built-in, automatic charger
Heavy duty clamp have replaceable copper jaws
1800 peak amperes, 280 cranking ampere and 225 cold cranking amperes
18 Ah professional grade, high output AGM battery
12 Volt DC power outlet
Built in automatic charger
LED indicators for charging, charged and battery status
900 peak amperes/300 cranking amperes
21" #4 gauge cables, Automatic recharging
Industrial grade, Hot Jaw clamps
This item cannot be returned and has additional shipping restrictions
This item is not for sale in Catalina Island
Portable battery charger with charging adapters for all major electronic devices
Compact car jump starter that can jump start your car 20 times on a full charge
Ultra-bright LED flash light, strobe light, and SOS signal light that lasts 120 hours
Built-in protection features: over current protection; short circuit protection; overload protection; over-voltage protection; over-charge protection
Portable compact design that will easily fit in your pocket, backpack, or glove box for convenience
WarrantyManufacturer
Price$124.75$64.95$131.32$104.77$110.99$99.95
Height5.1 inch7.25 inch15.15 inch12.25 inch11.3 inch1.25 inch
Weight18 pound5 pound21.47 pound18.35 pound19.8 pound1 pound
Width14.1 inch7.75 inch4.72 inch8.75 inch18.4 inch2.88 inch
Rating0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars
ReviewsRead ReviewsRead ReviewsRead ReviewsRead ReviewsRead ReviewsRead Reviews
LinkMore InfoMore InfoMore InfoMore InfoMore InfoMore Info

Product prices and availability are accurate as of Jun 22 7:06:42 UTC but are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the merchant site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Need to learn more about Jumper Cables?  Please check out our article Top 5 Jumper Cables For 2013!

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Be sure and thank your guardian angel profusely as it is a rare person indeed who will take the risk. Now you know how to jump start a car!

 





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