There are numerous reasons why a car battery may go dead. Leaving the headlights, interior lights, air conditioning, or the radio on when the car is not running can lead to battery failure. But, batteries can also die from cold temperatures, or not using the vehicle for an extended period of time. Whatever the reason, a dead car battery can be frustrating and inconvenient. Fortunately, when that happens, you can jump-start your car fairly easily, if you just follow a few simple tips:

Tools

Before you begin the process of jump-starting your car, you will need jumper cables and another car with a good battery.

1) Set Up

  • You should start by parking your car facing the front end of the other car, and put on the emergency brake on both vehicles.
  • Turn both cars off, so that you don’t damage the cars’ electrical systems.

2) Connecting The Cables

  • Examine the batteries in both cars and identify the positive and negative terminals.
  • Once you find the “plus” and “minus” side of each battery, attach one end of the red cable to the positive terminal of the dead battery
  • Attach the other end of the red cable to the positive side of the good battery
  • Take the black cable and connect one end to the negative terminal of the good battery
  • Connect the other end of the black wire to any metal part under the hood of the car with a dead battery, preferably a section near the engine, that is not painted.

Ensure that the cables have a strong and secure connection to the metal on the terminals.

3) Starting Your Car

  • After you have connected the jumper cables, start the car with the charged battery
  • Let the vehicle run for approximately 3 minutes
  • Then, start the car with the dead battery
  • You may have to turn the key a couple of times before the engine starts

4) Disconnecting the Cables

  • Once you manage to turn the engine on, disconnect the cables from both cars’ batteries
  • Make sure the prongs on the black and red cables don’t come in contact in the process
  • Let the engine of the boosted vehicle run for about half an hour, so the battery can be recharged.

Jump-starting a car’s battery is a simple procedure, but it is important to remember to connect each cable to the correct terminal of each battery.
To protect yourself from other vehicle issues, make sure you are covered with auto insurance.
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Last updated on Tuesday, November 27 2018.

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