How to Jump a Car Battery

Jumping a car battery is a very basic skill that every driver should know and master, much like changing a tire. And yet, it's surprising that there are so many drivers who don't know the steps.

This basic skill can keep you safe, can save you tons of time and money, and can make sure that you never get left alone if your battery runs dead, which can happen to anyone at any time. Learn the step-by-step process for how to jump a car battery, and make sure that anywhere you are, you never get stuck if your car runs out of power.

How to Jump a Car Battery

The steps for how to jump a car battery are very straightforward-anyone can do it! All you need is a second car with a running engine, or portable jump-starters, and a pair of jumper cables. It's that simple! At its most basic level, the process of jumping a car is just connecting one battery to the other, and starting up the car. Let's break it down to the individual steps.

Position the Cars

The first step is to position the two vehicles so that the batteries are as close as they can be. Nose-to-nose is the best in general, but if you can't maneuver them that way, next to each other will often work. Remember to shut off both cars.

Locate the Batteries

A car battery is located near the front of the engine compartment, and will look like a large version of any battery, with clamps attached to two poles, which are generally labeled positive and negative. The clamps will likely be red and black as well (though not always). If this is the case, red is almost always positive and black is almost always negative. This will be important later.

Connect the Jumper Cables

Now, you want to connect the red clip of your jumper cable to the positive (red) terminal on the battery of the car that won't start. Then connect the red clip at the other end of the jumper cable to the red terminal on the car with the good battery. Do not let the black clamps touch the red clamps after they are attached to a battery.

Next, repeat the process with the black clamps-black to negative on the dead battery, and black to negative on the good battery. Some experts recommend that you instead connect the black cable going to your car to an unpainted metal surface like your car frame, rather than to your battery. This helps to ground the charge better.

Start the Working Car, Then the Car with the Dead Battery

Now that the batteries are connected, start the working car. Let it sit and run for a minute to allow power to flow into the dead battery. After a minute, turn the key on the car with the dead battery. It should fire up! If it doesn't, wait another few minutes and try again.

Get Your Car in for Service at Palm Coast Ford

If your battery dies, you should immediately get it in for service and a new battery, or at least to have your battery tested. If you're in the Palm Coast, Flagler County, or Bunnell regions, and you need help with jumping a car battery, call Palm Coast Ford today.

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