How to jump-start a car battery: Key tips

  • Jump-starting is considered one of the quickest solutions to start a car when the battery is dead and the vehicle is required to be able to move.
Jumper cable
Jumper cable is an important tool that can save you in case your car battery gives up.
Jumper cable
Jumper cable is an important tool that can save you in case your car battery gives up.

Being stranded at the roadside because of a dead car battery is one of the worst nightmares of any car owner and driver. Think of a situation. You are planning a long drive to a destination with your family on holiday and suddenly, right before leaving you find the car is not starting. It could be because of a dying battery. If you hear a clicking sound while trying to start the engine, the lights dimming or the power windows working too slowly, these could be signs of a dying car battery.

Think of a situation where you are running late for an important meeting or event. You jump into your car, twist the key and hear the unusual sound of click-click-click-click-click. That is the unnerving sound of a dead battery and that too exactly when you are in a hurry.

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Such a situation when you are unable to take out the car for your planned road trip or important meeting is uncalled for. However, without wasting much time worrying about the situation, it is better to find a solution and a quick one could be jump-starting the car.

Jump-starting is considered one of the quickest solutions to start a car when the battery is dead and the vehicle is required to be able to move. While it may sound critical, the process is not that complicated. All you need is a second vehicle that is running with a good battery and jumper cables. Also, you need to work with caution to make sure you don't damage either the car's battery or get injured in the process. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to jump-start a car battery.

Park the second car close

You need a second car with a good battery to jump-start the battery of the car with a dead battery. Park the second car nose to nose or in a position where the batteries of the cars are closest to each other. But, remember the cars should not touch each other.

Locate the batteries and their terminals

The majority of the cars come with their batteries located in the engine bay. However, some cars come with their batteries located at unusual places even in the engine bay that is hard to reach. Make sure you locate the batteries and their terminals before starting the process. The battery terminals are clearly marked with + (positive) and - (negative) signs. To be sure, check the colour of the wires connected to the terminals. The positive terminal comes with a red wire connected to it, while the negative terminal gets a black wire. The jumper cable's clamps too come colour-coded in red and black.

Connect jumper cables to battery terminals

First, make sure the good car's ignition is turned off. Now, take one end of the cable and connect the red one to the positive terminal of the dead battery. Take the black clamp and set it down on the ground or on a plastic part. Make sure it is not touching any metal parts of the car. Now, take the other end of the jumper cable and connect the red clamp to the positive terminal of the good battery. Then, connect the black clamp to the negative terminal of the battery. While doing this, make sure none of the jumper cables' four clamps are touching one another. Next, find a bare unpainted metal piece under the hood of the car with the dead battery and attach the remaining black clamp to it.

Start the engine of the good car

Start the engine of the car with a good battery and let it idle for two or three minutes. This will allow the dead batter to gain some charge. Now, try to start the car with a dead battery. If it doesn't start right away, turn the key to off and let the other car continue to idle for 10-15 minutes and try again. It should work by now. However, in case, the car doesn't start, then the battery is probably beyond repair and needs a replacement. Also, it could be a sign that there is an issue with the alternator.

Disconnect the jumper cables

If the jump-start process worked and your car has started, leave it running, which will allow the car's engine to charge the battery itself. Now, disconnect the jumper cable carefully. For this, first, remove the negative clamp from the bare metal connection under the hood of the car. Then remove the red clamp from the positive terminal and don't let the clamps touch each other. Place them on the ground with clamps separated. Now, remove the red clamp from the good battery and finally the black one.

How to jump-start a car battery: Key tips
Step 1 :

Park the second car close

Step 2 :

Locate the batteries and their terminals

Step 3 :

Connect the battery terminals with jumper cable

Step 4 :

Start the engine of the car with good battery

Step 5 :

Disconnect jumper cable

First Published Date: 31 Dec 2023, 14:15 PM IST
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