Having jumper cables in your car is a good idea, but not knowing how to use them... not so good.  If you know how to use them then anyone can help you with a vehicle that works.  Learn in under 10 min how to jump start a car so you can be prepared next time the battery dies.

Having jumper cables in your car is a good idea, but not knowing how to use them… not so good.  If you know how to use them then anyone can help you with a vehicle that works.  Learn in under 10 min how to jump start a car so you can be prepared next time the battery dies.

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How to Jump Start a Car

  1. Get a car that runs and park it close to the car with a dead battery.  Be sure that the jumper cables will reach to both cars but that the cars are not touching.  Also check that both keys are OUT of the ignition.
  2. Find the positive (red) and negative (black) side on the batteries for  both vehicles.
  3. Untangle jumper cables.  There should be two ends, each with one red and one black.  Be sure to not let the ends touch each other.
  4. Starting with a red end, attach it to the positive side of the DEAD battery.  Make sure there is a good connection like show in the video.
  5. Place your black end (the ground) on a non metal surface.
  6. Head on over to the good battery.  Attach the red lead THEN the black lead.  Make sure you have a good connection.
  7. Next, head back to the bad battery and grab your black lead.  You want to attach this to a bare metal peace that is NOT moving, or part of the battery.  Watching the video Chris gives you some tips on how to find a good place to put your ground lead.
  8. Inspect all cables to be sure they have a good connection.
  9. Then, start the vehicle with the good battery and let it run for 2 min.
  10. Finally start the vehicle engine with the dead battery.  It should start running again.
  11. Remove the negative lead on the bad battery vehicle first, then remove the red.  Make sure they do not touch, or touch anything metal.
  12. Then on the good battery remove the black lead then the red one.

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What if the car still doesn’t start?

  1. The car didn’t start, but it “slowly drags”… let the car sit for 5 min (with cables attached), then try again.
  2. If the car seems close to starting “but needs a little more juice”, have the person in the car with the good battery rev up the engine while the person in the vehicle with the dead battery try to start the car again.
  3. If the car still does not start, or you hear a click.  Check all the connections or find a better ground.

In conclusion

Jump starting a car can be fairly simple, but there are some safety items you’ll need to be aware of.  Be sure to watch the video for some other safety tips.  I did not personally realize the safety precautions that were involved in jump starting a car.  I’m usually the person sitting behind the wheel turning the key when told.  Watch this 10 min video for better instructions.

How do you remember the order of the cables when jump starting your car?  Comment below.

Further Reading:

How to Fix a Flat Tire

Changing your Oil in your Car

Why do I need an Emergency Car Kit

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