How to Jump-Start a Battery
A dead battery is another common inconvenience that many drivers will encounter in their lifetime. And unlike changing a flat tire, this one requires a little help from your friends. So, if you don't want to call a tow truck and you have a willing helper, here's how to get some life back in your car battery. Pay special attention to the connection order - that's one of the most common and overlooked causes for unsuccessful jump-starts.
Before you start
You'll need jumper cables, so if you don't have any, you may want to make sure your helper brings them. When your helper arrives, have them park close enough to your vehicle so that you can connect the jumper cables to the batteries with plenty of extra slack. Most cables are about six feet long. You should also check your owner's guide for details about your vehicle battery location and terminal placement.
- Open both vehicle hoods and locate the batteries.
- Remove any terminal covers and corrosion.
- Attach the positive (red) jumper cable to the positive (red) terminal of the dead battery. Make sure that both metal clamps are firmly in contact with the terminal.
- Attach the other end of the positive (red) jumper cable to the positive (red) terminal of the assisting battery.
- Attach the negative (black) jumper cable to the negative (black) terminal of the assisting battery.
- Attach the remaining end of the negative (black) jumper cable to an exposed metal part of the disabled vehicle's engine, away from the battery and the carburetor/fuel-injection system.
- Start the assisting vehicle's engine.
- Start the disabled vehicle's engine.
- Allow both vehicles to run connected for about three minutes.
- While leaving the jumpstarted vehicle running, disconnect the cables in the reverse order that they were attached and close the hoods.
- Keep the jumpstarted vehicle's engine running for about a half hour to allow the battery to fully charge.
- Visit your local Quick Lane to get the jumpstarted battery tested or replaced as soon as you can.