How to Jump Start a Car [with Pictures]

Jump starting your car can be one of the most difficult things to do if you don’t know how to do it properly. The following step-by-step guide will walk you through the process so that you can jump start your car safely and quickly, with jumper cables or with a battery charger.

When you follow the steps in this guide, you’ll be up and running again in no time!

How to jump start a car with jumper cables

Materials needed :

  • Car with a good battery
  • Jumper cables

1. Park the 2 cars facing one another

Park the 2 cars facing each other and they should not be touching each other. Its better if you can find another car the same as your car or batteries having the same capacity.

2. Turn off engines and pop the hoods

Turn off the engines of both cars and take out the keys. Make sure you’re switching off lights and other electronics as well. This is a safety measure to prevent you from getting electrocuted in the next steps and also to speed up the jumping process.

3. Locate the batteries of both cars

Next step is to find the batteries of the 2 cars and identify their positive and negative terminals. Positive terminal will be marked with red and negative terminal with black.

4. Connect the Jumper cables to the batteries

Connect the jumper cables in the following order to avoid sparks and other hazards that can occur. Make sure you’re not touching the ends of jumper cables with each other as well.

  1. Connect a red jumper cable to the positive terminal of the “Dead battery”.
  2. Keep the black end of the jumper cable on a plastic surface for the moment. We’ll be attaching this as the last step.
  3. Now take the other 2 ends of the jumper cable and attach them to the positive and negative terminals of the “Good Battery”.
  4. Take the black cable we kept on a plastic and attach it to a bare metal piece of the car. The engine will have many places where you can attach this. Make sure you’re never attaching this to the negative terminal of the battery.

The bare piece of metal should not be attached to an electrical component and not a moving part and away from the battery. This metal piece will act as the ground in this circuit.

Some cars have a specifically designated place in the car to attach this negative jumper cable. You can find it in the owner’s manual.

5. Start the engine of the car with the Good battery

After fixing the jumper cables properly, its time to start the engine with good battery. Keep it running for 2 minutes.

6. Try to start the engine of the car with the Dead battery

After allowing the dead battery to charge for about 2 minutes, its time to start it. If you can’t start it, let it charge for another 2 minutes and try to start it again. Once the engine is started, don’t turn it off.

You can hit the road once you’ve removed the jumper cables as mentioned in the next step and make sure to drive for at least 20 minutes before stopping the engine or you’ll see that the battery has lost its charge again.

7. Remove the jumper cables safely

Now its time to remove the jumper cables in the following order. Make sure to follow this exact order to avoid sparks. Again until all 4 terminals of the jumper cables are removed, make sure not to touch them with each other.

  1. First remove the negative end of jumper cable attached to the bare metal of the car with “Dead battery”
  2. Then remove the positive terminal attached to the “Dead battery”
  3. Remove the red cable attached to the “Good battery”
  4. Finally remove the black cable attached to the “Good battery”

Step by Step Video on jump starting a car with cables

How to jump start a car with a battery charger

A dead car battery is no fun to have, especially when you’re out in the middle of nowhere or are in a hurry and don’t have time to wait around for AAA to come and rescue you.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to jump start your car without another car using a portable battery charger so that you can get back on the road quickly and safely.

Step 1 – Park the car in a safe place

Safely park your car and turn off all lights and electronic devices. Put the key inside your pocket after parking it. This will protect you from being electrocuted by the car’s battery in the following steps. Open the hood of your car once everything has been turned off.

Step 2 – Turn off the portable battery charger

Make sure your portable car battery charger is turned off before using it. The portable charger can be placed anywhere, including on the ground or even under the hood, as there is no danger of sparks or other electrical hazards with them.

Step 3 – Connect the red cable to the positive battery terminal

Take the red jumper cable and connect it to the positive terminal of the battery. The positive terminal of the car battery will also be marked in red color to identify easily.

Step 4 – Connect the black cable to the negative battery terminal

Take the black jumper cable and connect it to the negative terminal of the battery. The negative terminal of the car battery will also be marked in black color to identify easily.

It should be noted that while we connect the black jumper cable to a bare metal surface while using another vehicle’s battery to jump start our car, we can connect it straight to the negative terminal of the battery when using a battery charger.

Step 5 – Switch on the battery charger

Once you have connected the cables to the terminals properly, turn the battery charger switch to on position.

Step 6 – Start the car

Now start the car after getting inside. The car battery charger will let you start the car instantaneously without a delay. Once the engine is started, don’t turn it off and keep it running.

Step 7 – Remove the battery charger

Unplug the cables of the charger from car’s battery. You don’t need to remove them in any particular order, as there is no risk of sparks. Store the battery charger safely and you’re good to hit the road again.

Step by step video on jump starting a car with a battery charger

Advantages of using a battery charger over jumper cables

  1. Safe to use and there is no risk of sparks and fire hazards
  2. No need to wait for a another car or roadside assistance
  3. The cable connection process is straightforward and less likely to be wrong
  4. Jump starting process is instantaneous with a battery charger while you have to wait about 5 minutes with jumper cables

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