Whether you accidentally left the overhead dome light on in your vehicle overnight or it’s just been a few years since you’ve replaced it, a dead car battery can be a very unpleasant surprise to wake up to. Nearly every vehicle owner experiences a dead car battery once in a while, so it’s important to know what to do next time you find yourself in that situation. Here are the steps to jumpstart your car battery safely and effectively.
Step 1: Park the vehicles close together, but not touching.
When you jumpstart your car battery, the first thing you need to do is find someone who can give you a jump. Make sure the parking brakes on both cars are engaged and the transmissions are in park or neutral.
Step 2: Open the hoods of both vehicles. Locate the batteries and identify the positive (red) and negative (black) terminals.
Step 3: Connect the jumper cables. It is absolutely essential to connect them in the following order:
- Red clamp to the positive terminal of the dead battery.
- Red clamp to the positive terminal of the good battery.
- Black clamp to the negative terminal of the good battery.
- Black clamp to an unpainted metal surface on the dead vehicle.
Step 4: Start the engine of the vehicle you’re using to jumpstart your car battery and let it run for a few minutes.
Step 5: Try to start the engine of the dead vehicle. If it doesn’t start, let the engine of the good vehicle run for a few more minutes and try again. Please note that if the dead vehicle doesn’t start after a few attempts, this could mean a different problem than the car battery.
Step 6: Once the engine of the dead vehicle starts, disconnect the jumper cables in the reverse order of how you connected them.
Step 7: Drive the vehicle around for at least 15 minutes to allow the battery to charge.
When jumpstarting a vehicle battery, be sure to keep these safety tips in mind:
- Wear safety glasses and gloves to prevent injuries.
- Do not smoke or allow open flames near the batteries.
- Do not touch the metal parts of the jumper cables together.
- Be careful not to cross the positive and negative terminals.
- If the battery is leaking, do not jumpstart the vehicle.
Jumpstarting a car battery isn’t as tricky as it looks. However, if you don’t feel safe or comfortable doing it yourself, it might be a good idea to have a car battery service or mobile car battery replacement company assist you. By following these steps and safety tips, you can quickly and safely jumpstart your car battery so you can get back to living your life!