Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How to Jump Start a Car


I am 33 years old and have never jumped my own car.  It is something that I figured I could figure out if I needed to, but always left it up to somebody else to do.  I think I did this because batteries and cables are a little scary!  One wrong move and sparks are flying and who knows what else could happen.

So I have never done it, have you?  Do you know what to do?  What do you stick the cables to first, the running car or the dead one?  Where do the cables go?  So many questions and when you are standing there staring at your car battery holding the cables, google search comes to the rescue, but what if they are wrong?!

So many ifs.....

The other day my car wouldn't start and hubby went out and jumped it for me.  Figuring it was just the really cold weather doing it to the battery, we thought it would be fine.  The next day, the same thing happened and he jumped it again.  I took it to the auto parts store and they tested my battery and said it was still good.  I had a feeling that they were wrong, so I had my hubby draw me a little diagram so that I could have a visual guide for jumping my car since he was going out of town for 4 days starting early the next day.  Luckily he was leaving his truck here or I wouldn't have anything to jump from.  And I woke up and tried to leave the house and the car wouldn't start so I buckled the kids in and got to work!

So here is the real scoop!



Your jumper cables are red and black.  One red handle, one black.  Your battery has 2 connectors, one with a red wire, one with a black wire.  Some batteries are labeled + and - or have a red cover on the positive connector.  The red handle goes with the positive connector or connector with the red wire.  The black handle goes with the negative connector or the black wire.  It is pretty easy to see once you look at your battery.

Which car do you hook the cables up to first?  First you start the running car.  Make sure the jumper cable handles are not touching each other.  Connect the red to the red and the black to the black on the running car's battery.  Don't let the other 2 handles touch each other or sparks will fly!  Connect the other 2 handles to each respective connector on the dead battery.

Give it about a minute to charge and then try to start your car.  If it doesn't work, try again after another minute of charging.  If this doesn't work still, check your connections and make sure they are tight.  If that still doesn't work then there might be something else wrong with your car.

Happy Jumping!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I have been jumping my own car for quite some years now, but was always confused about which vehicle to connect to first, also. This cleared it up for me. Your directions were very clear and easy to understand. Thanks for the refresher course!

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