A car battery is essential to your car functioning properly, and when your car battery dies, you know it immediately. Your battery can die if you left your lights on for too long or were jamming out to your radio without your car running to keep the battery charged. The good news is it’s easy to fix a dead battery. A great temporary fix is to jump your car battery using jumper cables and either a friend’s running car or a portable power jump box.

There are 10 steps to properly jumping a car. Follow these directly because one cable in the wrong place can lead to severe electric shock and can cause a fire.

What You’ll Need

  • Jumper cables – One red cable and one black cable
  • A running car with a battery of the same voltage

How To Jumpstart A Car

  • Bring the running car to the dead car, parking it in close enough range for both batteries to be connected by the jumper cables. Do not let the cars touch.
  • Turn off all car engines and pop the hoods.
  • Clamp the red jumper cable to the positive (+) port of the dead car battery.
  • Clamp the other end of the red jumper cable to the positive (+) port of the good/live car battery.
  • Clamp the black jumper cable to the negative (-) port of the good/live car battery.
  • Clamp the other end of the black jumper cable to a solid piece of plain metal on the dead car to ground the current.
  • Start the working vehicle.
  • Let the working vehicle sit idle for at least five minutes so it can charge the dead battery.
  • Try to start the dead vehicle while the cables are still attached.
  • Once the dead vehicle starts, remove the jumper cables in the reverse order of installation: black from the grounded metal, black from negative port, red from live car’s positive port, red from dead car’s positive port.

Extra Tips

  • Make sure anything that uses the battery is turned off prior to jumping the car. It may get a large surge during the jump and cause them to stop functioning.
  • Ensure the batteries of both cars are not damaged or leaking. If you notice any cracks, leaks, or damages, please call a tow truck immediately.
  • Once you begin the jumpstart process with cables attached, do not let the cable ends touch each other!
  • If you cannot find a piece of plain metal in the dead car when trying to ground the black jumper cable, you can connect it to the negative port of the dead battery; only do this as a last resort.
  • If the dead vehicle does not start after the first five minutes of charging, wait another five minutes and try again. Repeat this process until the dead vehicle starts.
  • Once the vehicle starts, keep it running for at least 20 minutes to ensure it charges accordingly so you don’t have to jump it again the next time your engine turns off.

After you get your car running again, drive on over to Clarke’s Discount in Aloha, OR to make sure everything is working properly. You can purchase a new car battery to replace yourself or our automobile services technicians can install it for you.