There is almost nothing more frustrating than a vehicle that won’t start. Unfortunately, a vehicle’s battery can lose its charge for various reasons, keeping your car from cranking. A dead battery can be drained by lights or radios being left on when the engine is off or if a vehicle has not been cranked and driven in a while. Older batteries may simply have difficulty holding a charge, leading them to go flat unexpectedly.
Knowing how to jump-start your car’s battery yourself can save you time and money when this happens to you. Having the right tools and knowledge can make this process simple and easy, getting you back on the road in a safe and timely manner.
Carry The Right Tools For The Job
To jump-start a dead or drained battery, you’ll need to have the right tools for the job with you. Jumper cables with a length of 10 to 20 feet should be kept in your vehicle at all times. Lines within this size are durable enough to be reliable under most circumstances and reach a reasonable distance. While portable jumpstarters also work, their batteries must be kept charged to do the job, whereas jumper cables are ready at all times.
Secure A Power Source
To jump-start your vehicle’s battery, you will need to use the power of a running car. Always identify where the batteries are located on each car and position the cars where the cables will reach both batteries. Some batteries may have covers that need to be removed before attaching the jumper cables. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s battery to help you save time if you have to jump-start your car.
Hook Up The Jumper Cables To Each Battery
Make sure to turn the running vehicle off before positioning the jumper cables in place. Each end of the wires will have a red (positive) clamp and a black (negative) clamp. Be careful to keep the clamps from touching each other. Connect the cables to the batteries by matching the clamps to the coordinating metal nodes’ color, or charge, on the batteries.
You may need to clean away grime or corrosion off the metal nodes before attaching the clamps to ensure a strong connection. Confirm which node is positive and which one is negative, and connect the clamps accordingly.
Crank Your Vehicle
With the cables firmly connected, attempt to turn on your vehicle. If the dead battery needs more time to charge, you can leave the cables on for a few minutes and then try to start your car again. If your vehicle fails to start after some time has passed, the battery may either be defective or too low to hold a charge. A car battery that won’t charge may have other issues at play, keeping the battery drained. If this is the case, you will need a professional mobile auto mechanic to assess your vehicle’s troubles.