How to Jump Start a Vehicle

If you’ve ever been stranded due to a faulty car battery, you probably had to rely on a good Samaritan to jump-start your car. It’s a good idea to always keep a set of jumper cables in your vehicle as part of a complete roadside emergency kit, for just such an event. As long as you hook up the cables properly, it doesn’t matter whether your vehicle has a negative ground, the other vehicle has positive ground, or your vehicle has an alternator and other vehicle has a generator.

Jumper cables, a second vehicle and a little know-how, are all you need to jump start your engine. Just be careful to keep the cables from touching each other and you’ll be fine.

Here’s how:

1. Park the vehicle you’ll use for jump-starting next to the one with the dead battery, close enough that the cables will reach, but not touching.

2. Place both vehicles in “Park” or “Neutral” and turn off the ignition on both vehicles. Engage both parking brakes.

3. Remove the caps from both batteries (unless they are sealed; sealed batteries have safety valves) to avoid an explosion caused by a spark.

4. Attach one of the red (positive) clips to the positive terminal of your battery. The terminal will have “POS” or “+” on it, or it may be larger than the negative terminal.

5. Attach the other red clip to the positive terminal of the rescue vehicle.

6. Attach one of the black (negative) clips to the negative terminal on the other battery.

7. Attach the other black clip to an unpainted metal surface on your car that isn’t near the battery. One of the metal struts that holds the hood open is a good option. Be sure not to touch the two ends of the cable together while doing this.

8. Start the rescue vehicle.

9. Start the vehicle with the weak battery. If it doesn’t start, check your connections and tighten or clean as needed.

10. If it starts, let the problem vehicle run for at least 20 minutes to allow the battery to recharge before shutting it off.

11. If it still doesn’t start, there is another issue and you will need to call a local service station for help.

12. Disconnect the cables in reverse order, making sure not to touch the two ends of the cable together.

If your alternator light stays on or the gauge on the dashboard continues to point to “Discharge” after your car has been running, make sure that your fan belt is tight enough to run your alternator properly. If your battery keeps going dead, have a professional check both the battery and your alternator.

That’s all there is to it! If your battery fails, you’ll be able to get back on the road and off to your trusted mechanic for a replacement battery. You can also have your battery tested routinely as part of our multi-point inspection when you check into the Express Lane at Rockie Williams Premier.
Categories: Service
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