Jumping Your Car when the Battery Is Dead

by Doris Donnerman
(last updated May 25, 2010)

If your car battery is dead, jumper cables and another car can quickly get you moving again. But check your owner's manual first. Some cars with electronic engine-management systems are seriously damaged by jumpstarting.

You can give your car a jumpstart by following these steps:

  1. Bring the two cars nose to nose, but not touching.
  2. Open up the hood on both vehicles.
  3. Make sure that the engine of the working car remains running.
  4. Connect the negative (-) terminals of both batteries with the black jumper cable.
  5. Connect the positive (+) terminals of both batteries with the red jumper cable.
  6. Wait a few seconds (perhaps a minute) and switch on the ignition of the car that is not working.
  7. Turn the key to start the engine.

When the car is running smoothly, disconnect the jumper cables from the two cars. Don't turn off your car (the one that needed to be jumped) for about thirty minutes. Driving around can help the car recharge the battery so it will work properly the next time you start up.

When jumping your car's battery, there are a couple of things you should be careful about. If you connect both the red and black cables to a battery, don't touch the copper leads on the other end of the cables to each other or allow a conductive surface to come in contact with the leads. Doing so could result in a spectacular shower of sparks and might damage the car's electrical system.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...


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