How to jump your car

 In Neal's How-To's

How to Jump your Car

One of the most common problems a car owner experiences is a dead battery. Probably second in line to knowing how to change a flat tire, it is also important to know how to jump your car. This week, I will explain how easy and quickly you can resolve this problem and get back on the road!

Before you start this process, you will need a friend who is also a responsible car owner.

You must make sure that neither vehicle has an electronic ignition system or is an alternatively fueled vehicle, because the use of jumper cables may damage these types of cars.

Next, you must make sure that the battery on your friend’s car has at least as much voltage as your own.
After these steps, as long as you hook up the cables properly, it doesn’t matter whether your vehicle has negative ground and your friend’s vehicle has positive ground, or if either vehicle has an alternator and the other has a generator.

To safely jump start you car. Use the following method:

Make sure that you have a working pair of jumper cables. It is a great idea to buy a set and keep them in your trunk.

Place both your vehicle and your friend’s vehicle in Park or Neutral, and shut off the ignition in both cars. Also engage the parking brakes on both vehicles.

Attach one Red clip to the Positive terminal of your dead battery. This should say ‘POS’ or ‘+’ on it, and it is larger than the Negative terminal.

Attach the other Red clip to the Positive terminal of your friend’s car.

Attach one of the Black clips to the Negative terminal on your friend’s car.

Attach the last Black clip to an unpainted metal surface on your car that isn’t near the battery. For example, use one of the metal struts that holds the hood open. This will help ensure a safe jump.

Ask your friend to start their working vehicle. Depending on the age of the battery and how long since it died, you may need to let the car run for a minute or two to get the jump to work.

Attempt to start your dead vehicle. If your car does not start, allow your friend’s car to remain connected and charging your battery for a few minutes longer before trying again.

Once you get your car running, you may disconnect the jumper cables, starting with the Black, Negative cable clamps.
Be very careful during this process and do not let any part of the clamps touch each other while any part of the cables are still attached to the car

Take a short drive to allow your battery to build up a charge.

The driving allows the alternator to charge the battery, and ensures that your car does not die again once you turn it off
If you cannot get your car running after a few short attempts, of if the car starts and then dies again, you may have some other issues to address.

Most batteries are rated to last around 4-6 years. You may need a replacement, or there could be some other underlying problem as well.

Today, I hope I was able to give you a brief understanding of how to jump your car. While this is a simple fix, if you notice a recurrent problem, bring your car to a qualified mechanic at Neal’s Garage so we can diagnose the issue. We are located in downtown Durham, NC and we are available to help with all of your car needs.

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