Do you know the ins and outs of jump-starting a car that won’t start? Read our guide on steps to get back on the road.
Published: Sunday, February 5th 2017
It is a familiar situation; you get into your car, turn the ignition and nothing. Instead, you get a few clicking noises. Perhaps you left your lights on, or maybe it’s just an ageing battery. But, do you know what to do next?
Five Easy Steps To Jump-Starting a Car
We thought we would help you out by giving you a step-by-step guide to jump-starting your car and getting back on your way.
You are firstly going to need a set of jumper cables. These are somewhat inexpensive, easily available, and easy to store in your car. Next, you'll need a running car. Make sure that you can park the cars as close to each other as possible, without actually touching, with both bonnets facing each other. Turn both cars off, put them in neutral, and put both handbrakes up. Also, take both keys out of the ignition. Make sure to be as aware and careful as you can. You are dealing with electrical currents and could be putting yourself at risk for injury.
Once you have located the battery, note which is positive and which is negative. The red clamp will go on the (+) and the black on the (-). Make sure you don’t mix these up. First, attach the red clamp to the positive of the dead battery. Then, attach the other red clamp to the positive of the functioning battery.
Connect the black jumper cable clamp to the working battery’s negative (-) battery terminal. Don’t attach the other black cable to the black battery terminal of the dead car. Rather, clamp to an unpainted, metal part of the car such as a shiny, clean nut on the engine block.
Now you can start the working car. Start it and allow it to run for one to three minutes, pushing the accelerator to assist with charging the other battery. Try starting the dead car, it may take a few tries, but you will be able to tell if the battery is being charged. Once the car is up and running, you can start unclipping the clamps. Start with the black cables and make sure that the clamps don’t touch anything else!
Take the car for a drive. This will allow the alternator to charge the battery and prevent it from dying on you again. If this jump-start fails, there might be something more serious wrong with your car. Batteries only last four to six years. So, if you have an old battery, it might need to be replaced. Other possible options could be fuses, battery corrosion, faulty alternator, the ignition switch, or a fault with the starter connection. Should you find yourself in this position, your car insurance company and road-side assistance will come in handy in getting you out of the situation.