Connecting Jumper Cables to the Dead Car Battery

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Connect jumper cables to a dead car battery via its positive and negative terminals and learn how with the expert tips in this free car-maintenance video

Part of the Video Series: How to Jump Start a Car
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Video Transcript

In this segment we're going to discuss how to connect the cables to the dead vehicle, the vehicle needing to be jumped. When you connect to the vehicle that's being started, you want to make sure that all accessories are off, keys off, headlights, nothing is on whatsoever. You want to connect to the positive terminal first and you want to connect the negative somewhere on the engine block. The engine block is the negative side of the grounding system. The reason for this is if there's a current drawing this vehicle, a light on, a dome light, when I connect to this terminal it will cause a spark from the energy being transfered. That spark could ignite the gases and cause the battery to explode. If I connect over here to the engine and there's a spark, it's well away from the battery. It also eliminates a potential bad connection on the negative terminal and cable down to the engine. So we're bypassing those two parts of the electrical system and going straight to the engine cause that's where the starter is connected. So we've got a good solid ground right there with the starter on the engine and the positive will come down through the system. Watch the next segment on charging the vehicle.

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