How to Jump-Start a Car

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Knowing how to jump-start a car with a dead battery can keep an inconvenience from becoming a crisis. If you are unsure about how to use jumper cables, this article and video will help you figure that out as well. After you've jump-started a car once you'll find that it isn't very hard to do.

Difficulty:
Moderately Easy

Instructions

Things You'll Need

  • Auto Emergency Kits
  • Heavy-duty Booster Cables
  • Pocket Knife
  • Car Manuals
    • 1

      Read your owner's manual, as it will describe any peculiarities involved in jump-starting your vehicle.

    • 2

      Pull a car with a charged battery next to the car with the dead battery, situating the two batteries as close together as you can without allowing the two cars to touch.

    • 3

      Turn off both engines, pull out the keys, put both cars in park, engage the emergency brakes and open the hoods.

    • 4

      Attach a red-handled/positive jumper cable clamp to the positive terminal (the one with the plus sign) of the charged battery.

    • 5

      Connect the other red-handled clamp to the positive terminal of the dead battery.

    • 6

      Attach the neighboring black/negative cable to the car with the dead battery. Clamp it somewhere where the current can ground out, such as a bolt or bracket on the engine. You can also attach it to any metal, unpainted part of the vehicle's frame.

    • 7

      Ground the other black/negative cable on the charging car, as described in the previous step. Be careful, as a small spark may be produced.

    • 8

      Attempt to start the car that has the dead battery.

    • 9

      Re-adjust the red/positive clamp on the dead car if there is no response; try re-clamping it to the terminal or turning it for a better connection. Keep trying to start the dead car.

    • 10

      Once the dead car is running, remove the clamps one at a time in reverse order.

    • 11

      Allow the jump-started car to run for half an hour in order to charge the battery. It will charge whether driving or idling.

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