How to Jump Start Your Car

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Knowing how to jump start your car can save you the cost of calling a tow truck. Learn how to jump start your car with the advice of an automotive expert in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Auto Advice
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Video Transcript

Hi there. Jody DeVere with AskPatty.com, automotive advice for women. I'm here today at one of my certified female-friendly locations, Pawnee Hills Hyundai, to talk about how to jump start your car battery. There's nothing more horrifying, depressing, frustrating, and agonizing to come out after a great day of shopping and find your car battery dead. So today, I'm going to teach you how to do it, and I'm going to recommend that you always keep jumper cables or a self contained jump start box in your car, so that not only can you help yourself, but you can help other motorists. I have with me Javier here today. He's going to help demonstrate how to connect the jumper cables correctly and in the right order. You'll notice that we have our cars parked head to head, not touching, both turned off, in park, and on a flat surface. That's the safe way to begin the process of getting your battery and getting your car going. Here are our jumper cables. There's four connection points, and I'm going to show you the proper order in which to connect the jumper cables. Notice that the red cables are for the positive cables, and the black-handled cables are for the negative connections. Look at your batteries very closely. Very easy to find the positive and negative cables; it's either going to be marked on the battery or, with some batteries, the positive post is actually painted red to make it easier for you to know that's the positive cable. The black, or negative, cable is usually really easy to find as well. So let's begin. Let's connect first to the dead car, which is this car. The dead car battery, you start by connecting the positive cable to the positive terminal on the dead battery. Then you connect the positive cable to the positive post on your good battery. Next, you're going to connect the negative cable to the negative post on the good battery. Now here' the most important thing, and where most people mess up. Do not connect the negative cable to the negative post. You want to find actually a nice clean shiny bolt or nut inside the engine compartment to connect it to. It's going to spark, and that's normal, and we don't want to light a fire on our battery, so that's the safest way to do it. So that's our connection. Now we're going to start the good car, and we're going to let it run for a few minutes. That's going to charge up a little bit the battery on the dead car. Then we're going to go ahead and start the dead car battery, and it should start up right away. Congratulations, you most likely were able to start the dead battery car; however, if you weren't able to do it the first time, just let the two cars it connected for a little while longer, and let the dead battery charge a little longer and try again. That should make you successful. Now, we're going to remove our cables. We're going to start first by breaking our connection by removing the negative cable from our bolt. Then we're going to remove the negative cable from our good battery, and then we're going to remove our positive from the dead battery, and finally the positive cable from the good battery. Congratulations! You now learned how to jump start your own car! Again, keeping a set of jumper cables or a self-contained jump box in your car is not only a good idea for you, but it will also make you able to help other motorists who might be stranded on the road. And that makes you safe, smart, and car savvy.

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