There’s nothing worse than going to start your car and your car battery is dead. A car battery can drain and die for so many different reasons: leaving the headlights on, a cabin light that was left on or having an old/bad battery. Regardless of the reason, it's terrible to have a dead car battery.
Recently, I was out shopping and my cars battery died because I left my headlights on. I contemplated asking random people in the store parking lot for a jump start but I realized I didn’t have any jumper cables. So I made a few calls and luckily, a friend came to my rescue. Unfortunately, he didn’t know how to place the clamps on the correct terminals and scorched one of my battery terminals and left a huge gouge in it, thankfully he didn’t harm himself. We managed to get my car started but that incident made me wonder how many people do not know the proper way to jump start a car battery using another car.
With the help of Jerry Allen, one of Star Auto’s Service Technicians, we put together a step by step guide on how to jump start a car battery using another car which is the correct and safest way possible.
There are different opinions on whether or not you should connect the negative clamp on the jumper cable to the dead battery's negative terminal or if you should clamp the negative onto the vehicles chassis. It can be done both ways, although it is safer to connect the negative clamp to the vehicles chassis. When you connect to the chassis/vehicles frame it will ground the circuit and help prevent sparking. A spark could ignite the battery if hydrogen gas has built up.
Before you jump start you want to make sure the battery is, in fact, dead.
One way to tell is if your engine cranks but doesn't start and the electronics aren’t turning on. Now that you’re certain it’s a dead battery, you can ask or call someone for help. (Make sure to always have a pair of good jumper cables in your trunk.)
Here is a Step by Step guide on how to jump start a car battery using another car.
Step 1: Position the cars properly.
Pull the car being used to jump as close as possible to the dead battery car. Make sure both hoods are open and turn off the jump car. Make sure the jumper cables will reach each terminal.
Do Not Let the jumper cable clamps touch one another EVER.
Step 2: Connect Dead Car Positive
Connect Red/positive/ + clamp jumper cable to the dead cars Red/positive/ + battery terminal.
Step 3: Connect Jump Car Positive
Connect Red/positive/ + clamp of jumper cables to the jump car Red/positive/ + battery terminal.
Step 4: Connect Dead Car Negative
Connect Black/negative/ - on jumper cables to the jump cars Black/negative/ - battery terminal.
Step 5: Connect Jump Car Negative
Connect Black/negative/ - on jumper cables to the dead cars chassis/ unpainted metal frame.
Connect Black/negative/ - on jumper cables to the dead battery Black/negative/ - terminal.
Step 6: Start the Jump Car
Start the jump car, run for 2-3 minutes then try to start the dead car. If it doesn’t start you can rev the jump cars engine for a few minutes and try to start the dead car again.
Step 7: Remove Jumper Cables
Once the dead car starts, remove the jumper cables. Make sure to remove the clamps in the reverse order you attached them.
Keep the formerly dead car running for at least 15-30 minutes to give the battery time to recharge it.
If your battery is old or keeps dying we suggest you have it check out by a professional. Star Auto Sales Service Department, in Meriden, Connecticut, would be happy to take a look if you are in the area.