There’s not much worse than getting to your car, ready to go home only to find that you left something on and your battery has died. If this is the case, hopefully you or someone around you has a set of jumper cables stored in their car. Its fairly easy to jump start a car using a set of jumper cables and someone else’s car with a charged battery, just follow these steps.

What You’ll Need To Jump Start Your Car

  • Jumper Cables
  • Someone Else’s Car (With A Charged Battery)

How To Jump Start Your Car

Warning: If yours or the other persons car has an electronic ignition system or is a hybrid or electric vehicle, jump starting may damage it.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Park the donor car in such a way that their battery is as close as possible to your battery. Engage both cars parking brakes and put them into neutral or park.
  2. Attach one red jumper cable clamp onto the positive terminal (+) of your battery. It is also the slightly bigger terminal, if you are having a hard time identifying it.
  3. Attach the opposite red clamp onto the positive terminal of the donor cars battery.
  4. Now attached one of the black clamps onto the negative (-) terminal of the donor car’s battery.
  5. Lastly, attach the other black clamp onto some exposed metal surface on your own car. The metal must not be painted, a mount in the engine bay or the hood hinge, a bolt etc.
  6. Start the engine of the donor vehicle.
  7. Start your own vehicle. If your vehicle doesn’t start, check the clamp connections.
  8. Remove the clamps in the opposite order, start with step 5 and work towards step 2.

Keep your engine running for the next fifteen to twenty minutes to charge up the battery again before turning it off. If you turn off your car and it won’t start again shortly afterwards then the battery is likely damaged. You can try refurbishing your car battery yourself or replacing it with a new one.

Cover Image: JumpStart by Al Ibrahim used under CC BY 2.0.



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