How To Safely Jump Start A Vehicle With A Dead Battery & The Correct Way To Hook Up Jumper Cables

How To Safely Jump Start A Vehicle With A Dead Battery & The Correct Way To Hook Up Jumper Cables


I want to show you a safe way to go
about jump-starting a car with a dead battery. First, we’re going to position
and prepare the vehicles. Park the vehicle with the good battery close to
the disabled vehicle, about 18 inches apart is good. That gives you enough room to work between the vehicles. The vehicles aren’t touching, but they’re
close enough that the cables can reach from one battery to the next. Now we’re
going to get in each vehicle and do a few things to prepare them for the
jump-starting process. And you’re gonna do these same things to both vehicles. If
the vehicle is an automatic, make sure the gear selector shift lever is in park.
If one of the vehicles happens to have a manual transmission, put that in neutral.
Then set the parking brake for each vehicle. Next make sure that anything
that’s electrical in your vehicle is turned off. Turn off the fan. Make sure
the radio is off. Make sure there’s no overhead lights on. Make sure your headlights are off. If you have anything plugged into a power
outlet, such as a charger, unplug that. We want to make sure that as much
electricity as possible is going from the good battery to the bad battery and
that no other device is trying to use that electricity. And lastly, take the
keys out of the ignition and set them aside. So both cars are ready to go now.
Get your cables out and stretch them out. And at all times, when you’re working
with these jumper cables, make sure that none of the clamps touch each other
during the process of hooking them up. You don’t want any sparks or shorts to
happen hooking up the cables. Almost every set of jumper cables will be
color-coded. The red clamps are for the positive terminals on your battery, and
the black clamps are for the negative terminals on the batteries. Before we
hook any of these clamps up, let’s figure out where we’re gonna go with them.
Locate the battery in each vehicle and find the positive and negative terminals.
They should be marked in different ways. There should be a red cover or coating
around the wire for the positive terminal, as well as the positive symbol.
And it should be a black wire and a negative symbol going to the negative
terminal. Sometimes you’ll find vehicles that don’t have a post right on the
battery. They’ll have a connection off to the side that indicates
that you should hook up one of the cables there. So look for that, or look in
your owner’s manual to tell you how you should jumpstart your vehicle. And this
is the battery in the disabled vehicle. It actually has a cover over it, and
you’ll find that in some vehicles. So you have to remove that cover. It’s usually
pretty easy to move. It snaps off. And here’s the bad battery. And it is marked
in red. There’s a red wire and a positive symbol. And there’s a black wire and a
negative symbol. We’re ready now to start hooking up the cables. And we’re going to
start and end with the disabled vehicle. We’re going to connect the positive
clamps first and then the negative clamps. Grab the red positive clamp and
attach it to the positive terminal on the bad battery. You can attach it right
at the middle on these clamps, but I think I can get a good grip there right
in the middle. So I’m gonna put it there. And for now I’m just gonna rest that
negative clamp along the wire of that positive one that I just attached to the
bad battery. Got the first one attached. Next, grab the other end of that red wire
and attach it to the positive terminal on the car with the good battery. We’re
gonna remove that cover to expose the terminal and then attach the clamp over
here. So, we’ve got a good connection there. Next, take the black negative clamp
that’s on the same end as that red one you just attached, and attached it to the
negative terminal on the good battery. So that just leaves us with this negative
clamp to put on the disabled vehicle. You do not want to put it on the negative
terminal of the bad battery. There’s no electricity flowing from the good
battery to the bad battery yet, but if you connect this to the negative
terminal on the bad battery there could be a spark. There’s a very, very remote
danger of that igniting some hydrogen gas that can form around the battery.
We’re trying to do it the very safest way, so even though that chance is very very slim, we don’t want to chance it! So we’re gonna be safe. So what you want to do is
connect this negative clamp to a piece of bare, unpainted metal, under the hood
of the disabled vehicle. So you’re looking for a piece of metal. It could be
a bare bolt sticking up. It could be a metal support under the hood. But you
want to make sure it’s not near any moving parts. No belts. no fans that
it’s gonna hit when you turn on the engine. So I’m going to attach it to this
bare metal section along the side of the hood of the car. So now our connections
are complete. And you can see, we kind of went in a circle. We started with the bad
battery, positive terminal; turned around, went to the good battery, positive
terminal; went to the good battery, negative terminal; turned back around to
the disabled vehicle, and put the negative black clamp on a section of
unpainted metal. So now we’re gonna get in the vehicle with the good battery. Put
the key in the ignition, start it up, and then let the car run for at least a
couple of minutes. If it’s really cold weather, you might even want to let it
run longer. Cold weather really does a number on car batteries. What you’re
doing right now is sending electricity to the bad battery. We’re actually kind
of charging it, so that can take a little bit. You want it to get a little bit of
charge in there before you actually try to start the disabled vehicle. After
you’ve let the other car run for a while, get in the disabled vehicle, put in the
keys, and try to start it. Okay, here goes. Hoping for the best. We’ve got
electricity; that’s a good sound! Hey, it worked! Alright – success! And if the vehicle starts, remove the jumper cables in
reverse order of what you put them on. Let it run for at least 15 minutes.
15 to 30. You can drive it around during that time to get that
battery charged up even more. If the other vehicle doesn’t start the first
time, get out of that vehicle and check the connections under the hood. Make sure everything’s tight. Let the car with the good battery run longer. Get more charge
in there, and then try again. If the disabled car doesn’t start after
two or three tries, you may have bigger problems than just a bad battery. And
sorry to say, you may have to get it towed to a shop to have it looked at. My
only other advice would be to always have jumper cables in your car, in your
vehicle. In every vehicle you have. The jumper cables come in different gauges. The lower the gauge, the better. The lower the gauge, the thicker the wire. Also, the
lower the gauge, the more the jumper cables will cost. But they will do a
better job. For me, I like the longer ones. Mine are 20 feet long. You can get them in all sorts of lengths: eight, ten, twelve feet. But these allow you to reach more
difficult spots. Portable jump starters are also a great idea to
have. They’re perfect for when your battery dies and there’s no other
vehicle around to jump your vehicle. So follow these steps, and you’ll have an
easy, safe way to jump start any vehicle.