Jumping a Dead Battery

A dead battery’s symptoms are obvious; when you go to turn the key to start the vehicle, nothing happens – no lights come on, nothing makes a clicking sound. When that happens, the fastest way to get the car up and running is to “jump it” with another vehicle. Continue reading to learn how to jump a battery!

  1. Find someone with a good, working battery that will give you a jump.
  2. Make sure either you or the other driver has a pair of jumper cables.
  3. Bring the vehicles close together. Side-by-side is okay. Position the cars so that the two batteries are close to each other. The Service Manager at Land Rover of Naperville, a Patrick Car dealer in Naperville, IL, recommends this to make the process easier!
  4. Make sure both cars are powered off.  Put manual transmission in Neutral, and automatics in Park.  Engage the parking brakes on both
  5. On the cars’ batteries, identify the terminal with ”+” polarity sign (red) indicator for positive, and terminal with the ”-” sign (black) indicator for negative. Those polarity signs are usually on the battery but you might have to wipe off the battery with a rag to find them.
  6. Attach an end of the positive cable (red) clamp to the “dead” battery’s positive terminal. Attach the positive cable’s other end to the “good” battery’s positive terminal. (“Positive” goes to “positive”).
  7. Attach an end of the negative cable to the “good” battery’s negative cable. Attach the negative cable’s other end to the negative terminal of the “dead” battery. ( “Negative” matches up with “negative”).
  8. Start the good vehicle’s engine. Allow the good car to run for about five minutes while giving the engine a bit of gas to pick up the idle speed.
  9. Try to start the engine of the dead vehicle. If it starts, remove the jumper cables and close the hoods of both
  10. If the dead vehicle doesn’t  make a loud clicking sound when you turn the key, the booster cables may not have great   Try rocking the cable clamps back and forth a bit to get the clamps to dig into the terminals.

Image Source by : pixabay

Note: If you drive a car that is alternatively-fueled, or that has an electronic ignition system, then using jumper cables could possibly damage it. Check with the dealership to see what you should do if either of these things apply to you!

Also, if you do not possess a set of jumper cables, you should buy some and keep them in your car. You never know when you’ll want them.  Our advice is not to purchase the inexpensive $10-$20 cables because they typically have small gauge wires and may not pass enough current to start your car.  Instead, seek out the heavier cables, generally $30 and up. They will be great cables that you can count on.

A dead battery happens to every vehicle owner at some point. A couple things to avoid a dead battery often include these: leaving a door open, or a light on. It is only wise to be prepared for the incident when the time comes! We hope that you have enjoyed this guide that will step you through it!

Featured Image Source by : pixabay

Randall Evans

Randall Evans has worked in the automotive industry as a mechanic, and a service representative. He has been an active member in a number of car clubs and classic events.

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