October 07 2020 – Safety Kits Plus
Most of us have been there one time or another. You get in your car ready to hit the road, and you go to start it but nothing happens. Your car won't start. The lights won't turn on, the radio is silent, nothing seems to be working. Well, it is most likely your car battery. Maybe you are like me and you left your headlights on. Perhaps a door was left open by accident. Or you simply have not driven or started your car in a long time. Lucky for you, all you may need is a jump. Read ahead for our easy step-by-step instructions on how to safely jump start car battery.
FINDING THE BEST SET OF JUMPER CABLES
In order to jump start your car's battery you will first need a set of jumper cables. We always recommend that you keep a set of high quality booster cables in your trunk for this very scenario you find yourself in today. Be sure to invest in a jumper cables from reputable brands such as AAA because many cheap brand's cables are just too short or have cheap clamps that might not work on all vehicles.
Jumper cables come in different gauges. A lower gauge means the jumper cables are heavy duty. You will see a lot of 10 gauge jumper cables on the market. These are not considered heavy duty and may melt or not be powerful enough to do the job on your vehicle. We recommend a jumper cable with a gauge of 6 or lower. These jumper cables will work well on most full-size cars, trucks and SUV's.
The longer the jumper cable the easier your job will be. You may not always be able to get the source vehicle in the optimal position. Longer cables will help solve that problem. We recommend a length of 16 to 20 feet.
Also pay attention to the insulation of the jumper cables. The thicker the rubberized material the better protection the cables will provide. The clamps on the end of the jumper cables should have strong jagged teeth providing good tension and a better connection.
Once you find the perfect set of jumper cables you will want to care for them so that they are in good working condition when you need them. Store your jumper cables in a weather resistant bag. Exposure to the elements like the sun or excessive moisture can cause the insulation of the jumper cables to fail making them dangerous to use to jump start car battery.
Even when following all safety directions, jump-starting is dangerous and must be done properly to avoid injury or damage to the vehicles. We highly recommend that you pull out and read your car's manual and follow all of the guidelines and instructions from the manufacturer on how to properly jump start car battery.
BEFORE YOU GO TO JUMP START CAR BATTERY
+ Check the owners' manuals for both vehicles for any special directions.
+ Position a vehicle with a good battery and your car so they do not touch each other.
+ Turn off the ignitions of both vehicles and set the parking brakes.
+ Place automatic transmissions in "Park" and standard transmissions in "Neutral".
+ Wear safety glasses and gloves while using cables.
+ Locate the battery of each vehicle. Check manual if necessary.
+ Keep the red and black ends of the cables from touching each other.
+ Have one person at each end of the cables to position the clamps.
+ You may need to remove a plastic covering to expose the battery posts.
+ Identify the positive (+) and negative battery posts of each vehicle.
+ Make sure the battery posts are clear of dirt or grime.
STEP-BY-STEP ON HOW TO SAFELY JUMP START CAR BATTERY
- Clamp/connect one end of the positive (red) booster cable to the positive (+) post of the dead battery on Car A
- Clamp/Connect the other end of the same cable (red) to the positive marked post (+) of the good battery on Car B
- Clamp/Connect the second, negative (black) booster cable to the other post of the good battery on Car B
- Clamp/Connect the final negative (black) booster cable on to an unpainted metal part of the engine block of Car A away from the battery
First start the vehicle with the good battery, Car B and let it run for 2-3 minutes.
Then, start the vehicle with the dead battery, Car A.
If Car A will not start there may be an issue unrelated to your battery. It may be that the lights come on in your vehicle or that you hear a clicking but the vehicle will not start. This is a time to bring in a professional.
Disconnect black clamp from the unpainted metal part of the engine block of Car A
Disconnect black clamp from the negative post of the good battery on Car B
Disconnect the red clamp from from the positive post of the good battery on Car B
Disconnect the red clamp from the positive post of the dead battery on Car A
Be very careful and DO NOT to let the booster cable clamps touch each other or come in contact with car parts. Also, avoid the fans of the engine. Electric fans may run without the engine being on.
Once the cables have been carefully removed, keep your vehicle running for as long as possible until you reach your destination (at least 20 minutes). The battery may have just needed a boost or it may be the battery needs replaced. In that case, once you turn the vehicle off it may not start again. This would mean it may be time to replace the battery and a trip to the shop may be necessary.
Most car batteries last 3-5 years. If you think you car's battery is reaching the end of its life, you can take it to a car battery shop like O'Reilly to get it tested for free.