How to Jump Start a Car
Getting into your car ready to start a journey, only to be greeted by a spluttering, lifeless engine can be infuriating, especially if you have somewhere important to be or you’re on a tight schedule. If you do find your car unable to start, then jump starting it may be the best method of getting going again, and this article will look at how to go about sparking your car back to life again.
The first thing you need to do is make sure you have a set of jumper cables in your car in case the situation arises. This is not only useful to you, but can also come in handy for other motorists in the same car park or on the same street as you who may also need help getting their vehicle started.
Before you get to the process of jump starting your car, there are safety precautions that need to be taken to ensure you don’t hurt yourself or damage your vehicle.
Check the handbook
Certain vehicles and manufacturers can have specific instructions for jump starting, so it is important that you consult the manufacturer’s handbook before you begin the process, so you know exactly what to do and what not to do.
1. Ensure the ignitions of both cars are switched off. Park the cars close together, and connect the red jumper cable to the positive or ‘+’ sign on the battery of the car that needs jump starting.
2. Connect the other red cable to the positive terminal on the battery of the other car.
3. Connect the black jumper cable to the negative or ‘-’ terminal on the battery of the working car (known as the donor car) that is being used to jump start the other.
4. On the dead car, connect the other end of the cable to an earth point in the engine, such as the engine block.
5. Once the leads are connected, wait three minutes before starting the engines of either car. This is to allow the voltages to even out.
6. Start the donor car, wait for a minute and then start the dead car. Leave both cars running for 10 minutes. DO NOT disconnect the cables while the engines are running.
7. Turn off the engines of the cars, and then disconnect the leads in the reverse order that you connected them.
8. After the leads are disconnected, try and start the dead car. If successful, drive it around for 20 minutes to top the battery level up.
By following these steps carefully, you will hopefully see your car spring into life again, allowing you to get to where you need to be.
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