It’s a common problem, I’ve done it more than a few times. I’ve left my headlights on, my interior light, too. I’ve even shut my car door, thinking I closed it, but in fact, it never closed completely. Most new cars have a way of shutting them off after a period of time, but older cars just arent’t that advanced. What happens when you get in the car first thing in the morning and you reach in a turn the key? Nothing. Nothing at all. That’s when you have to ask your neighbor for a jump.
It’s scary how much I see people jumping cars incorrectly. It may seem like an easy thing to do, but it can be done wrong, and in some instances, it can cause damage to your car and even harm you. Here are a few points to consider next time you find yourself helping a neighbor or asking for help with a dead battery yourself.
1. Make sure the 2 vehicles are not touching. If they are, then you could create a current that could run through the car and damage the electrical system.
2. Turn the car giving the jump completely off. (The car needing the jump should already be off.)
3. Connect the red (positive) cable to the good battery’s positive terminal, then connect the red (positive) cable to the dead battery’s positive terminal using the same cable.
4. Connect the negative (ground) cable to the good battery’s ground terminal, then connect the negative (ground) cable to a solid ground (unpainted frame member or engine bracket) on the other car. Do not connect the negative terminal on the good battery to the negative terminal on the dead battery! Doing so will cause a spark and could ignite the battery. Connecting the cable away from the battery minimizes that risk.
5. Make double sure that the cable ends to not touch each other and the cables are not in the way of any moving parts or pulleys on the engine.
6. Start the engine in the vehicle with the good battery and run the engine at a fast idle for several minutes before attempting to start the vehicle with the dead battery. This will allow the good battery to pump more juice into the dead battery without causing a severe drain on it.
7. Start the vehicle with the dead battery. Once the vehicle has been started, carefully remove the jumper cables, keeping the metal ends away from each other until all 4 clamps have been successfully removed.
8. Drive the vehicle with the low battery for at least 30 minutes to recharge your battery. Driving time may need to be increased if your battery is close to the end of its life cycle.
There you have it! The safest way to jump a dead battery. Of course, you can always eliminate the need for a neighbor or a friend to jump your battery, there are numerous battery packs out there for a reasonable cost that you can keep in your trunk and use only when necessary. If your battery is kaput and can’t be jumped then hitch a ride over here and let us get you a new one!