Car Tip - Jump Starting Made Easy


Almost every driver has to deal with a dead battery, and jump starting is usually the easiest way to get it recharged. It's a relatively straightforward process, but it's still important to follow these steps exactly.

Here's how it works. First, to jump start a car, you will need:

  • A set of jumper cables
  • Another vehicle with a fully charged battery of the same voltage of the car being jumped
  • Rubber work gloves
  • Safety goggles

Before jump starting your car, read the owner's manual. The process is similar for most cars, but there may be special considerations for your specific vehicle.

  1. Park the vehicles close enough that the jumper cables reach each battery.
  2. Make sure each vehicle is in Park or Neutral.
  3. Turn off the vehicle with the good battery.
  4. Turn off or unplug any electronics, including headlights, hazard lights, radios, or cell phone chargers in each vehicle.
  5. Open the hood of each vehicle and put on the work gloves and safety goggles.
  6. Connect one end of the red (positive) jumper cable to the red positive (+) post of the dead battery.
  7. Connect the other end of the red (positive) jumper cable to the red positive (+) post of the charged battery.
  8. Connect one end of the black (negative) jumper cable to the black negative (-) post of the charged battery.
  9. Connect the other end of the black (negative) jumper cable to an unpainted metal part in the dead car, as far from the battery as the cable will reach. This grounds the circuit and helps prevent sparking.
  10. Now you're ready to actually jump start the car. Turn on the car with the fully charged battery and let it idle for roughly five to 10 minutes. Revving the engine won't help: jump starting draws amps from the good battery, which is unaffected by engine power.
  11. Turn off the engine and remove the cables in reverse order, being careful to not let the clamps touch any metal surface.
  12. Start the car with the dead battery. If it starts, let it idle for at least 20 minutes, or go on a five-mile drive so the battery can recharge. If it still won't start, repeat the process.