How to properly jumpstart your car

Whether you forgot to turn off your headlight, the winter cold got to be too much for your older car battery, or you need to help someone stranded somewhere because of a drained battery, this guide will tell you everything you need to get that motor running again. Here’s how to properly jumpstart your car. 

Is the problem really the battery?

You turn the key and the engine doesn’t start. Immediately, your mind begins racing with potential problems. So, how can you tell if your batter is the issue? The answer is as simple as turning the key again and listening to the sounds your car makes. 

If you turn the key and the engine cranks, there’s something else going on under the hood. If you turn the key and nothing happens at all, you probably have a dead battery. Luckily, getting a dead battery started again is an easy fix. All you need are a few tools and someone to help. 

Tools for Jump Starting a Car

The first thing you need to jump start a car is a set of jumper cables. It’s highly recommended that you keep a set of cables in your trunk since you never know when this problem will arise. The second thing you’ll need is another vehicle that has a working battery. 

Pull out the cables and get that vehicle parked by your engine, making sure their engine is close enough for the cables to reach. Now, all you need to know is how to jump your battery. Don’t panic. It’s a very simple process that anyone can do. 

The Jumping Process

Jumpstarting a car takes about 10-15 minutes. However, you need to carefully follow these instructions to keep yourself from harm. With high voltage, there is a risk you might need personal injury attorney Dan Rose if you mismatch wires. Here’s what to do:

  1. Make sure both vehicles are turned off.
  2. Connect one red positive jumper clamp to the positive terminal on the dead battery.
  3. Connect the other red positive clamp to the positive terminal of the working battery.
  4. Connect one black negative clamp to the negative terminal on the good battery.
  5. Connect the last black negative clamp to a clean bare metal surface to your battery. 
  6. Start the vehicle with the working battery first, allowing it to run for a few minutes.
  7. Next, attempt to start your car. If it doesn’t work, head back to step one. 
  8. Carefully remove all the cables in the reverse order and close the hood.
  9. Now, recharge your battery by driving around for 10-15 minutes. The friction from your wheels will accomplish this. 

The Exception

Cars that have manual transmissions can be started without the need for cables. All you need is a stretch of clear downhill road, which comes in handy if you can’t find someone to help you jumpstart your car. Here’s what to do. 

  1. While the car is sitting still, push the clutch to the floor and put it in first gear.
  2. Turn on the car’s ignition.
  3. Keep your foot on the clutch and slowly take your foot off the brake so that the car starts rolling downhill.
  4. Let the car coast to a speed of about 5 miles an hour.
  5. Once you get moving, release the clutch quickly. This should cause the car’s engine to start.  If this doesn’t do the trick, push in the clutch and try it again.

Regardless of how you need to jumpstart your car, the process is never that difficult. Keep in mind that dead battery could be a sign that it’s time for a replacement. After the jumpstart, head to a mechanic as soon as possible so they can check your battery level. 

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