Jump Start a Car in 8 Steps

Jumper Cables

One great safe driving practice is to keep a pair of jumper cables in your vehicle at all times. If your car won’t start or if you hear the engine of your car clicking, you can use jumper cables and working car to get moving again.

However, before you shock the battery, you need to determine whether a dead car battery is the reason your car will not start. If the engine does not respond when you turn the ignition, then the battery is likely not dead and using jumper cables will not fix the problem. If the engine clicks but does not crank, the battery is dead and you will need to jump it.

There are two cables: a red and a black. The red is the positive cable and the black is the negative.

Follow these steps to jump your car off safely:

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  1. Make sure both cars are completely off
  2. Connect one end of the red jumper cable to the positive (+) terminal on the battery that is not working.
  3. Connect the other end of the red jumper cable to the positive (+) terminal on the functional battery.
  4. Connect one end of the black jumper cable to the negative (-) button/terminal on the functional battery
  5. Connect the other end of the black jumper cable to a clean metal surface on the engine of the car that is not working.
  6. Turn the key to start the engine of the functional car and leave it on for a few minutes while the dead battery charges.
  7. Turn the key to start the car that is not working and leave it on for a few minutes.
  8. Remove the cables in the reverse order of how you connected them.

You should also drive the car for about 30 more minutes while the battery continues to charge.

You don’t have to memorize the process. Save this article and pull it up if you ever need to jump start your car.

Jumper cables are just one item that you should have with you at all times. For a complete checklist of items you should have in your emergency kit, check out this article.

With an Auto Insurance Policy through Infinity, you have access to our free Roadside Assistance Program, in the event that you do become stranded with a dead car battery. Click here to get a quote online or call 1-800-INFINITY!

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