If you’re like most people, you don’t know how to jump a car. That’s okay – it’s not difficult, but it is a little bit of a process. In this quick guide, we’re going to walk you through the 8 steps on how to do it.
So whether your battery has just died or you need to help out a stranded motorist, here’s how to jump a car in 8 easy steps.
Tools Needed: Jumper cables
Time needed: 15 minutes.
How to Jump a Car Safety
- Park the Cars Close to Each Other
Carefully pull the running car close to the car with the dead battery. They don’t need to touch, just close enough to connect the jumper cables. Once parked, open the hoods of both vehicles and secure them open with the hood prop Rod
- Turn Off Car And All Electrical Components
Once parked, turn both cars ignition to the “off” position and make sure all electrical components such as the lights, radio, A/C are off.
- Locate the Car Battery
Locate the battery in each car and remove any decorative plastic panels covering each battery. Find the (+) positive terminal and (–) negative terminal of both batteries.
- Attach Red Jumper Cables First
Connect the one end of the red jumper cable clamp to the (+) positive terminal of the vehicle with the dead battery. Next, attach the other end of the red jumper cable clamp to the red (+) positive terminal of the working car battery.
- Attach Black Jumper Cables
Connect the one end of the black jumper cable (–) to the negative terminal of the working battery. Attach the other end of the black jumper cable to the (–) to the negative terminal of the car with the dead battery.
- Start the Working Car
Start up the working car first, then after 5 minutes try to start the car with the dead battery. It may take a few tries to start the vehicle with the dead battery. That’s normal.
- Remove the Jumper Cables
Once the jumped car is running, remove the jumper cables in reverse order you connected them in. First remove the black jumper cables (–) from the negative terminals, then red jumper cables (+) from the positive terminals.
- Let the Jumped Car Run Before Driving
Let the jumped car run for at least 5 minutes before driving. Turn on the radio and lights to test the car has enough power to remain running.
Car Still Won’t Start?
There are a few things to check if your car won’t start. Make sure you’ve connected all of the wires and connectors properly, then give it another go.
If the car still want start, the battery might be too far gone. The car will need to be towed to the dealership or local mechanic.
Be sure to ask the dealership or mechanic about the battery warranty and to also check the health of the alternator. A faulty alternator will cause a car battery to fail.
How to Jump a Car FAQs
How long Should it Take to Jump a Car?
Jumping your car with a dead battery shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. If it doesn’t start after a few attempts, then either there is something wrong with the jumper cables or you need to replace the dead battery.
How Many Amps to Jump Start a Car?
400 amps is enough to start most small and midsize cars, as well as some SUVs or trucks.
Is it Safe to Jump a Car in the Rain?
Don’t worry if you find yourself needing to jump your car in the rain – it’s totally okay! The battery won’t be adversely affected by a bit of moisture. In fact, a car battery is sealed and completely safe to get wet.
And that’s all there is to it! If you follow these 8 simple steps, you’ll be able to jump start a car like a pro. Just make sure both cars are turned off and that you connect the jumper cables properly.
Once you’ve given it a few minutes, try starting the car with the dead battery. If it still doesn’t start, then it might be time to call for help.
Loves anything with a motor and wheels.
Christopher is an internet technology expert and mechanical engineer. When he’s not at the local autocross event, he can often be found working on one of his cars. He loves nothing more than taking something apart and putting it back together again. Email me direct, or learn more about us