How To Safely Jump Start Your Car (No Foolin’!)

Safely connect the cables to your battery

Uh oh. Your car battery’s dead. Or, you’re in a parking lot, and someone else with a dead battery is asking you for help. Clueless no more! Read on for some quick tips to safely jump start a dead car battery.

  • Make sure the vehicles are close to each other, but not touching each other. Also, make sure the car batteries are the same voltage.
  • Turn off the ignitions and all accessories of both vehicles, and put them in park (if automatic) or neutral (if manual transmission). (Also, remember to put the parking brake on, so the car doesn’t roll.)
  • Clamp one end of the red positive (+) cable to the positive (+) post of the dead battery. Then, connect the other end of the same cable to the positive (+) post of the healthy battery (in the booster car). **Make sure the other ends of the cables are not touching anything metal!!!
  • Next, connect the black negative (-) cable to the other post of the healthy battery; and then, make the last negative (-) cable connection to an unpainted metal part of the stalled car, away from the battery.
  • Start the healthy car and let it run for a few minutes. Then, start the dead car.
  • Carefully remove the cables in the reverse order in which they were put on, taking care not to let the clamps contact each other, or other parts of the car.

Now that your car has been revived, go for a bit of a drive to build up more of a charge on your battery! (Excuse for a short road trip!)

If the jump start didn’t work, it could unfortunately be something more complicated, such as a bad alternator, or a faulty ignition switch. We will always happily diagnose any of those for you! (but would rather have you on the road, worry-free!)

Published by Brooke

Brooke Yool (Vice President, Daltons Midway) is a caffeine-dependent life form and a Crossfit addict who takes pride in taking care of her body -- after all, it's the only place we have to live. Prefers her puns intended.