How to jump start a car battery safely?
It is important to know some basics of how to jump-start a car safely.
PARK AND PREPARE THE VEHICLES
Park the vehicle with the good battery as close as possible to the disabled vehicle. Recommend to be bout 18 inches apart to provide you enough room to work in between the cars. This also making sure the cars are close enough for the cables to reach from one battery to another.
There are a few things to prepare before the jump-starting process. If your vehicle is an automatic, make sure the gear selector shift lever is in Park. Whereas, if the vehicles happens to have a manual transmission, put that in neutral. Follow by pulling the parking hand brake for each vehicle. Next, make sure that anything that’s electrical in your vehicle is turned off.
Checklist before placing the jump start cables:
- Turn off the fan. Make sure the radio is off.
- Make sure there’s no overhead lights on.
- Make sure your headlights are off.
- If you have anything plugged into a power outlet, such as a charger, unplug it.
We want to make sure that we could get as much electricity going from the good battery to the bad battery. Lastly, take the keys out of the ignition and set them aside.
Connecting the Cables safely
*Tips on how to avoid car memory lost upon changing car battery, read here.
Get your cables out and stretch them out. Be careful at all times, when you’re working with these jumper cables. Make sure that none of the clamps touch each other during the process. You don’t want any sparks or shorts circuit to happen when hooking up the cables.
Almost every set of jumper cables will be color-coded.
The red clamps are for the positive terminals on your battery, and the black clamps are for the negative terminals. Locate the battery the positive and negative terminals. Look for a red cover or coating around the wire for the positive terminal, as well as the positive symbol and there should also be a black wire and a negative symbol going to the negative terminal. Sometimes, you will find vehicles that don’t have a connection right on the battery. They will have a connection off to the side, indicating that you should hook up one of the cables there. Look for that, or look in your owner’s manual to tell you how you should jumpstart your vehicle. Some vehicles have a cover over the battery, so you have to remove it. It’s usually pretty easy to remove. Usually, it will just snap off.
We are ready to start hooking up the cables now.
The process start and end with the disabled vehicle. Connect the positive clamps first and then the negative clamps.
1)Grab the red positive clamp and attach it to the positive terminal on the bad battery. You can attach it right at the middle on the clamps.
2) Grab the other end of that red wire and attach it to the positive terminal on the car with the good battery.
3) take the black negative clamp that’s on the same end as that red one you just attached, and attached it to the negative terminal on the good battery.
4) Put the negative clamp on the disabled vehicle. Do not put it on the negative terminal of the bad battery. Otherwise there could be a spark, and potentially igniting some hydrogen gas that may form around the battery.
Connect this negative clamp to a piece of bare bolt, unpainted metal, or under the hood of the disabled vehicle. Do ensure that it is not near any moving parts, belts or fans that it’s going to hit, when you turn on the engine.
These completes our jump start cables connections.
To recap, we started with the bad battery, positive terminal; went to the good battery, positive terminal; went to the good battery, negative terminal; turned back around to the disabled vehicle, and put the negative black clamp on a section of unpainted metal.
Starting the Car and get those batteries running
Get in the vehicle with the good battery. Put the key in the ignition, start it up, and then let the car run for at least a couple of minutes. If it’s really cold weather, you might even want to let it run longer.
What you are doing right now is sending electricity to the bad battery. We are charging it. You want it to get a little bit of charge in there before you actually try to start the disabled vehicle. After you’ve let the other car run for a while, get in the disabled vehicle, put in the keys, and try to start it.
When the vehicle starts, remove the jumper cables in reverse order of how you put them on. Let it run for at least 15 minutes. You can drive it around during that time to get that battery charged up. If the other vehicle does not start the first time, get out of that vehicle and check the connections under the hood.
Make sure everything’s tight. Let the car with the good battery run longer. Get more charge in there, and then try again. In the occasion that the disabled car doesn’t start after two or three tries, you may have bigger problems than just a bad battery. You may have to get it towed to a shop to have it looked at.
It may be advisable to always have jumper cables in your car. The jumper cables come in different gauges. The lower the gauge, the better. The lower the gauge, the thicker the wire. Also, the lower the gauge, the more the jumper cables will cost. But they will do a better job.
Portable jump starters are also a great idea to have. They’re perfect for when your battery dies and there’s no other vehicle around to jump your vehicle. So follow these steps, and you’ll have an easy, safe way to jump start any vehicle.
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