It’s happened to all of us: you’re stuck somewhere when your car battery dies. But no need to fear, you’ve got jumper cables in you trunk! Right?
You could be wrong. Although most of us carry jumper cables in our vehicles, few of us actually know how to use them, or we depend on the kindness of a random passerby to magically show up and help in our time of need. But leaving it to chance is a dangerous place to be when an emergency strikes.
We don’t want you to be left stranded! That’s why we’ve constructed a simple guide to help you become a pro at jump starting your own dead battery:
Check for safety. Make sure your car is off the road and away from danger. Remember that you’ll be dealing with an electric shock, so be smart. Make sure small children are away from the engine. Wear protective equipment like glasses or gloves if possible. Be aware of the metal clamps on the cables. Be familiar with your vehicle manual, as some cars require extra steps before jump starting. If you have any questions before you begin, feel free to call your local Discount Tire & Automotive technician.
Position your vehicle and the assisting vehicle so they’re facing each other. Picture having your cars be “nose-to-nose.” The two cars should be close, about a foot or so apart, but never touching. Make sure both cars are in neutral or park and the engines are turned off. Turn on the park brake for both vehicles as well.
Take out the jumper cables. Hopefully you have your own set in your trunk and don’t have to depend on someone stopping who does have them. Set the cables on the ground. Take extra caution to be sure the metal clamps don’t touch each other.
Pop the hoods of both cars. The location of the switch will vary depending on the vehicle.
Find the batteries. Each battery has two terminals, typically identified in red and black with a “+” or “-” sign on top.
Attach a red clamp to the positive terminal of the dead battery. The positive terminal is usually bigger than the negative one, and will say “POS” or “+” on top. Make sure the clamp is attached securely.
Attach the other red clamp to the positive terminal of the functioning car’s battery.
Attach one side of the black clamp to the negative terminal of the functioning car’s battery.
Attach the other end of the black clamp to a clean, unpainted, metal surface under the hood of the car with the dead battery. Just make sure the metal surface you choose isn’t near the battery.Try starting your car. If this doesn’t work, you may need to run the engine of the working car for a few minutes to juice up you dead battery. It may also help to rev the the engine of the working car. Repeat this process several times if necessary until your car starts.
*If this process doesn’t work, your battery probably needs replaced. In this instance, bring your car in for repair to your local Discount Tire & Automotive shop.
Disconnect the jumper cables. Remove the black first, then the red. Make sure the clamps don’t touch each other.
Go for a drive. Drive your car around for about 10 minutes or so. This will give the battery time to rebuild its charge.
For help with any other questions or to have a technician walk you through the process, call us at Discount Tire & Automotive in Logan or Providence! You can also check out this helpful YouTube video.