How to Jump Start your Car

Your car isn’t starting…. Now what? The first thing to check is if the battery is dead. If so, there may be a simple solution, you may be able to use jumper cables to jump-start it. If you can safely use jumper cables on your vehicle, make sure that the battery on the other vehicle has at least as much voltage as your own. If it does not, find another that has a battery with the same or more voltage than yours does. As long as you hook up the cables properly, it doesn’t matter whether your vehicle has negative ground and the other vehicle has positive ground, or your vehicle has an alternator and the other vehicle has a generator.  The biggest thing is having the cables hooked up properly.

To safely jump-start a vehicle please follow these steps:

  • Take out a good set of jumper cables
  • Place both vehicles in Park or Neutral and shut off the ignition in both vehicles.
  • Attach one of the red clips to the positive terminal of the dead battery. It will either have a “POS” or “+” on it, or it will be bigger than the negative terminal
  • Attach the other red clip to the positive terminal of the other vehicle.
  • Next, attach one of the black clips to the negative terminal on the good battery
  • Last, attach the last black clip to an unpainted metal surface on your car to a place that isn’t near the dead battery. You can use one of the metal struts that holds the hood open

The cables should look like this:

  • Start the engine on the other vehicle and let the engine run for a few minutes
  • Try to start your vehicle

If it won’t start, first make sure that the cables are properly connected and the vehicle with the good battery has let the engine run for a good five minutes. Then, try to start your car one more time. If it still won’t start at this point, your battery may be beyond help or something else is causing the issue.

If the jump start works and your car starts, don’t shut off your engine immediately! You should drive around for at least 15 minutes to recharge your battery. If the car won’t start the next time you use it, the battery isn’t holding a charge and probably needs to be replaced. If you have an issue, you should bring it in and let one of our expert mechanics take a look at it. We will let you know if it is the battery or something else that is causing your issue.