How to Jumpstart a Car

October 11th, 2018 by

jumper cables charging battery

Learning how to jumpstart a car is a skill that every driver should know. Even though jumpstarting a car is simple, it’s important to understand the process before you’re faced with a dead battery on a busy day! Luckily, our guide will give you the steps that you need to know to get back on the road.

What Does Jumpstarting a Car Do?

When you can’t get your vehicle to start, it might be an issue with the battery. Your battery normally holds a charge that helps start the engine, but a dying or dead battery lacks the power to get things going. However, a set of jumper cables can temporarily resolve the issue. When jumpstarting a car, you use the voltage from a working battery to partially charge your dead battery. This gives you the power to drive home – or straight to a dealership!

How to Jump a Car

  1. Find a good Samaritan with a vehicle that has at least as much voltage as your car.
  2. Put both cars in Park or Neutral and shut off the engine.
  3. Grab your jumper cables and attach the red clips to the positive (POS or +) terminal of the dead battery and the working battery.
  4. Attach one of the black clips to the negative terminal on the working battery. Put the other black clip on an unpainted metal surface of the non-working vehicle (e.g. the metal struts).
  5. Ask the good Samaritan to start their car. Let it run for several minutes before trying to start your car.
  6. If your car runs, be sure to drive for at least 15 minutes to recharge your battery. If it doesn’t work after five minutes, your battery may be beyond help and you might need to call a tow or roadside assistance.

Find Out More!

Now that you know how to jumpstart a car, why not learn a little more about car care? Find out the warning signs of a bad spark plug that could sideline your travels, or contact us for more information about car service and maintenance at Biggers Chevy in Elgin. We’re only a short drive from St. Charles and Schaumburg, so stop by today!