How Do You Jump Start a Car?

Many drivers have experienced the dread of turning your key and not hearing the engine turn on. Usually, it means your car's battery is dead and it needs a jump. If this happens to you, there's no need to call a tow truck as long as you have a set of jumper cables and there's another driver around willing to help you jump start your car. The process is pretty simple:

  • Find someone with a working vehicle who's willing to help jump start your car and park the two vehicles close together, but not touching, with their front ends facing each other. Put both cars in park and remove the keys from the ignition.
  • Pop the hood on both cars and find the battery. If you're not sure where the battery is, check your owner's manual.
  • Locate the battery terminals, which are usually have red and black covers with + and - signs.
  • Grab your jumper cables and make sure the clamps do no touch each other during the process. Move the battery terminal covers aside and attach the positive red cable to the positive battery terminal on the dead battery. Then attach the opposite end of the red cable to the positive terminal on the working battery. After, attach the negative black negative cable to the negative terminal on the working battery. Finally, attach the opposite end of the black cable to any unpainted metal part of the dead car, but not the battery.
  • Once your cables are properly attached, start the working car. Wait for a few minutes and rev the engine a couple times before starting the dead car. If it does not start, wait a little longer and try again.
  • Once the dead car is running again, disconnect the cables carefully, black first and then red, still making sure they do not touch until completely removed from the cars.
  • Take a drive to let your battery recharge, and you're good to go.

To avoid the need to jump your vehicle, be sure to have your battery checked during your routine maintenance and before any long trips. If you'd like to have your battery checked before your summer road trips, feel free to make an appointment at our Silver Spring, MD service center, where our skilled technicians will make sure your battery is ready for your next trip.

Categories: Service


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