How to Safely Jump Start your Car
Cold Weather and your Car Battery:
Cold weather can adversely affect your car battery. Your car’s battery has a set cold cranking amp output. The lower CCA (Cold Cranking Amp) output, the more likely the battery will not produce enough amps to start your car. Cold batteries retain their charge better than warm batteries, but expend more energy when used. That is why you may only get one chance to start your car on a cold battery, especially with an older battery. It is a good rule of thumb to replace your battery every three to five years.
How to Safely Jump Start your Car:
Jump starting your car is an easy task that can become dangerous, so taking the proper precautions is important. You will need the following items to complete the job:
You may also use safety goggles and a flashlight if you desire.
Step 1: Get Ready
First, make sure the car ignition is off. Be sure to turn off any lights or accessories in the vehicle, like your radio or interior lights, so you get the maximum amount of energy to your battery. Next, open the hood to expose the battery. Check the battery for corrosion, damage, or leakage. If you find any damage or leakage, do not perform the jump start. Call a qualified mechanic or roadside assistance to help you. Damaged batteries can explode and cause you great physical harm. Corrosion can be cleaned off the batteries terminals with a wire brush and a baking soda solution.
Step 2: Prepare Both Cars
Position the other vehicle where the jumper cables are within range of each cars’ battery.
Step 3: Connect the Jumper Cables
Connect the red, positive cable end to the positive terminal on the dead battery first. Connect the other end of the red cable to the positive terminal of the live battery. Then, connect the black, negative end of the jumper cable to the negative terminal on the dead battery. Finish connecting the two by attaching the other end of the black cable to the live battery’s negative terminal. To be sure you are connecting to the right terminals, take notice of the car’s wiring. Red cables lead to positive terminals, black to negative terminals.
Step 4: Recharge the Battery
Start the car with the good battery allowing it to charge the weak battery for 10 minutes. You should now be able to start the car with the weakened battery.
Step 5: Remove the Jumper Cables
Use caution when removing the jumper cables since there is live electricity flowing through them. Remove the cables in the reverse order of how you placed them. First, the black, negative leads followed by the red, positive leads.
Now you are ready to go!