With the ever-increasing demand for “smarter” cars, today’s vehicles have more electrical components than ever before. Aside from the three main components (battery, starter, and alternator), the auxiliary batteries of modern cars also service the injector system, spark plugs, charger ports, cooling systems, and sensors, among others. This puts a heavy toll on your car’s electrical system and drains the battery faster.
Eventually, there would come a point where you won’t have enough charge to even power your car; and in some instances, this could happen when you’re out on a drive. When this happens, you must know how to use and remove jumper cables correctly and safely.
To learn how to do it, continue reading below.
What Are Jumper Cables Used For?
Also known as jump leads or booster cables, jumper cables are used to jumpstart a car battery. They come in pairs and have alligator clamps that are used to connect to a battery’s terminal.
A jump start involves charging a discharged or depleted battery using a set of jumper cables. The cables are temporarily connected to an external power, such as the battery of another vehicle, which will recharge your car’s depleted battery. This will provide your car with enough power to crank up the engine.
Using the Jumper Cables
If you find yourself at the side of the road with a dead battery, you’ll need a set of jumper cables and an external power source. Follow these steps to give your battery a boost and get back on the road in no time.
- Before anything else, turn off all involved vehicles.
- Locate the battery of your vehicle. Most cars have their batteries near the engine.
- Get your jumper cables. A set of jumper cables should have one red cable and a black cable. The red cable should always be attached to the positive (+) terminal of the battery. The black cable attaches to the negative (-) terminal.
- Attach the Red jumper cable clamp to the positive (+) terminal of the dead battery.
- Connect the other side of the Red cable to the positive (+) terminal of the live battery.
- Attach the Black jumper cable clamp to the negative (-) terminal of the live battery.
- Connect the other side of the Black cable to a metal ground. For the metal ground, use an unpainted metal surface of your vehicle that is away from the battery.
- Start the car with the live battery. This will immediately start charging your vehicle’s dead battery. Give it a few minutes to recharge.
- Start the car with the dead battery. If your car doesn’t start, wait a few minutes then repeat step 9. If it starts, you may now remove the cables.
Removing the Jumper Cables
Knowing how to disconnect the jumper cables is as important as knowing how to use them. As a general safety rule, removing jumper cables is done in reverse order. Also, never touch the cables until all clamps have been disconnected.
- Disconnect the Black jumper cable clamp from the metal ground of the car that received the jump start.
- Detach the other end of the Black jumper cable connected to the live battery’s negative terminal.
- Disconnect the Red jumper cable clamp from the live battery’s positive terminal.
- Detach the other end of the Red jumper cable from the positive terminal of the car that received the jump start.
If you want to know more about your car’s battery charging system, you may check out this article by Keep Driving today.