How To Use Jumper Cables The Right Way

Published: September 14, 2022
Last updated: October 4, 2022

There is nothing more frustrating than having your car battery die on you in the middle of the road or at a parking lot. A car battery is arguably one of the most essential components of your vehicle, allowing you to do one important thing—to start your car

It also allows you to use your headlights at night, deploy your wipers during heavy rains, and listen to the radio when stuck in traffic. Unfortunately, all car batteries will eventually fail– even electric car batteries. When that time comes and you’re in the middle of the road or parked in a parking lot, jumper cables are your best friend. 

Read on to understand the process of jump starting your car battery the right way.

How To Jump Start Your Car Battery

The average lifespan of a car battery is between 37 to 48 months. A variety of factors can cause your battery to die prematurely, such as cold weather, leaving the lights on for too long, or worn out battery plates. 

Regardless of the cause, if your car battery dies unexpectedly, you should know how to use jumper cables properly. You can boost your battery by following these steps:

Step 1: Gather necessary information

You may read your manual for any special instructions on how to jump start your vehicle. Also, locate where your vehicle’s battery is placed—this is the most important part! 

On a side note, you can jump start your car batteries either with the help of another vehicle or using a portable jump starter. Either way, the process is still pretty much the same. 

Step 2: Get your jumper cables

A set of jumper cables should have one black cable and one red cable. It is also best to ensure that all vehicles involved are turned off. Remove your keys from the ignition and remove anything flammable within the area. 

Step 3: Find the batteries of all vehicles involved 

Each battery has two terminals, one is marked positive (+), while the other one is negative (-). Similarly, your jumper cables also have positive and negative cables. The black cable is negative (-), and the red one is positive (+). These may be attached to batteries using clamps. 

Step 4: Attach the red jumper cable (+) to the positive terminal (+)

Connect the other end of that red jumper cable (+) to the positive terminal (+) of a charged battery, either that of another vehicle or a portable jump starter. Do not connect the red cable to the negative battery terminal. And, never attach the jumper cable clamps to anything but the intended terminals.

Step 5: Attach the black jumper cable (-) to the negative terminal of a charged battery. 

Connect the other end of that black jumper cable (-) to an unpainted piece of stationary metal on the car with the dead battery. 

Step 6: Start the car with the charged battery or power on the portable jump starter.  

After a few minutes, you may try to start the car with the previously dead battery. If it works, proceed to the next step. If not, repeat step six. 

Step 7: Disconnect the jumper cables in the reverse order they were connected. 

First, disconnect the black jumper cables (-) to be followed by red jumper cables (+). Congratulations, you’ve now successfully jump-started your vehicle! 

Have you ever wondered why your car’s AC not blowing cold air? Check out this blog post by Keep Driving to get the details.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief Carmelo Pickel is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Keep Driving, with almost 20 years of experience working in the industry. Before founding Keep Driving, Carmelo held leadership roles for over a decade on top automotive dealership corporations across North America, handling various leadership roles in Sales, Marketing, and Incentives.
Copyright © 2024 Keep Driving. All Rights Reserved.
DMCA.com Protection Status