How to Jump start a Car

We have all had it happen at least once – you walk out to the car, realize you left a light on, and when you turn your key in the ignition, nothing happens. This is a classic scenario that happens every day, and what does it mean? You have a dead battery. A dead battery can be extremely frustrating, especially if you’re on a deadline or have somewhere you need to be. The good news is that with a little help from some friends and a set of jumper cables, you can be back on your way in just a few minutes.

1. You’ll need a running car and some jumper cables. If you have a dead battery, you will need a friend or family member to come to your aid with a running car and a good set of jumper cables to give you a car jump start. If possible, the friend should park their car directly opposite yours, facing yours with a few feet of space in between. Before beginning, both cars need to be turned off.

2. Wear safety glasses and safety gloves. The person who will be using the cables needs to wear a little protective gear – aka, safety glasses and safety gloves. A car’s battery is made to carry a huge amount of electric current, which makes this seemingly small task of a battery recharge actually quite dangerous. The safer you are when handling the equipment, the better.

3. Locate the batteries and their positive and negative terminal posts. Make sure the front hood of each car is open all the way, and then locate each car’s battery. The battery will look like a large rectangle, usually located under either the front right or front left of the hood. Each battery will have two posts attached to it, one positive (+) and one negative (-). Make sure any covers over the posts are removed.

4. Place the jumper cables. There will be a positive and negative jumper cable. Never let the clamps touch each other during the entire process. First attach the positive clamp to the positive post of the dead battery. Second, attach the other positive clamp to the positive post of the working battery. Third, attach the negative clamp to the negative post of the working battery. Last, attach the remaining negative clamp to any unpainted metal attached to the engine of the dead battery, away from the battery or any moving parts.

5. Turn on the cars. First turn on the working car and rev the engine. Then try turning on the other car. If the car turns on, while still in park, push the gas pedal a few times to ensure that your battery has enough juice to turn on again.

6. Remove the cables. Once the car starts, remove the cables in the opposite order of how they were placed and then leave the car running for at least another 20 minutes.

If you have a dead battery and a friend with jumper cables, you may be able to get your car running again, but it’s important to remember that jumpstarting a car can be dangerous. A car battery contains up to 700 amps of current, which is more than enough to cause a fire or explosion, especially if it’s incorrectly jumped. Of course your best, safest option would be to call a professional tow truck company that provides emergency roadside assistance, like ACS Services. And in the worst case scenario, ACS Services cooperates with a team of independent tow truck operators and they can provide auto towing if your battery won’t jumpstart. Don’t wait until it happens – remember ACS Services for all your emergency roadside assistance needs.