A Simple Guide to Using Jumper Cables

Posted on: 26 May 2015

One of the most basic tasks you need to learn how to do when you drive a car is how to use jumper cables. If you get stranded and your car battery is dead, you can either have your car towed or jump start the car. You will need another person to jump start your car as well as a set of jumper cables. Here are some tips to use jumper cables when your car won't start.

Make Sure Your Cars Are Close Enough

In order to jump start your car with another car, you need them to park as close to your car as possible, with your hoods facing each other. The cables aren't very long, and they need to connect to your battery as well as the other car's battery. If you are in a parking space, this may mean double parking in front of you until your car starts. Depending on where you are, it is possible you might need to shift into neutral and push your car to another location so they can get close enough.

Connect the Jumper Cables

When connecting the jumper cables, make sure the ignition in both cars is turned off. This will protect you from electrical shock when you are under the hood and connecting the cables, plus you can avoid a surge of your car's electrical system. Here are the steps you will perform in order to connect the jumper cables:

  1. Find the positive (+) and negative (-) sides of both car batteries. They will be marked with the + or – symbol. Some car models will have a red cover on the positive side of the battery.
  2. When you find the positive side of the battery, attach one end of the red cable to the positive side of the good battery. Now take the other end of that red cable and attach it to the positive side of the bad battery.
  3. Repeat the process for the negative side, which is done with the black cable. Always start by connecting it to the good battery first, then connecting it to the bad battery. When attaching it to the bad battery, it can be attached to any metal part of the battery that isn't painted, such as a bolt.

Jump Start the Car

Now that the jumper cables are connected to both car batteries, it is time to start the cars. Turn the ignition on the car that has the good battery first, leaving it turned on and running. It can help to leave the car running while the cables are connected to the batteries for a few minutes, especially if the bad battery was drained. After a few minutes, try to turn the key in the ignition of your car with the bad battery. If enough charge was sent to your car battery through the cables, your car should start up like normal.

If it doesn't start up after a few tries and after waiting several minutes, you will need a new battery. Call up a tow truck like Big D Towing so you can go to your mechanic or the nearest auto supply store to get a new car battery.


tips to help you prepare for a towing service

Does your vehicle require a flat-bed tow truck when it needs to be towed? Can the vehicle be towed without a flat-bed tow truck? Is there any way to reduce the cost of the towing service when you need it? Can you trust the towing service that you have hired to tow your vehicle? There are many things that you should know before your vehicle needs to be towed anywhere. Find several tips that can help you prepare for those roadside emergencies that force you to call for a tow truck. Hopefully, what you learn will prepare you to keep you, your vehicle and your belongings safe.

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