Instructables

How to Fix Common Car Problems: Jump Start, Changing a Flat Tire, and Using Fix-A-Flat.

Picture of How to Fix Common Car Problems: Jump Start, Changing a Flat Tire, and Using Fix-A-Flat.
Car need a jump? Flat Tire? If you answered yes to either of those two questions you are in the right place.  I created this tutorial on how to get your car up and running again. 

In this tutorial:

Part One: How to Jump Start a Car.
Part Two: How to Change a Flat Tire
Part Three: How to Use Fix-a-Flat

**NOTE** The steps are labeled confusingly. If the title is "Step 11: Steps 13&14:..." then it is step 13 and 14 for that part of the tutorial. Sorry for the inconvenience. 
 
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Step 1: Part One: How to Jump Start a Car.

Picture of Part One: How to Jump Start a Car.
This part of the tutorial is directed at jump starting your car. You might want to wear rubber gloves because you may get dirty, but they are not necessary.

Things Needed:

1. Non-Working car
2. Working car
3. Jumper Cables

Step 2: Step 1: Find Another Car.

Picture of Step 1: Find Another Car.
Step 1: Get another car(Yellow Truck) and some jumper cables and park working car next to or in front of non-working(Gray Car) car.

Step 3: Step 2: Pop The Hoods.

Picture of Step 2: Pop The Hoods.
Step 2: Pop the hood on both cars. For information on how to pop your hood, check the owner's manual.

Step 4: Steps 3 & 4: Locate the Battery.

Picture of Steps 3 & 4: Locate the Battery.
Step 3: Locate the battery of the non-working car(Gray Car). (Check owner’s manual for exact location)

Step 4: Find the positive(Red Cap) and negative(No Cap) terminals on the non-working car’s battery.  Always start with the non-working car’s battery because it is likely to have little to no charge on it.

Step 5: Step 5: Hook Up First Cable.

Picture of Step 5: Hook Up First Cable.
Step 5: Connect the red/yellow jumper cable clamp to the positive terminal(Red Cap) of the non-working car’s battery. DON’T connect the black cable to the negative terminal on the non-working car yet.

Step 6: Step 6: Locate the Other Battery.

Picture of Step 6: Locate the Other Battery.
Step 6: Locate the battery of the working car(Yellow Truck). (Make sure key is not in the ignition)

Step 7: Steps 7, 8, and 9: Connect the Cables to the Working Battery.

Picture of Steps 7, 8, and 9: Connect the Cables to the Working Battery.
Step 7: Find the positive(Red Cap) and negative(No Cap) terminal on the working car’s battery(Yellow Truck). Again, make sure the car is not running and no power is going to the car.

Step 8: Connect the red/yellow jumper cable to the positive terminal(Red Cap) on the working car’s battery.

Step 9: Connect the black jumper cable to the negative terminal(No Cap) of the working car’s battery.
artemff1 year ago
I have a comment to this step. Everything was fine up to now. However, jump-starting the other car when the engine of the working car is running may result in a failure of the working car's charging circuitry. The problem is that it is designed to charge the battery and not to power the starter.

To be on a safe side, charge the battery of the non-working car for about 10 minutes, shut off the engine and then start the non-working car without disconnecting the battery of the second car. The charge of two batteries should be enough for the start.
After the non-working car has started, one can disconnect the jump wires as described here - it is safer since the load of the charging circuitry of a running car will just switch from (partially_charged + fully_charged) batteries to partially_charged one. Compared with powering the starter during the start, this load is negligible (actually, the charging circuitry is designed for this load).
Darwinfish1 year ago
It's also good to set the parking brake and chock (put rocks or something before and behind) the tires that are still on the ground to prevent the car from rolling off the jack.
buirv1 year ago
Almost always when connecting batteries, sparks are seen when making the final connection. For safety purposes, when connecting the ground (black) jumper cable (last), it is best to find a good grounding point AWAY from the battery. This is a technique to prevent the sparks from igniting the Hydrogen gas that is always around a battery. Especially a freshly discharged one. You can not smell hydrogen gas. There have been cases of people being blown up because they were not careful in doing this.
Ranie-K1 year ago
To lessen the risk of the battery exploding from clamp sparks, I've been told to connect positive wires like here, but the negative cables to ground on the car instead of to the battery pole.

This way, sparks (that usually comes when connecting/disconnecting) is away from the battery and possible hydrogen gas.