Introduction: How to Jumpstart a Car
If you are viewing these instructions, then your car is most likely not starting due to a dead battery, and you are extremely frustrated. Do not worry! We are here to help with easy-to-follow instructions that will get you back on the road. Remember though, even if you successfully jumpstart your battery, you still need to take your car to an automotive shop and have the battery checked for safety reasons. You most likely need a new battery, and who wants to constantly jumpstart a car battery before heading out?
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Step 1: Warning
Jumpstarting a car battery is very dangerous and can result in electric shock, injuries, and death if done incorrectly. The following instructions are written to avoid these results. Therefore, please pay close attention to every disclaimer and follow each step included in the instructions to avoid these risks.
Step 2: Equipment
What is a car battery?
Every car requires a working battery to run properly. A car battery is like a regular battery in that it has positive and negative poles and it can run out of charge. There are different types of batteries. Most car batteries are similar to the picture on the right where the entire battery is visible; however, some batteries are similar to the picture in the middle where only the battery bolts are visible. When a car battery runs out of charge, it can be because of a number of reasons, such as leaving car lights on for an extended period of time. When a car battery runs out of charge, this is when you need to jumpstart the battery or replace it all together.
Step 3: Materials
Gather the following necessary materials:
Car with a working battery and preferably its owner
Jumper Cable Set
Flashlight [if jumping the battery at night]
Step 4: Danger
Do not allow clamps to come into contact with any other pieces of metal except the actual bolts of the battery. It is recommended that you remove any jewelry that could come into contact with the battery or the metal clamps of the jumper cables. This includes rings or necklaces. Now onto the instructions!
Park the working car with the good battery next to the non-working car with the dead battery, so that the jumper cables are able to reach both batteries without causing tension in the cable. Do not allow any part of the cars to touch one another.
Turn off the working car and remove any electrical items plugged into the power outlets of each car i.e. IPods, MP3 players, phone chargers, etc.
Release the hoods of each car. Prop up the hoods with rods, if necessary.
Locate the battery in each vehicle and check for corrosion or cracks. If the battery is corroded, wipe the battery bolts clean with a towel. Disclaimer: IF THE BATTERY IS CRACKED, DO NOT JUMPSTART THE CAR. You will need to tow the car to an automotive shop and replace the battery.
Step 9: Danger
REMEMBER, DO NOT ALLOW THE ALLIGATOR CLAMPS TO TOUCH ANY METAL EXCEPT THE ACTUAL BATTERY BOLTS. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER FOR THE FOLLOWING STEPS.
Attach the red alligator clamp to the positive bolt of the working car’s battery.
Attach the remaining red alligator clamp to the positive bolt on the dead battery.
Attach the black alligator clamp to the negative bolt on the working car’s battery.
Attach the remaining black alligator clamp to a clean and secure piece of metal under the hood OR the negative bolt on the dead car's battery, if necessary.
**Attaching it to either the bolt or to a ground piece of metal will work just fine; however, it is recommended that you attach the alligator clamp to a clean and secure piece of metal.
Turn on the car with the good battery.
Turn on the car with the dead battery.
Step 16: Moment of Truth
Step 17: Final Steps
If the cars start working, let the cars run for 3-5 minutes.
Turn off both cars.
Remove jumper cables from each battery. The order is not important when removing the cables.
Close both hoods of the cars.
Now thank the person who helped you, give yourself a little congratulations dance or highfive, and drive away! You’re in a hurry, remember?!
Step 19: Don't Forget!
Take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible--no longer than 24 hours after you jumpstarted your battery. Just because you successfully jumpstarted your car does not mean you fixed the problem!