Jump a Dead Car Battery / Jump Start a Car.




Introduction: Jump a Dead Car Battery / Jump Start a Car.

So, here is how to jump a dead car battery.
Look at this poor and sad car. It can't start because its battery is dead, nearly dead. So, what shall we do? Lets look at the first step.

(Thank to papertoys.com for the paper cars in this instructable and crazyscientist_11 on Flickr for his photo of the engine bay, I used with his agreement.)

Step 1: What You Need:

Here is what you need to jump start a car:

a car with a low battery to jump start
a booster car (to jump start from)
booster cables


instead of a booster car you can get a booster pack like the one on the picture beneath, which contents also a light you can use in the dark (very useful).

a pal to help (not needed but also useful and in the most cases attached to the provided booster car)

Step 2: Detrmine If Battery Is Dead

First of all, you have to check that it is really your battery that causes the problem to start.
The easiest and fastest way is to check the clock in your car, turn the light or the wipers on. If they will work - there is another problem, but not the battery. If you turn the key an it cranks steadily - maybe it is not the battery, if it cranks slow and not round (tsh . . . tshsh instead of tsh tsh tsh tsh) or you hear no sound at all - jump start.

In our case you see the car is so sad it must have a dead battery, it can mourn about.

Step 3: Prepare the Jump Start.

Get someone with a running car or just a running car without someone, if you can organize that. Park the car (without derailing the traffic) so that your cables are long enough to reach the batteries in both cars.
Open the hoods of both cars and look for the batteries in both. In newer cars the battery is probably hidden under a casing. Remove it. Check to see plus and minus signs on the battery, if you can't, clean the battery with a dry towel or better a rag because the battery will be very dirty and greasy.

Check that there IS a motor under the hood of the car, which doesn't start BEFORE you bother someone to jump start your car.

Step 4: Connect the Cars (red Cable)

First of all turn off the booster car.

Then attach the red cables one end to the positive terminal (watch out for the signs, the positive terminal is mostly bigger than the negative one and is often marked red) of the car you want to jump start.
After that attach the other end of the red cable to the positive terminal of the booster cars battery.

Step 5: Attach the Other Cable (normally Black, Here Yellow for Better Sight)

After you finished the attachment of the red cable, attach the normally black cable to the booster cars minus terminal and the other end to the ground. Just put it on a solid metal part in the engine bay of the car you want to start.
(If the next steps don't succeed than just connect the second end of the black cable to the minus terminal of the dead battery - but be carefully). While connecting there may be some sparks. Watch out but it is a normal process.

Step 6: Start the Engines.

Now as you have connected the cars, start the engine of the booster car.
After that try to start the car with the dead battery. If it will not start, give push down the gas pedal of the booster car just a bit, carefully and slowly, while trying to start your car or check the connections.

Your car should start now, just as the sad car in the picture underneath.
It still looks sad defiance the fact its motor makes vroooming sounds, maybe it just a nasty depressed little car.

Disconnect the cables in this order:
negative dead car
negative booster car
positive dead car
positive booster car.

Drive for some time or let the engine run for a while (at least 20 minutes without driving) to assure the alternator can charge the battery.

And now have a good trip.

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    23 Discussions

    Please stop reading this persons advice. Step 2 is totally bogus. It takes a lot of power to start your car - but very little to run your car lights. In virtually EVERY case that a car battery is dead the radio, lights and horn will still work. My dad owned three gas stations from the time I as 7 so I've got 45 years experience. There is almost always enough bits of power in the battery to run the lights, but not the 12-14 amps to turn the starter. You can tell that the problem is probably the battery that when you turn the key, the car goes CLICK, CLICK, CLICK. If the lights dont work you actually more than likely have a very poor battery connection that will transmit no power rather than a dead battery. Before jumping a car - clean your cables. The advice here is TOTALLY BOGUS.

    My car has always made a tck-tck-tck noise if its battery is dead. Also my lighta , interior and otherwise and wipers almost always still work at least a little if not full strength but batt is too Dead to start.

    In my experience if it is turning over it'll start

    The reason you don't want to make the final connection anywhere near the battery is while you are boosting the battery it may generate some hydrogen gas, highly explosive, any spark could blow the thing up! Oh and it dosen't matter where on the car you connect the ground, current will still go into the battery.

    for the dead car side ,have the runner hooked up first connecting the ground before hot keeps it from acring from lack of a ground ,grounding to motor keeps the battery out of the intense amp flow not really jumping the battery your jumping the starter on the motor your car is much cuter than mine

    1 reply

    Never drive with your hood raised. Not only do you have no visibility, you could damage your hood components or the hood itself.


    I found some other important tips on boosting the battery http://howtohacklife101.blogspot.com/2011/05/how-to-jump-start-car.html

    i suggest before you turn on the engine in 'drained car' that you increase RPMs in 'booster car' on 3000 - 4000 RPMs. you should do the mentioned in order not to shock booster battery and getting help from the alternator also.

    This works on most cars but on some cars you can actually destroy the EMC and the Voltage regulator just by simply jump starting the car. This is caused from the initial current surge when a fully charged battery is connected to a flat or failing battery.

    Nice job. This Instructable is very detailed and has great pictures. This will sure come in handy soon..... Anyway, Great 'Ible! +1 vote and 5/5 stars.

    2 replies

    The theory is always important. I do this every time my poor car's battery is dead. But I like the cartoon cars and the whole presentation....5/5

    No offense, but how is this actually an instructable when you didn't actually phyiscially go out and demonstrate this and take pictures of your own handyman workmanship. Not only does this ensure that you're using your own pictures, but it also demonstrates that you actually know what you're talking about and can use it for real life practices. Considering this is a finalist instructable (somehow), Might I ask that you update your instructable. Otherwise I like how it's laid out and it looks great otherwise.

    1 reply

    I am not offended. In fact, I am in agreement with you, which is why I didn't distribute an Instructable how to push start a car. Pictures and a video would have been necessarily for that one. But I think that in the How to jump start... - a less action but more technique way to do something - for me this seems just alright.

    I helped my neighbor start his car several times due to weak battery but finally it would not boost for battery was totally dead. Then a few months later mi van did the same thing Next my grand daughter was using a borrowed car that did the same. Neither car would boost. All had to have new batteries to start. Have done mechanic work for 40 years and this is the first time to see this.and three cars this year, wow.

    at first i knew how to do it just didn't know where to connect the wires lolz

    A few small errors as gog said technically you should connect the negative to a grounding point in the boosted cars engine bay (although to be honest I don't) If the boosted car uses more juice than the booster, you risk draining both with a direct connection If the booster has more juice than the boosted, you risk completely frying all the electricals in the boosted with a direct connection. The better solution is to start the booster car with the boosteds negative lead not connected to anything, and then while your buddy is trying to turn over the boosted car touch the lead to the battery and pull it back off as soon as the engine has started. Lower risk of messing things up, and not as annoyingly slow as the grounded approach.