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Everyone should know how to jump-start their car, and learning how to do this isn’t very difficult. Keep in mind, however, that if you are struggling or questioning whether you know what you’re doing, leave it to the professionals, since doing it wrong could end up causing you a serious injury.

Make Sure You’re Allowed To Jump Start The Car

Before you attempt jump starting the car, making sure that you’re actually allowed to do this according to your owner’s manual. Vehicles tend to differ with regards to whether they can be started this way; some don’t allow it, while others require that you remove a specific fuse before doing the job. Start off on the right foot with the correct information.

Prepare the Vehicle

There are certain things you’ll need to check before hooking up the jumper cables. Firstly, make sure both cars aren’t touching, but they should be close enough for the cables to reach both. Turn off the ignition of both cars and make sure you’re wearing eye-protectors. Locate the battery terminals.

Attaching the Cables

Before you attach the cables, remember that the positive connector is marked with a plus sign, while the negative connector is marked with a minus sign. Don’t allow the black and red clamps to touch, and make sure that the cables you are using are SAE approved.

Once you checked this, make sure that you connect the red cable to the positive connector of the dead car and then the live car before connecting the black clip to the negative connector of the live car. The remaining black end will need to be connected to the unpainted area of the engine of the dead car.

Starting the Car

Once you have connected all of the relevant cables, you can start the car; if you’ve done it right, the engine should crank. If it doesn’t work the first time, try it again after waiting for a few seconds. If you still can’t get it right, turn off the engine, disconnect the negative clamp from the engine of the dead car and then move the other three about to ensure they are connected properly. You can then reconnect the clamp and try again.

The moment you have successfully started the dead car, disconnect the cables, making sure that you do this in the reverse order with which you attached them. Some cars require that you follow a different procedure, so be sure to refer to the owner’s manual for this information.

Knowing how to jump-start your car can provide you with a lot of peace of mind when you’re on the road, whether you expect to break down or not, so having a quick how-to guide always comes in handy.

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