Jump start a car • How To


If your car won’t start because the battery has gone flat, then you may be able get it going again by jump-starting it.

‘Jump Starting’ is the method of using battery power from another vehicle to start your cars engine by the use of ‘Jump Leads’.

What you need ;
1) A set of car jump leads, also referred to as booster cables
2) A friends car that is working.

Using jump leads is pretty simple and safe if you follow these instructions ;

1. Position both of the cars close together so that the jump leads will reach both batteries.

2. Then connect the car battery booster cables in this order ;

a. Connect (+) positive red cable to the (+) positive terminal on the dead battery.
b. Connect the other end of the (+) positive red cable to (+) positive terminal on the working car.
c. Connect (-) negative black cable to (-) negative terminal on the working car.
d. Connect the other end of the (-) negative cable to the (-) negative terminal on the dead battery.

3. You are now ready to start the working cars engine.  Turn off all electrical equipment on the working car (heater, lights, radio, etc.) so that all the battery power is getting used to jump start the dead battery. Let the working car run for a minute or so before you try to start the dead one. Revving the engine in the working car will produce more power and help with jumping the dead battery.
4. Now try and start the dead battery engine by turning the ignition. If it sounds like it is going to start but will not quite go, then rev the working car for a little longer before trying the dead battery again.

5. When the dead battery has started and is running, remove the jump leads.

Do this in reverse order ;
a. Disconnect (-) negative black cable from the terminal on dead battery.
b. Disconnect (-) negative black cable from the (-) negative terminal on the working car.
c. Disconnect (+) positive red cable from the (+) positive terminal on the working car.
d. Disconnect (+) positive red cable from the (+) positive terminal on the dead battery.

1) You must let the car that had the flat (dead) battery run for quite a while.
If you turn the ignition off shortly after starting it then it may not start again because there will not be enough charge in the battery. It might be worth taking the car for a drive, or driving the car home and connecting the battery to a battery charger overnight.

2) Ensure that when you are connecting and removing the jump leads, they do not touch each other and do not come into contact with any moving parts on either engine. Most quality jump leads have the clamps coated with plastic so there is less chance of the metal parts touching parts of the car or engine. This is something to consider when buying your jump leads.

3) If the car will not start after following this procedure, then it may be time to get the battery replaced.  It is suggested that you try replacing the dead battery with a borrowed one before you spend money on a new one because the fault may be somewhere else, such as the alternator.  Alternatively, get an auto-electrician/mechanic to check the vehicle over for you.

4) Car battery booster cables are always a useful thing to have on your car, whether to help you out of trouble and get you on your way, or to give someone else a helping hand. They are relatively inexpensive, and buying a set to keep in the back of your car is well worthwhile when compared to the inconvenience of having a flat battery. They can be purchased from any local motor-factors, or bought online from most car accessory websites.

As well as jump leads, there are a couple of other useful items that perhaps you should stick onto your Christmas or birthday wish list ;

1. Car battery chargers.
Click image for more info.
Keep this at home and if you ever suffer a flat battery on your car you can bring it into the house and recharge it overnight. The battery charger plugs into your house electric supply and has a black and red clamp for fitting onto the (+) (red) and (-)(black) of your battery. Car battery chargers normally take 12-24 hours to recharge your car, they will recharge slowly and normally let you know when the battery is full.

2. Battery booster packs.
Click image for more info.
Keep one of these on charge in your garage, and whenever you suffer a flat battery this will get you started. Inside it is a large battery and it also has (+) and (-) clamps. Keep it plugged in when it is not in use and then it will always be fully charged. Just attach it to your dead battery and it should provide enough power to start your car. Just remember to keep the car running until your engine has recharged the cars battery.

Please leave a comment or advice for others