How to jump-start a dead car battery

Dead batteries are miserable business: it means you'll probably be late and will have to track down someone who's willing to give you a jump-start. On top of that, many people find jump-starting cars to be intimidating or frightening. "What if I put the cables on backwards?" "What if the battery explodes?" "What if I kill the other car?" Questions race through your mind, but… the battery must be jumped. Here's a guide on how to safely and easily jump-start your car's battery. Don't be afraid… just get your car running and get back on the road!

  1. Make sure BOTH vehicles are off, including the one you'll be using as a power source. Check the battery terminals on both cars for signs of corrosion or damage. If you see damage, don't try to jump-start the battery; buy a new one. Also make sure that the cables are not loose. Jump-starting a battery with loose cables can damage the battery and won't help you get anywhere.
  2. Attached the positive (red) cable clamp to the positive terminal of the dead discharged battery.
  3. Next, attach the other end of the positive cable (red) to the power source battery's positive terminal.
  4. Next, attach the negative (black) cable clamp to the power source battery's negative terminal.
  5. Attach the other end of the negative (black) cable to the engine block, frame or any other good metallic ground on the dead vehicle. Don't connect it to the carburetor, throttle body or any metallic tubing!
  6. Start the engine on the power source vehicle and increase the idle speed enough to give a little voltage to the discharged battery. Once the dead vehicle has been started, you can allow the idle speed on the power source vehicle to return to a normal resting speed.
  7. Remove the negative (black) clamp from the previously discharged battery first, then remove negative (black) clamp from the power source battery.
  8. Finally, remove the positive (red) clamp from the previously discharged battery, followed by removing the positive (red) clamp from the power source battery.
Jun 13th 2010 The Battery Genius

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