How to Properly Jump Start a Car

Jumper Cables

Need to jump-start a car battery? We’ve all been there. You might feel tempted to call a jump-start car service, and this is definitely an option if you don’t mind paying for roadside assistance. However, it’s not your only option. As long as you know someone with a vehicle who can help out, jump-starting your car on your own is a pretty straightforward process. Although it’s important to exercise caution whenever you’re working with car batteries, every driver can learn how to properly jump-start a car.

Jump Starting a Car Battery with Jumper Cables

Before we explain how to jump-start a car, it’s worth pointing out that you only really need jumper cables—and a different vehicle with a working battery—in order to get your battery working properly again.

  1. Park a working vehicle as close as possible to the vehicle with the dead battery. Ideally, you’ll want the two vehicles to be positioned hood-to-hood—not touching, but close enough for the cables to reach from battery to battery. Lastly, turn off both vehicles and engage their parking brakes.
  2. Open the hoods and locate the batteries. In some cases, the battery terminals that you need to connect will be covered by a plastic hood.
    • At this stage, you might discover corrosion on your battery terminals, or notice an unattached battery cable. In either case, we recommend that you call a professional instead of proceeding as planned. It’s safe to remove a little corrosion by hand, but jump-starting a damaged car battery can be very dangerous.
  3. Put on safety glasses/goggles and electricity-safe gloves. At the same time, be sure to remove any jewelry or metal from your person.
  4. Connect one red clamp to the positive terminal of the dead battery.
  5. Connect the other red clamp to the positive terminal of the working battery.
  6. Connect the nearest black clamp to the negative terminal of the working battery.
  7. Connect the final black clamp to any unpainted metal surface on the dead car’s frame.
  8. Start the vehicle with the working battery, and then start the vehicle that previously had a dead battery. If your car won’t jump start, it’s likely that the battery needs to be completely replaced.
  9. Remove the jumper cables in reverse order.
  10. Shut off the vehicle that provided the charge, but leave the recently-dead vehicle running! Keep this vehicle on for at least ten minutes, and/or take it on a short drive. This will give the alternator time to bring the battery back to its original strength.

Jump Starting a Car Battery: Other Options

Don’t feel like flagging down another driver? Auto part stores in Parker and Lake Havasu City offer self-contained jump-starting systems that are even easier to use. As long as you know the proper way to jump-start a car, you can figure out how to use the self-contained system too.

You should always follow the instructions that came with your jump-start device, but in general, the basic process just requires you to connect red to red and black to black before you power up your vehicle.

Anderson Chrysler: Here to Help

If you have any questions at all during this process, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 928-764-0448. We’re proud to serve the drivers of Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City, and Kingman, and we’d be happy to help you out!

If you think it may be time to replace your battery entirely, then make sure to check out our current parts specials and service discounts.


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