If you car doesn’t start, you are probably thinking that you have a dead battery. Though frustrating you are not worried because you have jumper cables in trunk of your car and you know how to use jumper cables.
What is surprising is how many people do not know how to use jumper cables. Don’t worry, we have your back.
Jumper cables come in many price points and quality levels. A simple rule is some is better than none, but if you are going to purchase new jumper cables make sure of two things: you should get a set that is at least 20 feet long and that are 4 to 6 gauge in size. Having longer cables is needed as it may not always be possible to get your car close enough for cables that are shorter.
You can get a good jumper cable set at Home Depot for less than $30.
Connecting Your Cables
When using your cables one thing to make absolute sure of is that you keep the red and black clamps from touching each other. If they do touch when they are connected to a battery it could cause a short in either car and you will have some dangerous sparks.
Follow these steps to connect your cables:
1 Park the vehicle with a good battery as close to the car with the dead battery.
2 Open the hood of each vehicle and identify where the batteries are located.
3 Ensure that any plastic cover over the battery posts is removed.
4 Determine which post is positive and negative for each vehicle.
5 Brush away any dirt or other substance off of any of the post because you need as good of a connection as possible.
6 Connect the red(positive) clamp to the positive post on the car with the dead battery.
7 Connect the red(positive) clamp to the positive post on the car with the good battery.
8 Connect the black(negative) clamp to the negative post on the car with the good battery.
9 Connect the black(negative) clamp to an unpainted part of the frame or engine bolt on the car with the dead battery.
Start Your Engine
Start the car with the good battery. Then try to start the dead car. If your dashboard lights come on and you hear the engine try to start but wont, you may have another issue rather than a dead battery.
If you hear a clicking sound, you problem may be a bad starter,
If your vehicle starts, leave it running for a few minutes and then remove the cables in the reverse order that you connected them. REMEMBER do not touch the red and black clamps together.
One other option, other than calling your mobile mechanic, is to use a portable power pack. These are small enough to keep one in your car and have enough power to give your car a jump. You will have to remember to keep it charged fully. A battery pack will lose some power over time, so it is a good idea to take it out of your car and plug it in to charge it up occasionally.