How to Jump-Start a Car

Jumper Cables

Ideal Auto is your premier source for quality used cars in the Minot area. But we’re much more than that. We strive to provide you answers to your many auto-related questions, even when it comes to DIY service & repairs. While we’re a used-only dealership without our own service center, we still strive to do our very best to meet your needs, which, if you drive, will inevitably include service-related questions at some point or another! So, with that in mind, if you need to know how to jump-start your car, read on or contact us, because we can help you learn the proper way to jump-start a car, eliminating your anxiety and saving you from spending money unnecessarily on a jump-start car service.

The Proper Way to Jump-Start a Car

While you can call a jump-start car service if none of the below works, it’s always a good idea to try to jump-start a car battery yourself, as it’s not a difficult process. You will, however, need another person and another vehicle for this, as well as a set of jumper cables. Once you have access to all of that, here is what to do. Note — if you don’t feel comfortable recruiting a stranger to help you and you’re in a new area alone, you may wish to just call a jump-start car service. Otherwise, it’s easy to learn how to jump-start a car:

  1. Face the two vehicles with the batteries facing each other. Most vehicles have batteries in the engines, meaning they’ll usually face hood-hood. Some foreign cars, though, have the battery in the trunk. After you’ve parked the vehicles, turn them off and set the parking brakes.
  2. Gain access to the batteries. Note: you may need to remove a plastic hood to expose the battery terminals.
  3. Find the positive and negative battery terminals. Make sure they are clean and free of any corrosion or dirt.
  4. Take stock of your cables and separate the red ends from the black ends. You don’t want them to touch, ever, as they could spark. Next, connect the red clamp to the positive post on the dead battery.
  5. Uncoiling the battery cable, hook the other red clamp to the positive terminal of the battery with the charge.
  6. Connect the black clamp to the negative post on the good battery.
  7. Connect the last black clamp to a grounded, unpainted metal surface on your car’s frame.
  8. Once everything is hooked up securely, start the engine of the vehicle with the good battery. You may try to start the engine right away, but it’s probably a good idea to let the car with the good battery run for a bit, then try starting the engine of the other vehicle.
  9. Once the dead vehicle has been successfully jump-started, carefully remove the jumper cables in the reverse order that they were placed on, and keep the other vehicle running.
  10. Be sure to keep the engine running on the restarted vehicle for at least 10 minutes to ensure that the weak battery doesn’t die again right away. Consult your owner’s manual for more info on recommended times. It’s also recommended that you get your battery tested and/or replaced ASAP.

Additional Car Battery Tips & Tricks

There are plenty of reasons aside from a dead car battery why your vehicle may not be starting. Here are just a few worth noting:

  1. If you try and start the car but only hear a clicking sound, the starter might not be functioning.
  2. If the electrical systems of the car turn on, but the engine does not, then the issue could be a number of things including the ignition switch, starter, or even something as simple as a fuse. It’s worth bringing your vehicle to a qualified service center for further diagnostics and investigation.
  3. Don’t forget to keep your vehicle running for a while after it’s received a jump. That allows the battery to recharge some after it’s been completely drained. Note that some batteries still can hold a charge for some time after being jumped; usually, this is the case after a vehicle with a good/newer battery has been sitting idle. A remedy to prevent this is using a battery trickle charger. Sometimes, though, an old and worn-out battery that requires replacing is the reason for a car needing a jump.

Turn to Ideal Auto for More DIY Car Care Tips

Looking for more DIY car care & maintenance tips? We’re here to help! Wondering if it’s time to trade in that old vehicle for something newer with more features? Be sure the check out our entire selection of quality used vehicles for sale!

Ideal Auto 48.20342, -101.3122393.