How to Jump-Start a Car

Cables jump-starting a car

Your car helps take you from your Tylertown area home to your Prentiss area job. It gets you through the weekend. It even can take you on long-distance trips with family or friends. But if your car’s battery is dead, it can’t get you anywhere. If you find yourself facing a dead car battery, then learning how to jump-start a car the right way to get you back on the road is essential. So, let’s dive into what happens when you jump start a car battery and what to do if your car won’t jump start. Ready? Let’s go! Have questions while you read? Call 601-419-6157. Otherwise, feel free to schedule battery service with us now.

The Proper Way to Jump-Start a Car

To learn how to properly jump-start a car, first, you’ll need two vehicles, one of which will be your vehicle with a dead battery, and the other of which will need a fully-charged battery. You’ll also need another person to help you with the process. If that’s not an option, then your best bet is to call a jump-start car service. Otherwise, here’s how to properly jump-start a car near Oak Grove:

  1. Make sure the two cars’ batteries face each other so the jumper cables you’re using can reach both of them. Note: most car batteries are located in the vehicle’s engine bay, meaning they’ll usually face hood-hood. Some foreign cars, though, have the battery in the trunk.
  2. Be sure the vehicles are turned off and in “Park” (or “First” or “Reverse” depending on the circumstances for manual vehicles). Then, set the emergency brake.
  3. Find the battery in both vehicles. You may need to remove a plastic hood to expose the battery terminals.
  4. Find the positive and negative battery terminals. Clean them of any corrosion, dirt, or caked-on battery acid.
  5. Next, we deal with jumper cables; separate the red ends from the black ends. You *don’t* want them to touch — ever — as they could spark and cause a fire!
  6. Next, connect the red clamp to the positive post on the dead battery.
  7. Locate the other red clamp and connect it to the positive terminal of the battery with the charge.
  8. Connect the black clamp to the negative post on the good battery.
  9. Connect the last black clamp to a grounded, unpainted metal surface on your vehicle’s frame.
  10. Once everything is fastened on where it’s supposed to be, it’s time to start the engine of the vehicle with the charged battery. Leave the car with the dead battery there for a few minutes before attempting to start so it can gather up some charge. Then, try jump-starting. If your car won’t jump-start, wait a bit longer and try again.
  11. Once the dead vehicle has been successfully jump-started, carefully remove the jumper cables in the reverse order that they were put on, and keep the other vehicle running. You may wish to visit a service center like ours that provides battery service.
  12. 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 other than a dead car battery that could be causing your vehicle to have trouble starting. Other car parts like the alternator or starter, for instance, could be at fault. Here are some tips for further troubleshooting:

  1. If you try to start your car and hear a clicking sound, the starter might not be working.
  2. If the electrical systems of the car turn on, but the engine does not, then anything from your ignition switch, to your starter, or even something as simple as a fuse could be the culprit. In this case, it’s well worth bringing your vehicle to a qualified automotive service center in Columbia for additional diagnostics and investigation.
  3. Remember, if you have your vehicle jumped, or jump-started, you’ll want to run it for a bit so that the battery to recharge after it’s been completely drained. Note: 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. Sometimes, though, an old and worn-out battery that requires replacing is the reason for a car needing a jump.

Turn to Walt Massey Ford for More DIY Car Care Tips

Ready to diagnose your car battery issues or have battery service completed in Columbia? Walt Massey Ford is here to help! Call us now at 601-419-6157 or check out our other service tips for additional information or assistance.

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