How do I jump my car battery?

Learn How To Properly Jump Start A Dead Battery

Battery Jumpstart

A dead battery will probably leave you stranded at least once in your life so it is important to learn how to properly jump start a dead battery.

There are two common methods to jumpstart a dead battery. You can use the traditional battery jumper cables or a newer battery jumper pack. Each requires a similar process but with the battery jumper cables you will need an extra car in order to jump the dead battery.

1. Turn the ignition key off before making any connections.

(if you are using battery jumper cables, leave one car running and remove the key from the dead car. Then make sure none of the jumper battery cable ends touch each other or any painted area of the car.)

2. Clamp the positive (red +) clamp onto the vehicle (red +) battery post. If you can't find the battery there will probably be a connection point under the hood some where marked with a "+" symbol.

(if you are using battery jumper cables, repeat #2 on the other car before continuing to the next step.)

Positive Cable End

3. Next clamp the negative (black - ) onto the vehicle (black - ) battery post. Again, if you can't find the battery, locate the alternative battery jump location marked " - " or connect to bare, unpainted, metal like the engine or frame of the car.

(if you are using battery jumper cables, repeat #3 before continuing to the next step)

Negative Battery Cable End

4. Make sure the cables are not in the path of moving engine parts (pulleys, belts, fans, etc.)

5. At this point, wait about 30 seconds to make sure the dead car battery has a few moments to charge up before you crank the key.

7. Start the dead vehicle. (if the vehicle does not start within 6 seconds, wait 3-5 minutes. During that time, wiggle the battery clamps to ensure proper connect on the metal contacts for the positive and negative cable ends. This is a very common reason that the car won't start.)

8. When the vehicle is started, disconnect the negative ( - ) battery clamp from the vehicle(s). Again, during this process, be sure that the cable ends do not touch each other or the vehicle paint. It could damage components on the car.

9. Now disconnect the positive cables from the vehicle(s).

Your battery is now jumped and running! What’s next?

Drive your vehicle or let it run for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the alternator to put some charge into the battery but will not charge it all the way up. Also during this time, try to avoid using your headlights, radio, air conditioning, and any other electrical loads.

If your battery light is on while the car is running, please refer to this article.

Do you want to know how long your battery might last?

650-946-1856 or

Written by Eric Sevim | A+ Japanese Auto Repair, Inc. | 780 Industrial Rd, San Carlos CA 94070


Disclaimer: This article is provided for general informational purposes only.  It is not intended as advice for your particular vehicle, and should not be relied upon for that purpose.  Please consult a qualified automotive maintenance professional to determine the maintenance and repair needs for your vehicle.

Categories: Car Maintenance
Tags: Battery
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