Graham Auto Repair

How To Jump A Car

If you've ever had a dead battery then you've probably found yourself asking the question:


"How Do I Jump Start My Car?"


The first thing that you need to know is if your battery is actually dead. If you need help with this, check out our other post, “Why Won’t My Car Start?


If you’ve already verified that you have a Dead Battery, it’s time to Jump Your Car.


Caution: If either vehicle has an Electronic Ignition System or is an Alternatively Fueled Vehicle, the use of Jumper Cables may damage it. Also, NEVER allow any of the Jumper Cable’s Clamps to touch each other while they are being used. This could result in an Electric Shock!


9 Steps To Jump Your Car


Step 1: Find a Vehicle With A Good Battery

The first step to jumping your car is to find a vehicle with a good working battery. If you don’t already have a set of your own Jumper Cables, hopefully you’ll be able to find someone with Jumper Cables who can assist you.


Step 2: Get The Vehicle In The Right Position

The best way to find out where you should put the second vehicle is to pop open the hood. Locate where the batteries are positioned in both vehicles, then make sure that the batteries are close enough together so that the Jumper Cables can reach both. Leave enough space between the two vehicles so that you can move between them.


Step 3: Turn Both Vehicles OFF

You never want to attach the Jumper Cables to either of the batteries while the vehicle is running! Obviously, your car with a dead battery will already be off (or we wouldn’t be trying to jump your dead battery!) but make sure that the owner of the second vehicle turns their car off too.


Step 4: Open the Hood and Grab Your Jumper Cables

Open the hood on both vehicles and ensure that they are propped open safely. You don’t want to risk having the hood close on you during this process! Grab your Jumper Cables (or your friendly assistant’s Jumper Cables) and get ready.


Don’t forgetOnce you start to attach the Jumper Cables NEVER allow the clamps to touch each other!


Step 5: Attach the Jumper Cables

It’s time to attach the Jumper Cables. It’s very important that you attach them in the Correct Order. Also, before you start, make sure that you locate a Grounded Surface for the 2nd Black Clamp to attach to.

What is a Grounded Surface? A Grounded Surface is any clean metal part on your vehicle’s frame that isn’t painted. 


- Attach the 1st Red Clamp to The Positive ( + ) Side of The Good Battery

- Attach the 2nd Red Clamp to The Positive ( + ) Side of The Dead Battery

- Attach the 1st Black Clamp to The Negative ( - ) Side of The Good Battery

- Attach the 2nd Black Clamp to a Grounded Surface on The Vehicle with a Dead Battery


Step 6: Turn On The Second Vehicle

It’s time to turn on the second vehicle. Have your friendly assistant turn on their vehicle and ask them to run their engine (let it idle) for a few minutes. By having them Run Their Engine for a short time, you will give your Dead Battery time to recharge before you try to Start Your Engine.


Step 7: Time To Start Your Engine

Now that your friendly assistant has allowed their engine to idle for a few minutes, it’s time to Start Your Engine. If you’re engine starts without a problem – Yay! Now leave both vehicles running for a few more minutes, giving your battery more time to charge.


Step 8: Remove the Jumper Cables & Store Them Safely

After you’ve let both vehicles run for a few more minutes, it’s time to remove the jumper cables. Make sure that you remove them in the correct order! You are going to Remove the Clamps in Reverse Order.


When you're finished, make sure that you put your Jumper Cables back in a Safe Storage Place in your vehicle. If these aren’t your Jumper Cables, make sure to give them back to your friendly assistant. This would be a good time for you to make a note that it’s Time to Buy Jumper Cables!


- Remove the 2nd Black Clamp from the Grounded Surface

- Remove the 1st Black Clamp from the Negative ( - ) Side of the Good Battery

- Remove the 2nd Red Clamp from the Positive ( + ) Side of Your Battery

- Remove the 1st Red Clamp from the Positive ( + ) Side of the Good Battery


Step 9: Say Thank You! And Drive Your Car

Don’t forget to tell your friendly assistant thank you! And pay it forward – be ready to help someone else when they end up in the same predicament that you were in. Now, go drive your car – it’s a really good idea to drive your vehicle around for at least 10 to 15 minutes before turning it off again.


Final Note: If you find yourself having to Jump Your Battery Often, give us a call and let us check out your battery to see why.


If your Battery isn’t Holding a Charge, you may need a New Battery; however, you could also have a problem with your Alternator. If that's the case, replacing the battery will not solve your Dead Battery problems. If you would like, we can take a look at your car and quickly tell you which problem that you’re dealing with.


Would you like to Schedule an Appointment at Graham Auto Repair?

Please give us a call 253-847-2221. Or click on this link to schedule online.

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Graham Auto Repair in 2 Locations - Graham, WA and Yelm, WA