Automotive batteries are not meant to last forever; in fact, they are designed to only last three to five years before needing replaced. Even with proper maintenance, there are several circumstances that can lead to a drained car battery. This is why a dead battery is one of the leading causes of vehicular breakdowns each year. For this reason, it is wise for drivers to learn how to jump start a dead car battery in the case that it happens to them or a fellow driver. Continue reading for a step by step guide for jump starting a dead car battery, and who to call for professional car battery replacement services near you!
Dead Car Battery
There are several reasons why a car battery can drain its charge. Exposure to extreme heat or cold, leaving the interior or exterior lights on for an extended period of time, and simply not driving a vehicle for a while are just a few examples of how to drain a car battery. For whatever reason your car battery dies (unless it’s old), you can jump start it back up with a set of jumper cables and another running vehicle. You can purchase jumper cables at any local hardware store or automotive store for a low price. Some emergency roadside kits come with jumper cables as well, so these products are highly recommended to buy. Just be sure to keep the jumper cables and roadside kit in your trunk at all times in case you ever need them.
Getting Set Up
Once you are ready to jump start your dead car battery, have the other driver pull their vehicle closer to your car, engine to engine. This can be done side to side, or head to head. Just be sure the jumper cables can reach both car batteries. Now you are ready to connect the cables. Before you start, be aware that clamping jumper cables in the wrong location can damage certain electrical components. Because of this, you MUST read the owners’ manual and know exactly what you are doing before you get started. Also, never touch the two ends of the jumper cables together when one end is connected to a running vehicle. This can cause painful electrocutions and shocks.
Jump Starting a Car Battery:
1. Turn OFF both vehicles.
2. Identify the Positive (+) and Negative (-) sides of each vehicle’s battery. These are where the jumper cables will connect with clamps. Positive is usually red and negative is usually black.
3. Start at the charged battery and connect the RED clamp/cable to the Positive (+) side of the battery.
4. Now connect the other red clamp to the positive side of the dead battery.
5. While at the dead battery, connect the black clamp to the Negative (-) side of it.
6. Now connect the other black clamp to the Negative (-) side of the good car battery.
7. Double check that the clamps and cables are nowhere near any moving engine parts.
8. Turn ON the running vehicle with the good battery.
9. Wait one minute then turn on the other vehicle. If the battery is charged, the vehicle will turn on. Depending on how drained it is, some car batteries will need to stay connected to a running vehicle for 5 minutes or more.
10. Disconnect the jumper cables in reverse order to how they were connected from the start. Black cables then red cables, good battery then recharged battery.