I had no idea how to jump a dead car battery until a couple of weeks ago when my neighbor needed a jump. I have only been driving for about 10 years. That doesn’t sound like much, but I have either needed a jump or assisted in giving a jump at least 5 or 6 times in that 10 years. The thing is, I never was the one who used the jumper cables. In case I am not the only person out there that missed this particular life lesson, here is how to jump a dead car battery without killing yourself or your battery.
How to Jump a Dead Car Battery
1. Turn both cars off.
2. Pick a color on the jumper cable and connect each side to the positive feed of the batteries. For example, we clipped each red clip to the positive feed out of each of our car batteries.
3. Repeat for the negative side of the batteries. We each connected the black clips of the jumper cable to the negative feed out sections.
EDIT: It has been brought to my attention that it is even safer to attach one clip to the negative side of the live battery and the other clip to the frame of the dead car to ground it.
4. Turn on the car with the good battery and start revving to juice up the dead battery.
EDIT: Also remind the person next to the dead battery to back away a bit just in case there is an issue with the dead battery.
5. Try turning on the dead car. My neighbor’s car started almost immediately but my husband said it sometimes will take a lot longer to feed in enough juice.
6. Turn off the car that had the working battery.
7. Leave on the car that had the dead battery so the alternator can charge it a bit.
8. Disconnect one color at a time and do not let the jumper cable clips touch. For example, we removed the red clip from each of our batteries and then the black clips, but we made sure to keep those far apart while we were removing them. It they touch while live, you create a short circuit. I am not 100% sure what happens, but I am assuming it is bad.
That’s how we successfully started her car without hurting ourselves or our cars, which saves us money (in case I had not explained why I am putting this on my personal finance blog, lol).
I also have printed out these instructions and are keeping them with my jumper cables. If I ever need to know when I’m not actually around my car, I’ll use my smart phone to look up this post.
Did I miss any important steps or state anything incorrectly? Am I the only one who really did not know how to do this?