Having a set of jumper cables and knowing how to use them can be a real life saver.  You do not need to know anything at all about auto repair to properly use a set of jumper cables to jump start your battery.  I’m going to walk you through a simple jump start and you will be ready if the need ever arises.

My first tip is to pay attention to the location of the battery in each vehicle before you get ready to hook them up.  You will want to be sure that the automobiles are positioned so the jumper cables will easily stretch between the cars’ batteries.

How to Connect Jumper Cables

When you are lined up and ready to get started, you will want to turn both cars’ keys into the off position.  This protects your automobile from electrical surges.

Mechanic Tip: Be very careful to pay attention to the cable you are handling.  Mixing up the cables and clamping the wrong ones will cause serious damage.

Step By Step How to Hook Jumper Cables to a Dead Battery

  1. Both autos’ ignition switches need to be in the OFF position.
  2. Find the “+” (positive) and “-” (negative) sides of both of the batteries. They will be marked on each battery, but on some of the newer cars the positive (+) side will have a red cover over the post and wires.
  3. On the good battery – Attach the red cable to the “+” side.
  4. On the dead battery – Attach the other end of the red cable to the “+” side.
  5. On the good battery – Attach your black cable to the “-” side.
  6. On the dead car – Attach the other end of the black cable to an area of bare metal in your engine compartment.  You can clamp to any bare metal, even something like the end of the bolt or a nut will work.

Starting the Dead Battery

With both of the cars properly and safely hooked up and ready, you will start the car that will be jumping off the other.  Leave the car running now and let the cars remain attached for a few minutes before attempting to start the other.  After a few minutes you can try to start the car with a dead battery.  If it doesn’t start easily, turn the key off, give it a few more minutes and try it again.  If the car still will not start, you may need to get yourself a new battery.  If the car does start easily and you have not been having any kind of alternator problems, go ahead and disconnect the jumper cables.

Mechanic Tip:  You do not need to disconnect the jumper cables in any specific order, but MAKE SURE that you don’t let the ends of the red and black cables touch each other while they’re still connected to any battery.

If you continue to experience battery issues and a new battery does not solve the problem, you may want to have a professional mechanic check it out.  Our auto repair shop in Columbia, SC would be happy to take a look and get your auto back in shape.  Contact our Auto Repair Pro online or call us at 803-735-7902 to schedule your auto repair or automotive maintenance appointment today!