Many Americans are driving less due to the pandemic, often leaving their car parked for days or even weeks. As a car sits, the battery drains. This is especially true for relatively new vehicles with various electronic systems that consume energy even when the car is parked. Consequently, many motorists have needed a jump-start recently.
Jump-starting a car used to be a simple affair, but since cars have become more complex there are new risks, and you should be cautious if you jump-start on your own. Plus, you might want to think twice about asking a stranger for help.
To safely jump start, follow these steps:
- Take out your jumper cables.
It’s a good idea to buy a set of jumper cables and keep them in the trunk compartment. If you don’t have jumper cables, you have to find a good Samaritan who not only is willing to assist you but who has jumper cables as well.
- Place both vehicles in Park or Neutral and shut off the ignition in both cars.
Engage both parking brakes as well.
- Attach one of the red clips to the positive terminal of your battery.
It has “POS” or “+” on it, or it’s bigger than the negative terminal.
- Attach the other red clip to the positive terminal of the other car.
- Attach one of the black clips to the negative terminal on the other battery.
- Attach the last black clip to an unpainted metal surface on your car that isn’t near the battery.
Use one of the metal struts that holds the hood open.
The cables should look like this.
Make sure to connect jumper cables in the proper order.
- Start the working vehicle and let the engine run for a few minutes.
- Try to start your vehicle.
If it won’t start, make sure that the cables are properly connected and have the good Samaritan run their engine for five minutes. Then try to start your car again. If it still won’t start, your battery may be beyond help.
If the jump works and your car starts, don’t shut off your engine! Drive around for at least 15 minutes to recharge your battery. If the car won’t start the next time you use it, the battery isn’t holding a charge and needs to be replaced.
If you have more questions or need a jump or a tow, give us a call at Chapman Auto Repair today!