Picture this: you're running late for an important meeting, you hop in your car, turn the key, and...nothing happens. Your car battery is dead. Don't panic! Jumpstarting your car is easier than you think, and with a little bit of know-how, you can get back on the road in no time.
First, here is what jumpstarting a car actually means. When your car battery dies, it means that there isn't enough power to turn the engine over. Jumpstarting your car involves using another car's battery to provide the initial jolt of electricity needed to start your engine.
These are cables with clamps on each end that are used to connect the dead battery to the live one.
This can be a friend's car, a family member's car, or a stranger's car. There will be situations where your battery dies on you on the most unfamiliar roads, so don’t be afraid to ask for strangers’ help.
Park the working car next to the dead car. Make sure that both cars are in park or neutral, and that the parking brakes are engaged.
Connect the jumper cables to the working car's battery. First, locate the positive and negative terminals on the working car's battery. The positive terminal will be marked with a "+" sign, and the negative terminal will be marked with a "-" sign. Attach the red jumper cable clamp to the positive terminal on the working car's battery, and then attach the other red clamp to the positive terminal on the dead car's battery. Next, attach the black clamp to the negative terminal on the working car's battery, and then attach the other black clamp to an unpainted metal surface on the dead car (such as a bolt or a bracket).
Start the working car and let it run for a few minutes. This will give the dead battery a chance to recharge.
Try starting the dead car. If it doesn't start, wait a few more minutes and try again.
Once the dead car has started, leave both cars running for a few more minutes to ensure that the battery has had a chance to fully recharge.
Disconnect the jumper cables in the reverse order that you connected them. Start by removing the black clamp from the metal surface on the dead car, then remove the black clamp from the working car's battery, followed by the red clamp from the dead car's battery, and finally the red clamp from the working car's battery.
Drive your car for at least 15-20 minutes to ensure that the battery is fully recharged.
And you’re done!
Jumpstarting your car is a simple process, but it's important to follow these steps carefully to avoid damaging either car's electrical system. Remember, if you're not comfortably jumpstarting your car on your own, don't hesitate to call for roadside assistance. Many insurance companies and auto clubs offer this service, and it's often faster and safer than trying to jumpstart your car yourself.