HOW TO JUMP YOUR CAR BATTERY – SAFELY
Although jumping your car battery or ‘boosting your battery’ is relatively easy, there is a proper procedure that YOU MUST FOLLOW in order to do it safely.
If you try to jump your car’s battery and make an error in the connections, you could cause damage to both cars and personal injury too! Use caution and follow the steps exactly as outlined below to do it safely.
To safely jump a start, follow these steps:
1) Because battery failure is common and they can fail for a number of different reasons, it’s a good idea to carry a set of jumper cables in your car’s trunk. So start by taking out your jumper cables.
2) Place both cars in Park or Neutral, with their ignitions shut off and their emergency brakes on. MAKE SURE THE CARS ARE NOT TOUCHING EACH OTHER.
3) If your battery is an older design with individual caps on each cell, remove the caps from both batteries. If the batteries are the newer design which are sealed, there aren’t any caps to remove. HOWEVER, all batteries (old and new, sealed design) produce EXPLOSIVE HYDROGEN GAS. A spark could set off a fire or explosion.
On older batteries that utilize caps, when you remove the caps, you can avoid such an explosion. The newer sealed batteries do have safety valves built into the battery, but you should still exercise caution and be sure to keep sparks away from the battery.
4) Connect the cables to the batteries of each car. Before you do that, understand that the positive cable (+) has red clips at both ends and the negative cable (-) has black clips.
Be careful attaching the cables – If you reverse the connections, you can cause severe damage to the car’s ELECTRICAL SYSTEM, COMPUTERS and EVEN PERSONAL INJURY.
It’s IMPORTANT to attach BOTH RED AND BLACK CABLES in the proper order as outlined below:
1. First, attach one of the red clips to the positive terminal of YOUR battery (the dead battery). It has “POS” or “+” on it, or it’s bigger than the negative terminal.
2. Attach the other red clip to the positive terminal of the car giving you the boost.
3. Attach one of the black clips to the negative battery terminal (-) OF THE CAR GIVING YOU THE BOOST.
4. LAST – Attach the last black clip to an UNPAINTED METAL SURFACE ON YOUR CAR THAT ISN’T NEAR THE BATTERY (or the carburetor if your car has one).
The illustration shows how both the POSITIVE (Red +) and NEGATIVE (Black – ) battery booster cables should be connected.
Once you’re sure the cables are connected in the proper order:
5) Try to start your vehicle. If it won’t start, make sure that the cables are properly connected and have the ‘boosting car’ run the engine for a few minutes at a slightly faster idle speed or ‘higher’ rev. Then try to start your car again. If it still won’t start, your battery may be beyond help.
IF JUMP YOUR BATTERY AND GET YOUR CAR STARTED:
If your car does start, you’re doing well! But don’t disconnect the jumper cables right away.
In many cars the engine control computer has the voltage regulator built into it and it takes 30 seconds to a minute after starting for the regulator to get control of the charging level required by the battery.
If you disconnect the jumper cables before the car with the dead battery starts charging the battery it could stall and worse yet, it could do damage to the car giving the jump start.
Next. DON’T TURN OFF YOUR ENGINE. Well, at least not yet. You should make a point of driving around for 20 – 30 minutes to recharge your battery.
After that – Make an appointment at Breedlove Radiator and Automotive in Greensboro, NC to get your battery checked and tested. No matter how good your battery is or has been, all batteries fail over time. One of the most common signs is when your car battery can’t hold a charge.
When that happens, yes, you can still boost them or jump start your car to get going, but no matter how long you run or operate your car trying to get your car’s electrical and charging system to ‘recharge’ your battery – it’s going to happen again! That’s because worn batteries just won’t hold a charge!