How to Jump Start a Car

Car Battery with Tools

Knowing the proper way to jump start a car can save you from being stranded in a Decatur-area parking lot, or worse yet, on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. While you can always call a jump start car service like AAA, it is really very easy to jump start a car battery yourself. Learn how to properly jump start a car in this guide from the Sam Leman Ford Service Center.

Proper Way to Jump Start a Car

Waiting for a jump start car service to show up can be a hassle, but with a set of jumper cables and a friend that has a vehicle with a fully charged battery, it’s really very simple to get your car started on your own. Just follow these steps to properly jump start a car:

  1. Park the car with the good battery facing the other vehicle, and then apply the parking brakes and make sure that the vehicle’s ignition is turned off.
  2. Open both hoods and find the batteries. There may be plastic hoods covering the battery terminals, if so you’ll need to remove them.
  3. Identify the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals, and make sure that they are clean and free of any corrosion.
  4. Attach the red clamp to the positive (+) post on the dead battery.
  5. Attach the other red clamp to the positive (+) terminal of the battery with the charge.
  6. Connect the black clamp to the negative (-) post on the good battery. 
  7. Attach the other black clamp to an unpainted metal surface on the frame of the car with the dead battery.
  8. Make sure that the clamps are secure, and start the engine of the vehicle with the good battery. Then, start the one with the dead battery.
  9. Once you’ve successfully jump-started the car, carefully remove the jumper cables in the reverse order that they were secured. 
  10. Keep the engine running on the restarted vehicle for at least 10 to 15 minutes to ensure that the battery is fully recharged. Consult your owner’s manual for more information on recommended times.

More Battery Tips and Tricks

What does it mean if my car won’t jump start? It could be that the battery is dead and you’ll need to install a new one. However, there are some other reasons why a car won’t jump start that will require you to seek out a mechanic for assistance. Here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Is there a clicking sound when you turn the key? It could be that the starter isn’t working. Schedule service at our service center near Normal, and we’ll install a new starter for you.
  • Do the electrical systems of the car come on when you turn the key, but the car won’t turn over? The problem could be with the ignition switch, battery, starter, or a fuse. Arrange to have the vehicle towed to our Service Center, where we can diagnose exactly what the issue is.

Remember that once you jump start the car battery, keep the vehicle running for 10 to 15 minutes in order for the battery to fully recharge.

Get Professional Auto Service & Repair at Sam Leman Ford 

Whether you want to learn the proper way to jump start a car, or find out how often your vehicle will require an oil change, the service team at Sam Leman Ford is here to help. We handle the full range of auto maintenance and repair services, and with our service specials and coupons you can find some of the best deals in the Champaign area. Feel free to contact our service center if you have any questions.

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