How To Jump Start A Car

Be prepared if you have a flat battery!

We all fear that moment when our car won't start or it breaks down and secretly hope this is something that will never happen to us. However, after months of lockdown and very few journeys made during this time, don't be surprised if your car won't start when restrictions begin to ease in the upcoming weeks and you slowly start returning to work. You may find yourself with a flat battery - we sure did after the first lockdown last year, but knowing how to jump-start a car will help ease the stressful nature of this situation. Here at CarCliq, we believe knowledge is power, that's why we've created this handy guide that will teach you how to jump-start a car which might just be your saviour should you be unfortunate enough to find yourself in this situation. 
Jumper Cables.jpg (115 KB)
What will I need?
It’s simple, as long as you’ve got a set of jump leads and a car with a fully functioning battery, you can be on the road in no time.

So, I’ve got all the right gear but still have no idea…
Don’t panic! Follow these quick five steps.
1. Handbrake on and electrics off. Before you start, make sure both cars have their handbrake/parking brake on and the ignition is switched off. In addition to this, ensure all electrical systems in the car with the dead battery are turned off – like the lights.
2. Open the bonnet of both cars. Next, we want you to open the bonnet of both cars whilst they are parked closely together (but not touching). When looking for the battery, this may differ between the two but if you are struggling to find it, this information can be found in your manual.
3. Attaching your jumper cables. Attach one of the red clips to the positive terminal of the flat car battery (you’ll find either a “+” or “POS”) and attach the other red clip to the positive terminal of the working battery. Finally, attach the black clip to the negative terminal of the flat battery and the other black clip to an unpainted metal surface of the car with the working battery.
4. Start the engine. Start the engine of the car which works and let it run for a few minutes.
5. Try starting the other car. After you’ve waited a few minutes, try starting the other car. If it does start, do not turn the engine off because you’ll need to drive around for a good 30 minutes or so to recharge the battery.

It’s important to note that if your car doesn’t start and isn’t holding a charge, you’ll need to replace it and call your breakdown provider.
Disconnecting the cables safely:

1. Firstly, you’ll want to disconnect the black jump lead on the unpainted metal surface.
2. Then disconnect the other black jump lead from the negative terminal of the battery.
3. Thirdly, disconnect the red jump lead on the car that worked originally.
4. Finally, disconnect the red jump lead on the previously flat battery.

When it comes to jump-starting a vehicle there are a few safety considerations…
Make sure the car that you’re choosing to connect with has at least the same voltage to jump-start and isn’t an alternatively fuelled vehicle e.g. if you were trying to connect your petrol car to an electric one – this could lead to further damage. Also, make sure you’re not wearing anything which is metal – like jewellery because you don’t want this to touch the terminals of the battery.
While there's never a good time to breakdown or find yourself with a flat battery, preparation is key - particularly if you're returning to work as lockdown begins to ease. Getting ready for work in the morning is hectic enough as it is without adding car trouble to the mix! So it may be worthwhile checking your vehicle and ensuring that it’s in good working order before you begin the daily commute again, making sure your battery still works, you have enough fuel, checking oil and water levels, looking for defects, as well as checking the engine and tyres.
Other CarCliq articles that might interest you:
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