Step by step instructions on how to jump start an automotive battery. This
article pertains to all vehicles.
Difficulty Scale: 2 of 10
Tool and Supplies Needed
- Battery jumper cables.
- Protective eye wear and gloves
Park the vehicle or place a charged battery that will be used as the jumper near the front of the car that is going to be jumped
started, engine "OFF". (CAUTION: Never connect positive and negative terminals
with a conductive object such as a wrench. Also, never connect the positive
battery terminal to any body, chassis or engine parts or allow jumper cable ends
to connect to each other or the vehicle body or engine at any time.)
- Locate the negative battery terminal
on the charged and dead battery. These terminals are smaller in diameter than
the positive terminals and should have a (-) annotation.
Step 2 - Locate and remove the positive battery
terminal cover to identify the positive terminal on both dead and charged
batteries annotated by a (+)
Negative Battery Terminal
Step 3 - A charged or new battery is needed to
connect the jumper cables to. This can also be done with an additional vehicle
which is more effective due to the additional alternator contributing to the
voltage/amperage needed (engine running.)
Positive Battery Terminal
Step 4 - Connect the
red jumper cable connector on the positive (+ red) side of the battery of the car
that has the dead battery. Once the jumper cable end is attached slightly wiggle
the jumper connector back and forth to insure a good electrical connection.
Repeat this action for the charged battery.
Step 5 - Then, attach the black connector of the jumper cables to the negative
(- black) terminal of the dead battery. Next, attach the remaining
black jumper cable connector to an engine accessory bracket or any good ground
of the charged vehicle. (Note: Keep cables clear from rotating engine parts.)
The last connection is made at a good engine ground to avoid sparks at the battery. Sparks on or near the battery
can cause the battery to explode. While explosions are rare they will more likely
occur to a battery that is low on charge or a battery that has just been charged
this is why the final circuit connection is at an engine ground source.
Step 6 - After the cable are successfully
installed stand back from both hood areas of both vehicles. If a jumper battery
is being used, turn the key to start the vehicle of the dead battery. If a
vehicle is being used start the engine of the jumper vehicle (charged battery)
and allow to idle for about 3 minutes. Then, manually increase the engine speed
to about 1500 RPM for about 2 minutes.
This will supply a charge for the dead battery.
Step 7 - Next, crank over the car's engine with
the dead battery, it should crank over and start. Once the engine has started
manually increase the engine speed to about 1500 RPM and hold for about 2 minutes.
Step 8 - Turn off the engine of the jumper
vehicle and remove the black jumper
cable end. Then, carefully remove the black and red jumper cables from the dead battery.
Step 9 - Next, remove the red jumper cable connector from the jumper car and
close the hood on both vehicles.
Dead and Charged Battery
Once the job is complete inspect the battery light on the instrument cluster, if illuminated the
has a problem. If repeated jump starts are required and the
charging system has checks out okay, the
has failed to hold a charge, or there
is an electrical draw
in the system. If this
procedure fails and the vehicle still has
not started, the battery could have failed (shorted) internally and cannot be jump
failed battery connection
could also cause the engine not to start.
Low battery voltage is a common car problem. As a battery ages it can
lose the ability to store electricity resulting in an insufficient flow of electrical
energy to the starter.
The starter is designed to operate on a high amperage 12 volt system, when a starter
is subjected to low voltage or amperage (flow) it will cause the starter to not
operate. While using a quality set of jumper cables a jump start is needed to troubleshoot the reason the battery
is dead. Inexpensive
cables do not work well because a higher gauge wire (smaller diameter) is used
in their construction resulting in restricting current flow.
- Never connect jumper cable ends to each other or allow the positive
jumper cable end to connect body ground.
- Allow the battery to fully charge once a jump start has been performed.
Article first published 2016-02-03