dailyusedtools logo

Getting The Job Done Right

How to Perform a Great Jumpstart

By: Darion Robinson

Many of us have spent a significant time commuting on our cars, but most of us still don’t know how to jumpstart a car.

You may be in a situation where it’s important to know how to jumpstart a car. It could be because your vehicle’s battery is old or you left the lights on causing the battery to die. Whatever the reason, your only option will be to jumpstart your car.

Do not worry if you do not know how to jumpstart a car, we have covered some reliable techniques on how to jumpstart a car no matter where you are:

how to perform a great jumpstart

How to Find Out if Your Car’s Battery is Really Dead?

Before you actually jumpstart your car, you need to make sure that your car’s battery is the real reason why your car isn’t picking up.

It’s easy to find out:

  • Your car’s battery is dead when you turn the ignition on and hear the crackling sound your car generally makes but it doesn’t start.
  • Your car’s battery is dead when you turn the ignition on and your car does absolutely nothing, i.e: no sound, then chances are that you have a dead battery and jumping it is the only way you’re driving anywhere.

Also, if the lights come on but the engine doesn’t crank then it may not necessarily be a dead battery.

How To Jumpstart a Car With Another Car

You can jumpstart a car if you have access to a battery or another car with a working battery. However, remember that both the batteries must match. You cannot use a 6 volt battery to start a 12 volt battery, for example. Doing so can damage the vehicle.

Here’s a complete guide:

1. Things You Will Need to Jumpstart a Car

You can’t jumpstart a car without the right equipment. You will need these items to be able to jumpstart your car:

  • Jumper Cables: They are available in various sizes – from ten to twenty feet. Longer is not always better as long cables can be hard to manage and use. We suggest a length of twelve to fifteen feet. Other than this, pay attention to the gauge. It indicates the strength of the cable. The standard is six, a higher number indicates a weaker cable.
  • Mechanical Gloves: Heavy duty gloves offer more protection, but if not available then you can use disposable gloves.
  • Flashlight With Battery: Can be useful at night.
  • Paper Overalls: You can find these at paint stores. They are used to protect your clothes.

Make sure to read your car’s manual, if available, as some cars may have specific safety requirements.

2. Always Remember – Safety First

The first thing to do before you even begin is to check the jumper cables and ensure that they are in good condition. 

They need to be long enough to easily connect. Park both the vehicles close to each other but make sure they do not touch one another.

So, how do you check if you are good to go? Here are a few things to look out for:

  1. Check the ends and the length to ensure there isn’t any exposed wiring.
  2. The rubber coating should not be cracked or damaged in any way.
  3. Clamps and the terminals of the batteries you’re connecting them to should be clean.

Once both the cars are in place, turn off both the vehicles and put them in park or neutral if you drive a stick. Pop open the hoods and get your jumper cables ready to go.

If you’re using a working battery, then you can directly move to the next step.

3. Connecting Both the Vehicle

A jumper cable is basically a set of two cables, the red connector is positive while the black one is negative. Be careful when connecting the wires.

WARNING: Remember, the cables should never cross.

Now let’s get down to it and have a look at how to proceed:

  1. Connect the red clamp at one end firmly to the positive terminal (+), onto the car that needs juice. 
  2. The other end connects to the positive terminal (+), of the other car on the good battery. 
  3. Now, let’s turn to the black cable set, this one clamps on to the negative terminal (-) of the good car at one end. 
  4. Clamp the other end to an unpainted surface over or inside the engine compartment of the car that needs juice. Essentially, this is the ground connection, a crossbar or a bolt will do as well.  
  5. You will find positive (+) and negative (-) signs engraved to the car batteries next to the terminals.
  6. You should make sure that all the connections are firm and that the clamps have been tightly secured.
  7. The ground connector shouldn’t be close to any moving part; after all, we don’t want any of these connections or clamps rattling.

4. Let’s Start The Engines Now

So, you’re all connected now. The next step is to start off the engines.

  1. Start the booster car or the car with the good battery and let it run for about a minute. It will immediately start charging the car with the dead battery. If the battery has  been dead for a long time then it may take a little longer to charge, but in most cases, you’ll be ready to start the dead car in a minute.
  2. Start the dead car. If the car starts, you’re good to go. Otherwise, let the battery charge for another minute and try again. 
  3. If the dead car still does not start, then move to the working car and rev the engine. 
  4. Try starting the dead car again and it will turn on. If it doesn’t, then it’s important to stop trying as doing so may damage the starter. A battery typically starts within three to four tries. If it doesn’t then there might be some other problem.

5. Disconnecting the Two Vehicles

Your dead vehicle is now back to life, we’d recommend that you keep it running for a bit.

Slowly disconnect the cables in reverse order:

  1. Disconnect the ground cable on the dead car first. 
  2. Disconnect the clamp on the negative terminal (-) on the good battery. 
  3. Disconnect the positive terminal (+) on the good battery.
  4. Disconnect the positive terminal (+) on your car.

Be very careful when doing this; you are handling live cables now. Make sure they do not touch each other.

6. Drive a Little

Do not switch your car off. Drive it for a little while before parking it. This will allow the battery to charge itself. Otherwise, the battery will be dead again when you try to start it.

When to Visit a Mechanic

If your car’s battery dies every few days then it may be a sign of a bad battery. In such a case, we suggest that you take your car to a mechanic and have them check it for you. In some cases, charging the battery with a certified battery charger may do the trick and in others, you may have to replace the unit. 

Most car batteries are made to last for about five years but this also depends on how you maintain the battery. Also, the problem may be due to other car parts. 

You may use a supported OBD II scanner to run a diagnosis or let the professionals do their job.

How to Jumpstart Without Cables?

If you have a standard transmission car, you might be able to jumpstart a car without another car and without cable as well.

Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Find a slope and position your car to go downhill. If that’s not possible, then find people to push your vehicle. 
  2. Depress your car’s clutch and put it in the second gear.
  3. Turn the ignition on and only turn one step to the right, but don’t start the car yet.
  4. Release the brakes slowly while keeping the clutch fully depressed. If you are on a slope, you will begin to move downhill. If you have people pushing your vehicle, then it will begin to move.
  5. Now release the clutch quickly when the car reaching about 6 miles per hour. You must act right away.  
  6. You’ll feel a jerk and the engine will start. If it doesn’t then depress the clutch and try again.

Battery Kits and Jump Starters:

If you don’t want to go through all this hassle of finding someone to help you out to jumpstart your car or you find yourself stuck in the middle of the road where your auto club won’t come over to assist, you can always invest in a good jumpstart kit.

Most are compact and will easily fit in your vehicle. Plus, they are easy to use.

If your car’s battery dies on you then all you’ll need to do is pull out your jumpstart kit and connect it directly to your car’s battery or to a power outlet inside the car. 

Depending on the model of your jumpstart kit, you’ll need to charge the battery for a few minutes – about 15 minutes in most cases – before starting your vehicle.

A lot of jumpstart kits today also come with indicators or an LCD screen which shows you the overall health of your car’s battery. This information can be very helpful in understanding the overall condition of your car’s battery and if you may need a replacement anytime soon.

This investment can prevent you from having to go to a professional to get the battery inspected.

Jump starter kits come in different shapes and sizes and range anywhere from 300 to 3,000 amps. Most kits fall under the 400 to 600 amps range; this is enough for most vehicles. You can expect to spend between $50 to $100 dollars on a good kit.

However, remember to always keep the jump starter kit charged. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with a dead battery and a dead jump starter.

How to Jumpstart a Car: Frequently Asked Question

How long will it take to jumpstart a car with another car?

If you have everything that you need then it will only take you between 10 to 15 minutes to connect the cables, charge the battery, and disconnect the cables.

How long should I drive a car after I jumpstart it?

We suggest that you drive it for about 15-20 minutes for it to charge.

What happens if you connect the cables incorrectly?

Doing so may end up damaging both batteries, cables, and other electrical components of your car.

Are there other ways to charge a battery?

Yes, there are, such as a trickle charger but it will only charge the battery and not jumpstart it.

Can we start a car without charging a battery?

No, you cannot. You need a working battery to allow the spark plugs to ignite the fuel.

Can one person  jumpstart a car without cables?

Only if your car is manual and you’re on a slope or you have a charged kit.

How to Jumpstart a Car: Conclusion

Now that you know how to jumpstart a car, we hope you will have no problem in doing so. To avoid this problem, keep your car’s battery in check and replace it if it’s old or damaged.

Daily Used Tools