How to Jump Start a Car with Jumper Cables
Most of us have been in the situation where you left lights on in your car or you let the car sit for too long and realize next time you try starting your car the battery is dead. It usually happens around the worst timing such as you are late for an appointment or something of that nature.
In these desperate moments you may want to use jumper cables to start your dead battery. This sounds easy and you may not even think twice about doing it. This article is here to make you Think Twice! Batteries and jumper cables are a recipe for disaster. Hydrogen gas can be released by batteries and jump starting someones dead car to help a stranded soul, may leave you stranded sometime in the near future.
That’s right, you just wanted to help someone, but come to find out that your battery had been seriously discharged by the extra load and drain on your battery. So it’s not uncommon to find that your car doesn’t start the next day. It is contagious to a certain extent especially if you don’t give your car sufficient run time after jump starting another car to allow the alternator to recharge your car battery and restore it to a full charge.
Always use caution if you have to use jumper cables. You will be much better off if you refuse to help that stranded person and tell them to contact AAA or a tow service that has specialized battery chargers and jumper cable devices.
If you refuse to take our advice about getting a professional to start to your battery and desperately need to jump start your car, then make sure you do it properly to avoid bodily injury and damage to either car.
Park the cars close enough so that the cables can reach each battery without too much tension. You do not want the cars touching each other.
Turn off any battery draining equipment such as lights, radios, etc.
Attach the Positive (+) Red cable to the Positive on the dead battery
Attach the Positive (+) Red Cable to the Positive on the working battery
Attach the Negative (-) Black cable to the Negative on the working battery
Now this is the most important and potentially dangerous step.
Instead of attaching the Negative (-) Black cable to the Negative on the dead battery car it is recommended that you attach the Negative (-) cable to the non-working car’s frame or engine block. Find an unpainted surface or a spot on the engine block that does not have moving mechanical parts that the cable could interfere with. This will act as a ground and decrease the risk of a serious accident such as fire or explosion.
NOTE: Hydrogen gas can be released by batteries making them a potentially dangerous threat. Sparks from jumper cables can cause explosions in the presence of hydrogen gas. If jumper cables are not attached correctly serious damage will likely occur to you or your car. We have witnessed these explosions and the damages that can occur such as batteries exploding and alternators getting destroyed.
Always use caution if you have to use jumper cables. You will be much better off if you refuse to help that stranded person and tell them to contact AAA or a tow service that has specialized battery chargers. It would be rare to see roadside service professionals using car to car jumper cables because of the inherent risk from improper use.
If you have do jump start a car, be sure to let both cars run for sufficient time to allow the alternator to recharge the batteries completely.
Category:Car Batteries, How To Guide