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How do I jump start my car?

Written by automotiverepair  |  10. February 2001

It seems there is quite a bit of confusion out there about how to properly and safely jump start a car. Follow these steps: 1. Make sure the battery is in fact low or dead by observing headlamp brightness. 2. Make sure the vehicle with the dead battery is in park with park brake on so when starting, the car does not move. For manual transmission vehicles, park brake fully engaged, brake and clutch pedals depressed when attempting restart after jumper cables are properly attached. Both vehicles should be turned off with the ignition key in the off position. 3. Connect positive terminals, usually marked red, between the two vehicles with the red jumper cable. Be careful not to touch extremely hot parts such as exhaust manifolds. 4. Attach one end of the black jumper cable to the negative or ground terminal, usually marked black, to the dead battery being careful to hold the other end of the black jumper cable away from any conducting material. 5. Locate a metallic surface on the charging vehicles engine away from the battery or fuel lines to attach the remaining end of the black jumper cable to. An unpainted bracket is usually a good choice. Some small sparks may jump from the cable to the engine component and that is why it is important to chose a location away from flammable materials such as fuel and battery vapors. 6. Make sure the entire length of both jumper cables is free of any moving parts such as fan blades and not resting on extremely hot parts such as exhaust manifolds. 7. Start the charging vehicle. 8. Wait about a minute then attempt to start the dead vehicle. If the vehicle turns over slowly but will not start, try raising the charging vehicle engine speed slightly. If the dead vehicle still does not start, try letting the dead battery charge for several minutes while the charging vehicle is held at a slightly elevated idle. 9. Attempt to restart being careful not to flood the dead vehicle engine. If the vehicle still does not start, there may be other problems. 10. Disconnect the jumper cables in the reverse order they were attached, again being careful to stay clear of hot and moving parts.

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