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How to Jump Start a Car Battery With Jumper Cables?

After driving for many years, I can assure you that sooner rather than later you’ll be confronted with a car that refuses to start because of a dead battery.

Unfortunately, this occurrence will strike when you least expect it, but you have to deal with it by knowing how to jumpstart a car with jumper cables.

Let’s imagine its 15 degrees above zero, and with your car jump-starter and cables you rush out to get your vehicle running again.

But do not throw caution to the wind; jump-starting a dead battery can become an explosive experience if not done the right way.

You should be aware that Hydrogen fumes that are ignitable tend to concentrate around your vehicle’s battery.

A simple spark from your jumper cable or glowing heat from your cigarette or just a match can cause the battery to blow right into your face.

How to Jump Start a Car Battery With Jumper Cables


I am sure you do not want that, so this article will look at the right way to jumpstart a dead car battery with cables.

Before we get to the exact steps you need to take, it will be best if you locate and read your car manual about what to do with a dead battery and how to get it to start again.

Your car-maker might have other useful safety precautions that you need to follow before jump starting the dead battery.

Steps to Jump Starting Your Dead Car Battery

Your initial step is to inspect the battery for any signs of bulges, cracks or other abnormality.

If the battery shows signs of any abnormalities you should replace it, rather than take a chance in bringing it back to life. Battery exploding accidents are prevalent in our society today, so proceed with caution.

Make sure your driving gear is in the park position, and all systems in the car are turned off.

If you have a pair of safety goggles, I would advise you put them on before attaching the cables.

Take a hard or soft brush and try to clear off all the debris present on the battery terminals. Clearing and wiping the connection terminals of all dirt will ensure instant connection once you connect the cables.

You can either jump start a dead battery using another car with jumper cables, or you can use a self-contained portable battery jumper.

If you’re using another car, make sure the other vehicle is turned off before connecting the cables.

It’s safer to connect the jumper cable to the dead battery first, before attaching the other end to the good battery.

Sadly, some motorists drive around without even jumper cables in their trunk. Most people falsely assume it won’t happen to them.

A good portable battery jump starter is designed to be juiced up through a wall socket and then stored in your car’s trunk for when it’s needed.

With a good pair of durable heavy duty jumper cables, you can try asking a passing motorist for a jump, or try calling a friend for help.

Here is a Good Video on How to Jumpstart a Car with Cables

Here are the Steps:

✔Step 1 – Try to park the running car that will be used as close as possible, so that the jumper cables can reach both cars battery terminals. Best to park both cars face to face, thus streamlining the process.

Make sure all the systems in the dead car is turned off, including headlights, radio, blinkers, heating systems etc. If you have anything plugged into the power socket, remove it.

✔Step 2 – Pop open the hood for both cars and locate the battery terminals. The positive terminal will have a + sign next to it, and the negative will have a – sign next to it.

The positive terminal is usually red in color and the negative terminal black in color. Now you know why we advised you to use a brush to clean the area around the terminals so you can see the signs better.

If you have goggles, put them on to protect your eyes in case of an explosion.

✔Step 3 – Now attach the red cable to the positive terminal and the black cable to the negative terminal. You can also connect the positive to each car before connecting the negative to each car.

Now some might tell you to first connect the jumper cables to the running car first, but I think the other way is much safer. Please do not let the opposing cables touch each other or you might see sparks.

Another safety caution is to turn off the engine of the good running car as you do the connection. After the cable connection, be sure to turn on the engine of the assisting vehicle.

Engage the emergency brakes of both vehicles for added safety measure.

✔Step 4 – Now start the engine of the dead car. Depending on the condition of the dead battery, you might have to leave the connection in place for a few minutes before it starts.

Once the dead battery comes back to life, it’s better if you leave the cable connection in place for a few minutes so that the good battery supplies enough charge for the dead battery to stay alive once the jumper cable connection is disconnected.

✔Step 5 – Once you’re sure the dead battery is running fine, disconnect the cables starting with the ones attached to the dead vehicle’s battery.

Here are some Safety Precautions:

If you smell gas or foul odor like acid, please do not continue with the jump starting process. Just call a technician or have your vehicle towed to a well-qualified mechanic.

How to Jumpstart a Car with Cables


If the dead vehicle refuses to stay on after disconnecting the cables, you might have other mechanical issues or your battery might be beyond charging.

While the process is ongoing, please turn on the blinkers of the running car so that passing motorist can pass with caution.

Final Thoughts

Once you go through this experience, you’ll be in a better position to appreciate the power of a portable battery car charger. Better to get one that has a built-in jumper cable.

In this modern day in age, driving around without any way to recharge your battery if it runs out of juice is just asking for trouble.

Either you invest in a top rated car starter or take your chances with all the added cost of resurrecting a dead battery. Be wise and get yourself a good jump starter from the link below.