How to Jump Start a Car
We hope that you’ll never find yourself in a situation in which a dead car battery leaves you stranded. However, most of us aren’t that lucky, and it’s a situation we will likely find ourselves in at least once in our lifetime. In most cases, all you need to get going again is a set of jumper cables and another car with a healthy battery. Keep reading, and we’ll tell you how to safely jump start your car and get on the road again. We’ll also explain why your battery has gone flat, and what you can do to prevent further problems.
First, make sure that both cars are parked nose-to-nose with their hoods open. Locate your car battery, and inspect the terminals to determine which one is positive (denoted by a “+” sign) and which one is negative (denoted by a “-” sign). It’s a good idea to inspect the batteries on both cars to ensure that they aren’t leaking or showing any other obvious signs of physical damage. On some cars, the battery is mounted below the rear seat, or inside of the trunk. In these cases, there are typically points on or near the engine that can be used for jump starting. Consult your owner’s manual to help you find them if you are having trouble. It’s also important to inspect your jumper cables to ensure that they aren’t damaged in any way. Pay close attention to the wire insulation. Jumper cables rarely wear out or become damaged, but it’s still important to check.
First, make sure both cars are turned off. Connect the red clip to the positive (+) side of your dead car battery (or the underhood connection we mentioned previously). Give it a slight wiggle to make sure it is solidly attached. Next, attach the other red cable to the donor car. Then, attach the black cable to the negative (-) terminal on the donor car. Finally, attach the other black cable to the dead battery’s negative terminal, or an unpainted metal part under the hood if your battery is mounted remotely. When all of your connections are secure, you can start the donor car, letting it idle for a few minutes as it supplies battery power to the dead battery.
You can test the battery in your car by opening the door. If the dome light comes on and remains bright, your battery may have enough power to start the car. Try to start your car, and if it works, carefully remove the jumper cables in the opposite order in which you connected them. Be careful around moving engine parts. That’s all there is to it! If you’re careful and safe, jump starting a car is easy. Anyone can do it with a donor car and a set of cables!
Why Did My Battery Die?
There are many possible causes for a dead battery. Did you leave a dome light on? Is the battery old? The battery in your vehicle is used to start the car, as well as power several functions when the car is turned off, like your alarm system. If the car sits for a prolonged period – over two weeks or so – it’s possible that the battery has been drained by these functions. When the engine is running, the alternator recharges the battery and runs various electrical functions on your car. As with any rechargeable battery, the battery wears down over time. After years of charge and discharge cycles, it will require replacement. Other factors, such as harsher climates that experience extreme heat, extreme cold, or both, will have a negative impact on the life cycle of the battery.
Where Do I Go Now?
To prevent this issue from happening again, you should set an appointment to have your Germain service center perform a free battery test. They will be happy to advise you on your battery’s condition, and they can install a new battery for you as well. There are a lot of places you can buy batteries, including your local department store. However, your Germain service center is staffed by trained experts who understand how to care for your car. They will stock the factory-correct battery for your vehicle, and they know how to replace it without causing any damage to your electrical system. They’re well aware of any special bracketry, vents, or accessories that may complicate installation, and they will also safely dispose of your old battery. After a jump-start, your first phone call should be to your dealer to get your battery tested, and, if necessary, replaced.
Disclaimer: If a user or a third party suffers damages or injuries due to following the instructions present on this page or results thereof, the Germain Motor Company shall not be liable for any such injuries, damages, or disadvantages suffered by such users or third parties. These instructions are for informational purposes only. Follow at your own risk.