Clifton Park Auto Repair

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(518) 631-6700
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What Is the Correct Way to Jump Start a Car?

We’ve all been there – head against the steering wheel wondering, “why did my car battery have to die at this moment?”. If you find that your vehicle won’t start, your next best option is to jump-start your vehicle. And most of the time, you can’t do this alone. You will need jumper cables, another vehicle with a working battery, and possibly a pair of gloves. Read on to learn the proper way of jump-starting a car. 

The Correct Way to Jump Start a Car

  1. Positioning is everything. Make sure the other vehicle is in close proximity to your vehicle. Both cars should be completely turned off and parked.
  2. Open the hoods to locate the car batteries. Remove any battery covers if necessary. 
  3. Find the positive and negative terminals. Make sure they are free of corrosion.
  4. Grab the jumper cables and familiarize yourself with the positive and negative clamps. 
  5. Attach the red/positive clamp to the positive terminal on the dead battery. Attach the other red/positive clamp to the positive terminal of the working battery.
  6. Next, you’ll want to connect the black/negative clamp to the negative terminal on the working battery.
  7. Finally, fasten the other black/negative clamp to an unpainted metal surface on the vehicle with a dead or drained battery.
  8. Once you make sure the clamps are in their correct places, try to start the car with the dead battery. Then, start up the other vehicle.
  9. If you successfully got the car with the dead battery to start up, go ahead and disconnect the jumper cables in the REVERSE ORDER that you did in steps 5-7. 
  10. The helping vehicle may be shut off, and don't forget to thank the family member, friend, or stranger that helped you out! We recommend leaving the car with the weaker battery to stay on for at least another 15-20 minutes. This allows the battery to recharge. 

While you may get away with a drained battery this time, you should find the issue that caused your battery to die. In the case that your battery is old, dying, and on its way out, you may need to replace it ASAP to avoid the hassle of jump-starting your vehicle AGAIN. Car batteries can also die for other reasons, including:

  • Accident of Leaving Lights On
  • Extremely Cold Weather
  • Too Short of Trips
  • Bad Alternator or Charging Device

If you need your battery tested or replaced, please call or visit Gil’s Garage Inc of Half Moon soon.

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