Stuck with a dead car battery? Want to know how you can jumpstart a car instantly with a flat battery?
We got you!
There’s nothing worse than being stranded with a flat battery when you can’t wait to get back home after a long day at work or have somewhere to rush to in the after-hours.
Most of us would go to any extent to avoid being in such a situation but even then we end up all boggled due to a dead car battery at some point in our busy lives. Now there are a number of reasons why batteries may drain out–leaving the headlights on, charging electronic devices for long lengths of time, and leaving the sound system running are among the most common factors that we often overlook. Besides these, there could also be many reasons for fast battery drainage that are beyond our control like extreme weather conditions i.e if it’s too hot or too cold outside.
Although you could always call up any auto care service provider in your area and get a mobile mechanic to jumpstart it, get your car towed, or to Replace your car Battery it just might be a good idea to get hands-on with these easy steps that’ll instruct you on how to jumpstart your car all by yourself, using jumper leads. Knowing a trick or two about how to get your vehicle up and running again by following the instructions given below can always come in handy.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
List of items you’ll need to jumpstart your car
You don’t need to have access to a whole lot of things to jumpstart your car, just a few items will do the job and get your car going.
Here’s what you’ll require to revive a dead battery:
- A pair of jump Leads
- Car with a fully charged battery ( donor vehicle)
- Car with a flat battery
In order to jumpstart a car, you need to have both the cars parked in a spot where the jump leads can be outstretched to reach the battery. Moreover, before you start you must check if both the cars have the same voltage batteries.
How to jump-start your car safely
- Do not attempt to jump-start a battery that appears damaged or may be leaking.
- Don’t use damaged or low-quality jump leads.
- Before starting the process, be sure to remove any dangling items or clothing – like ties or flags, scarfs – as they could get entangled in the engine parts.
- Do not allow any metal objects to come into contact with the car batteries – these could result in a spark and cause a battery explosion. These include necklaces, watches, rings, straps, clips, stray wires, etc.
- Never smoke or let any flames anywhere close to either of the batteries.
Steps to jumpstart a car with jump leads
Jumpstarting a car with jumper leads is not as complicated as it sounds, however, before you try to do so, it is better to be fully informed about exactly what needs to be done to avoid any possibility of damage to either of the cars.
Here’s what you’ll need to do!
Step 1- Park both the cars next to each other
Once you’ve located the donor car and checked if the voltage of its battery is the same as your car, you’ll need to line up both the cars next to each other so that both the batteries are within each other’s proximity and jumper cables can reach both the batteries.
Make sure to turn the ignition OFF and the handbrakes ON on both cars.
Step 2- Connect the red jump lead
After the cars have been positioned as required, the next step is to attach the jumper cables.
- Hook the (+) positive red clip to the positive terminal on the dead car’s battery.
- Connect the (+) positive red clip to the positive terminal on the donor battery on the other car.
Step 3- Connect the black jump lead
Similarly, begin with attaching the black clip to the (-) negative terminal of the charged battery ( donor car).
Connect the black lead to any unpainted metal part of the dead car, for instance, the chassis or metal struts.
Note: The metal part should not be close to the dead battery.
Step 4 – Start the working battery car engine
Once everything is all set and fastened, start the donor car’s engine so it can begin to supply and restore the power of the flat battery. Leave the donor car running for several minutes.
Step 5 – Start your car engine
After a few minutes of allowing the donor car engine to be idle, start your car engine ( one with the flat battery). If all goes well, the dead car should jump-start back to life in some time.
Step 6 – Leave both the cars running idle for a while
Now, for roughly 10 minutes or so, leave both the cars running idle.
Step 7 – Now turn off both cars and disconnect the leads
After the above step, all that you need to do is turn off the engines of both the cars and unhook the cables in the reverse sequence of the order in which they were fastened i.e, firstly, detach the black lead from your car and complete it by removing the red lead from the donor car.
This step should be performed cautiously while making sure that the two leads don’t come into contact with one another, or the cars, as you disconnect them.
Step 8 – Restart the car
As the final step, try turning on the ignition of your car to confirm if it is revived. If it starts then drive the car around for about 30 minutes to recharge the battery further.
Step 9 – Get assistance
If your car fails to start even after closely and precisely following the steps above, the battery may be beyond saving i.e jump-starting isn’t going to help it; in such a case we recommend seeking professional help from your local auto care service provider.
Common issues that you might face while jump-starting your car
We have meticulously compiled a list of FAQs regarding jumpstarting a car for starters that will help you get an easy reference to doubts and problems that you may come across while attempting to jump-start your car.
Scroll down to run a quick glance over these issues.
Which car do you put jumper cables on first?
You need to go by the following order:
- Attach one red lead to the positive (+) battery terminal of the dead battery.
- Attach the other red lead to the positive (+) terminal of the charged battery.
- After that, you need to connect one black lead to the negative (-) terminal of the charged battery.
- Cautiously connect the other black lead to a large metallic part on your car’s engine.
Can you jump-start a car with a completely dead battery?
Yes, you can jump-start a car that has a completely drained-out battery using jumper leads. No battery is too dead to jump-start, so unless there is some other bigger issue with the car’s flat battery, chances are it can be revived after closely performing the steps.
Can jump-starting damage your car?
When you use another car’s battery to recharge your car’s dead battery, it does put a little stress on your battery. That said, in most cases, the procedure of jumpstarting your car is fairly harmless. A good and healthy battery will be unflinched by the jump start and as you start to drive the car it will recharge.
Why don’t you connect the negative when jumping a car?
A common warning that you must pay attention to before you get your cables out to jumpstart your car is to NEVER connect the negative as this may lead to an explosion.
The reason why you are not supposed to do this is that batteries release hydrogen gas while charging and since hydrogen is immensely flammable, you’ll want to avoid any spark occurring close to where the battery is being charged. Note that, It is very prevalent for a spark to occur when the leads disconnect from the car being jumped. If you connect the negative lead away from the battery, the spark won’t inflame the hydrogen gas.
Is it OK to jump-start modern cars?
Although modern cars can be jump-started, there’s a high level of risk associated with the said process. You must only make use of high-quality jumper leads that provide spike protection or a good quality jump start pack.
Never try to jumpstart if your car has a damaged battery. You can tell the battery is damaged if: (2) it smells like rotten eggs or, (2) or it hasn’t been used for too long and has failed to start.
As modern cars have features that rely on computer systems to function ( Bluetooth, airbags, cruise control, etc) jumpstarting may lead to heavy, expensive damage to your car and consequently, the process should be undertaken very carefully.
The following damages have been known to occur to modern cars while jump-starting:
#1. Damage to power steering
#2. Inconsistent airbag system
#3. Damage to the donor car
#4. Flawed Start/Stop system
How long do you let a car run after jumping it?
Ideally, you should let your car run for about 30 minutes after you’ve jumped it. This charges the battery further. Make sure you drive the car for over 30 minutes before you stop again. This is done to ensure that the battery remains charging. Or else, you’ll need one more round of jump start.
How long does jumping a car take?
The entire jumping process does not take any longer than 5 minutes once the leads are all hooked up in their respective places. If it does not start after leaving the leads connected for over 5 minutes the battery is either damaged or there’s some faulty connection in the leads.
Check the connection and try again.
Do I need to replace the battery after the jump start?
If you’ve successfully jump-started your car and are able to start it afterward you do not need to replace the battery. But, if the battery dies again even after you let it run for 30 minutes and needs to be jump-started again, you should consider replacing the battery.
Do car batteries charge while idling?
Yes, car batteries charge while idling as long as the engine is running. Assuming that the battery is not damaged and in good health, the battery should have no trouble charging while the car is idling. However, it does not charge at a very fast pace as there’s no load on the engine.
Why is my car battery draining fast?
There can be multiple reasons why your car’s battery may be draining out faster than usual.
The leading causes of batteries dying frequently include continuous electrical drains, charging issues, weakened battery connections, and always needing more power than the alternator can supply. Extreme weather conditions are also a huge reason for the rapid drainage of car batteries.
So in a nutshell…
Reviving the battery of a dead car may seem like some rocket science until you learn to do it all on your own as all it takes is just a few things and careful compliance with a few steps to jump-start the car. In most cases, you can do it all by yourself and with a pair of helping hands. We urge you to be really careful while undertaking the jump-starting process because you don’t want to land up with damaged car batteries or other malfunctioning car parts. Usually, you don’t have to worry about any of that because jumping a car is a very prevalent practice that is sure to work in most cases without any damage to either of the car batteries.
That said, we recommend you avoid jumping your car if you own a modern car because as we mentioned above, it may result in costly damages to some parts of your car.