How to Jump a Car

Gabby Ianniello

Why do I need to learn how to jump a car?

You may be wondering, why would you go out of your way to learn how to jump a car? Simply because one day you may need it.

A good amount of people probably know the basics about jumping a car, but I would guess most of those people only know because they were forced to learn when it happened unexpectedly.

The last thing you want is to be rushing out the door to get to work and your car won't start. That wouldn't be such a great way to start your day, eh?

Find the 8 steps on how to jump a car below (I promise it's much easier than it seems!).

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Step 1 - Phone a Friend

In order to jump-start your car, you'll need another car to charge it. You can call family or a friend to come help you.

If no one is available to help, or you don't have jumper cables, you can call a local towing company or AAA (The American Automobile Association) to help with battery service.

Pro-Tip

Did you know that you can buy an Amp from a hardware store and it'll charge your car? Some people will buy these and keep them stowed away in their trunks just in case! On average, they're about $30-$35.

Amazon - Car Battery Charger

Step 2 - TURN BOTH CARS OFF!

A safety reminder, both cars must be OFF before you start touching batteries and attaching cables.

This could lead to getting burned or shocked.

Step 3 - Locate Car Battery

After the car has been turned off, pop the hood and locate the car battery in both the dead and live car.

Battery placement can vary from car to car, especially exotic cars like Porshe where some models have their batteries stored in the back of their cars.

You can refer to your car manual which is usually located in your glove box. A simple Google search of your car Name + Model will also do the trick.

Step 4 - Attach Jumper Cables

Use the below diagram and real-life photo to help with attachment and placement.

1. Attach a red-handled positive clamp to the positive terminal on the dead battery.

2. Attach the other red-handled clamp to the positive terminal on the live battery.

3. Attach the black-handled negative clamp to the negative terminal on the live battery.

4. Attach the other black-handled clamp to a piece of metal inside the dead car's engine.

Step 5 - Start the Live Car

Once clamps are affixed to both cars, turn on the live car.

Step 6 - Start the Dead Car

After the live car has been turned on, you can now start your dead car.

Step 7 - Remove Clamps

After running for a little bit, you can start removing the clamps from each car.

Using the below diagram, you'll want to remove the jumper cables in reverse order (4, 3, 2, 1).

Step 8 - Drive for 15 Minutes

After you've removed clamps from both cars, close the hood of your car and drive it for at least 15 minutes to 'charge' the battery. The longer you drive, the more you'll charge your battery.

After 15 minutes, you may want to try turning off your car and to see if you have trouble starting it again. If so, repeat the same steps as above with your friend and drive longer than 15 minutes.

If you continually have issues with the battery dying, you may want to consult with an automotive specialist.

Resources

YouTube - How to Properly Jump Start a Car

YouTube - How to Jump-Start Your Car

Pinterest - How to Charge a Car

Congrats! You just learned how to jump-start a car!

Reach out if you have any questions or any suggestions for future topics.

About the Author

Gabrielle Ianniello is the co-founder of The Adulting Manual and the host of the Corporate Quitter Podcast. When she's not adulting, she enjoys reading, making art, hiking, and Mario Kart.