A blue car and a red car using jumper cables to jump-start the other

How Do I Jump-Start My Car?

Steps to Jump-Start a Dead Battery

Most of us will have to deal with a dead battery at some point in our lives. Whether this is a dead battery in our own car or someone else’s, it is important to know the proper steps to jump-start a dead battery. While jump-starting a battery can be done with a portable jump-starter, this article will layout how to jump-start a dead battery with another vehicle and jumper cables.

Steps to Jump-Start a Vehicle

The first steps is to make sure the dead battery is in a good condition to be jumped. If there are cracks or leaks, do not attempt to jump-start the battery. A new battery will be needed. You also should never jump-start a battery that is frozen or dry.

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Once you have placed the car with the dead battery and the car with the donor battery side-by-side and opened the hoods, you can follow these steps:

Jumper cables attached to a donor battery in a vehicle
  1. Attach the red, positive clip to the positive terminal on the dead battery
  2. Place the positive clip onto the positive terminal on the donor battery
  3. Connect the black clip to the negative terminal on the donor battery
  4. Attach the final black clip to an unpainted metal part of the vehicle with the dead battery. Make sure it is not near the dead battery. A go-to spot would be the metal strut that holds the hood open.
  5. Start the donor car and allow it to idle for a few minutes. This will allow the car with the dead battery to charge.
  6. Test an interior light on the car with the dead battery. If the light turns on, there may be enough power to start the vehicle. If not, give it a few more minutes.
  7. Once the car with the dead battery starts, do not turn it off for 15 to 30 minutes. It is best to take the car for a drive rather than let it idle.
  8. Remove the clips in the reverse order they were placed.

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