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How to Jump a Car Battery – Get it Running in 8 Easy Steps

2 min read

If you’ve never done it before, figuring out how to jump a car battery can be a bit intimidating. First, there are those incredibly scary looking cables with clamps on the end that look a lot like torture devices. Second, there’s the car battery itself, which doesn’t exactly look like your average harmless D-cell. But as it turns out, jump starting your car’s battery is actually a very simple procedure. It’ll kick your car to life long enough for you to take it to a repair shop and have it recharged or replaced.

How to Jump a Car Battery

  1. Find Another Car.

    Enlist the help of someone willing to lend their perfectly healthy car to jumpstart your dead battery. Position the car so that it’s facing yours and pop open the hood on both. Be sure the other car’s engine is off.

  2. Remove the Plastic Terminal Covers From Both Batteries.

  3. Positive to Positive (Red, +).

    Take those scary looking jumper cables in hand and remember: positive to positive, negative to negative. With this in mind, connect one positive cable clamp (red color) to the positive battery terminal on the dead car, and then connect the other end to the positive terminal on the working battery.

  4. Negative to Negative (Black, -).

    Connect the negative cable clamp to the negative battery terminal on the car with the working battery. Connect the other negative cable clamp (black color) to any solid metal part under the hood of the car with the dead battery. This serves as a safe “ground.”

  5. Turn on the Car with the Working Battery & Rev the Engine.

  6. Turn Key to Start the Dead Car.

    The borrowed charge from the operational battery should give it enough of a boost to start it. If not, wait another couple minutes and try again.

  7. Remove the Battery Cable Connections in Reverse Order.

    Keep the car running. The start by removing the negative ground on the formerly dead battery. Next, remove the negative clamp from the booster car’s battery, followed by the positive clamp from the booster car. Finally, remove the positive clamp from your jumped battery.

  8. Drive Around.

    Don’t turn off your engine. In order for it to recharge fully, you should leave your vehicle running for at least a half hour before turning it off – otherwise, it may not start back up and you’ll need to do it all over again.