How To Jump Start a Car: Battery Problems

Learn How To Use a Jumper Cable to Start a Dead Car Battery

There is nothing worse than encountering a car battery problems when you don't know how to jump start a car.  Cables are not difficult to use, so if you are able, borrow or buy a jumper cable and let's teach you how.

  1. The first step is to get a set of battery jumper cables at your nearest auto parts store.
  2. Place a working car either next to, or facing the one needing the jump.
  3. Open both hoods.  Make sure both engines are turned off, and that the jumper cables reach both batteries.
  4. Attach one end of the (usually red) jumper cable to the positive (+) terminal of the dead battery.
  5. Attach the other end of that same (usually red) jumper cable to the positive (+) terminal of the working battery.
  6. Attach one end of the  (usually black) jumper cable to the negative (-) terminal of the working  battery.
  7. Attach other end of that same (usually black) jumper cable to a metal surface (ground) on the dead car.
  8. Start the engine of the working car.
  9. Try starting the engine of the dead car.
  10. Disconnect jumper cables in reverse order that they were put on.
  11. Once the dead car's engine starts, let it run for 15-20 minutes so that the battery can recharge.


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straight-to-the-point tips. thanks! i'd now be buying jumper cables

By Anonymous

thank you. very accurate and safe. With the last comment, you can post this in a car manual.

By James Goetz

Good article. Accurate and safe.

Here are some additional tips that I was taught about this.

Step seven: I've memorized the phrase "Heavy, unpainted metal engine part 1 to 2 feet from the battery." I find that "non-car" people understand it faster like that.

Step 11: Ideally the car should run for at least 15-30 minutes with a good portion of that time having the engine above idle speed.

By george somebody