How to start a car using jumper cables
Or jump leads, as I call them, English-ly. In my years of owning cars that have been, quite honestly, less than perfect, I’ve had a lot practise at starting cars and a dead battery is often the cause.
You know what I mean,you turn the ignition key and all you hear is that ominous click.
But this isn’t just a malady can can affect the old, rather dodgy vehicles I’ve tended to own.
Leave the lights on your car (easily done) whilst you struggle into the house with the groceries, and you too can have a dead battery when it’s time to go to work in the morning.
You’ll need jumper cables of course,plus a friend, neighbour or passing Good Samaritan with a working car in order to get over this problem.
If you’re like me,and tend to drive older cars, then the chances are that you keep jump leads in the boot. (Or in American, jumper cables in the trunk).
If you don’t have any,then choose your friend, neighbour or passing Good Samaritan with care – if he or she is driving a clunker,the chances are that they’ll be well-prepared.
Line up the running car with your non-running vehicle. Be sure that the batteries of the two are close together. It’s a good idea before you get a flat battery, to locate it in your car. It’s not always under the bonnet (or hood – automotive bilinguality can be so tricky).
If your car is an import (foreign car) then the battery could be in the trunk (boot) or under a seat (no translation required – phew). So be sure that the batteries of the two vehicles are close together. It’s a good idea to remove the ignition keys from both cars and make sure that both are in neutral (or park).
Now,it’s simplicity itself.
You have two jump leads – one red and one black. All you have to do is remember which is positive and which is negative. This is pretty easy because red is such a happy, positive colour.
- Attach the red cable to the positive battery post on the good car
- You will recognise the positive post by the fact the it will have a plus sign stamped right alongside it
- Now attach the other end of the red cable to the positive post on the stricken car
- Do the same with the black cable and the post with the minus sign by it – adding the cable to the battery on the good car first,then to the other car
- Start up the good car (obviously – the other won’t start) and let the engine idle for a couple of minutes
- Now, put the ignition key back into the stricken car and start it
Be sure to keep your car running in order to charge the battery. Thank your friend, neighbour or passing Good Samaritan and vow never to leave the headlights on overnight again 🙂
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