What is a Jump Starter for?
When your car won't start, a dead battery could be the reason most of the time. If you turn the key and you get absolutely no response from the car, then it’s most likely that your battery is dead. You need a quick jumpstart to get yourself back on the road. But if you can hear the engine cranking then your problem is probably something else.
For dead batteries, normally you have 2 options: you can use jumper cables to jump-start your car from some good Samaritan's vehicle; you can also use your jump starter to get the job done if you have one. This article is only about how to use jumper cable. The jump starter solution will be covered in another blog.
The Right Jumper Cable
Jumping a car doesn't require complicated tools or rocket science. You can depend on jumper cables, the most popular and easy-to-use tool when it comes to starting vehicles with dead batteries. They are also cheap and easy to store. Of all specs, wire gauge and length of cables are the most important 2 factors for choosing the right jumper cables.
“Wire gauge” refers to the thickness of the jumper cables. Gauge 6 is the standard jumper cable size. The smaller the gauge number, the thicker the cables and the stronger they are. You don’t need the strongest ones, as a matter of fact, a set of jumper cables with a gauge 8 should provide enough power to jump-start most vehicles.
The length of the cables is a critical factor. Image the situation where you get everything ready, but the cable just can’t connect to both batteries however close the 2 vehicles get. Jumper cables usually come in different lengths, ranging from 10 to 20 feet. Normally 12 to 16 feet is quite enough for most cars. If you own a truck and need a charge from behind, you need at least 20 feet.
Jump Start a Car Battery
First, you must find a good Samaritan willing to offer you a functioning car to use for the jumpstart. Before you attempt to jump-start the car, make sure the voltage of the functioning car’s battery is at least as high as your battery.
To safely jump-start your vehicle, follow these steps:
Step 1. Take out your jumper cables.
It’s wise to keep a set of jumper cables in the trunk compartment. If you don’t have jumper cables, you have to find someone who not only would like to help you out but also who happens to have jumper cables.
Step 2. Park the functioning car so the 2 cars face each other as close as possible but do not touch. Both vehicles should be off. Then connect the jumper cables in the following order:
Connect one red clip to the positive (+) terminal of the “dead” battery (yours).
Connect the other red clip to the positive (+) terminal of the “good” battery (theirs).
Connect one black clip to the negative (-) terminal of the “good” battery (theirs).
Attach the last black clip to an unpainted metal surface on your car that isn’t near the battery, such as a clean nut or bolt on the engine block. This will help ensure a safe jump.
The cables should look like this:
Step 3. Now you’re ready to perform a jumpstart.
Start the functioning vehicle and let it run for a few minutes. Then you can try to start your dead vehicle. It should start up.
If it won’t start, make sure that the cables are correctly connected and let the functioning car run its engine for five minutes. Then try to start your car again. If it still won’t start, you have some other issues you need to look at. The possible problems include fuses, battery corrosion, faulty alternator, ignition switch, starter connection. If you are not sure what it is, your best bet is to take the car to a repair shop nearby.
If the jump works and you get your car started, don’t shut off your engine! Drive around for at least 15 minutes to recharge your car battery. If the car fails to start the next time you use it, the battery can’t hold a charge and needs to be replaced.
Dealing with a dead car battery isn’t terribly difficult. Hopefully, this article helps you out! Any questions are welcome, simply leave a comment below.