One of the most important things to know as a driver is how to jump your car safely. At Robert’s Collision and Auto Repair, we consider it a very basic skill but important to do properly. It is inconvenient to be unable to jump your car on your own, but even worse to attempt to do so and misfire. So perhaps this seems like a silly reminder, but we consider safety to be more important than anything else. Here are some quick directions on how exactly to jump your car.
- If you don’t already have a set of jumper cables in the car, then consider investing in some for your own ease. Sometimes college campuses and large businesses will have on-site assistance in case your car battery dies that you can borrow. For example, the Del Monte shopping center has a traffic patrol that has jumper cables for you if you need to use them.
- Track down a buddy or flag down a friendly stranger to jump your car from.
- Once you have your cables and a friend’s vehicle to jump from, line them up as best you can nose to nose (or, depending on where their battery is located, side to side, or nose to bumper).
- Put both cars into park or neutral, put on the parking brakes, and start the ignitions.
- This is the important part! Attach one of the red clips to the positive (+) terminal on the battery. Do the same on the other car. Make sure that the clips are securely attached, and handle them carefully.
- Attach the black clips to the other negative (-) terminal. Rather than attaching the fourth clamp to the opposite negative terminal, clamp it to another surface near the battery that is unpainted metal. For example, a shiny, clean nut or a metal strut that holds the hood open. This will make sure that the jump is safe and doesn’t send sparks flying.
- Start the working car (from ignition to starting the engine) and then attempt to start your car as well. This may take a couple tries.
- Once done, thank your buddy, remove the clips, and be sure to drive around for at least 15 to 20 minutes so that your car can recharge the battery a bit.
And that’s it! Please keep safety in mind first if this ever happens. We know that everyone’s got somewhere to be and are often in a hurry to get there, but when it comes to your car’s battery, take the time you need to start it safely. It’s a fairly simple procedure but it can get dangerous fast. If you’re car has been dying frequently, it may indicate that you run the engine too long without going anywhere. Remember that it’s a reciprocal system, so if your engine is running but you’re not going anyway, the battery will drain. However, if your engine is running your driving, the battery is charging. In case your car battery is dying very frequently without the described cause, then consider that your car may need a new battery altogether.
For that, come see us at Robert’s Collision & Repair. We can get you a new battery and get it replaced for you. We’ll also be able to tell you if the problem really is with the battery, or something more serious. Give us a call to learn more. Until then, drive safe!