The Basics Of Jump-Starting Your Car

When your car unexpectedly stops operating, and you are late for an important meeting, try starting it. However, you should rest if you hear only a few clicking sounds after attempting to start the engine. If your car doesn’t start, your car battery may require a tiny spark to keep it operating. A dead battery is one of the most common automotive problems that may be resolved quickly–in this example, with a jumpstart.


 When diagnosing problems with your engine, it’s important to distinguish between a discharged battery and other issues. If your engine won’t start and you have a new or used vehicle, jumpstarting may not be the solution. You can use a multimeter to check the battery if your engine cranks but doesn’t start. The meter should read at least 12 volts with the engine off if it doesn’t grab the jumper cables. To jump-start a car, you need wire brushes, jumper cables with rust-free clamps, safety goggles, rubber gloves, and a different vehicle with a working battery of the same voltage as your car’s battery.


 If you keep a jumper cable in your car, you’ll be able to jump-start your vehicle if the battery dies. Jumper cables come in different lengths and gauges, so choose one that meets your needs. Longer cables offer convenience but force energy to travel further, reducing the current. Ten to twenty-foot jumper cables are ideal for jumpstarting a car; these are best suited for low-gauge cables. As a rule, thinner jumper cables are stronger and thicker ones can handle more power.


Since jumpstarting a dead battery involves transferring electric current, electric shock is possible; you should secure the area and wear goggles and gloves for protection. Some models require additional steps for basic and advanced car repairs, so read your manual.  Once the cable is connected, don’t touch the metal clamps, and watch out for sparks.


1. First, compare the voltages of the charged battery with those of the discharged battery. Otherwise, you may damage your car’s electric components.

2. The cars must be parallel parked, with a gap of at least 18 inches between them.

3. Remove the car keys from the ignition and turn off the vehicle. Stop both vehicles from moving by applying the brakes.

4. Find the negative and positive battery terminals on both cars. Then connect jumper cables and remove the keys from the ignition. 

  • Connect the red jumper cable to the discharged battery’s positive terminal.
  • Connect the red jumper cable clamp to the working battery’s positive terminal.
  • Connect the black, negative jumper cable clamp to the working battery terminal.
  • Attach the black, negative jumper cable clamp to the engine block. 
  • Attaching the negative clamp to the discharged battery’s negative terminal can ignite the battery’s gasses.

5.  To jumpstart a discharged vehicle, turn on the ignition of the working vehicle and wait a few seconds. If it doesn’t start, wait a few seconds longer because the ideal time frame for jumpstarting a battery is determined by how long the vehicle has been idle.

6. Once the car starts, disconnect the cables in reverse order. Charge the battery by running the car for 30 minutes.

Remember to be cautious when implementing this guideline, especially since the electric current is involved. In times of uncertainty, always seek the assistance of a professional mechanic. 
For further information on our auto repair services, contact Don’s Auto Repair in Los Angeles,CA, at 323-254-2844.

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