How to Jump Start
your Car

Battery dead or low? Here’s how to jump start it safely.
Home | Articles | Jump-Starting A Weak Or Dead Automobile Battery

Jump-Starting A Weak Or Dead Automobile Battery

Car batteries can fail for a number of reasons but regardless of why it happens, it’s never convenient! Fortunately when a battery fails, a jump start often is the best short term way to get the motor going.

Jump Start Safely

Jump starting is a common practice but to be done safely and properly AAA recommends the following procedure:

Step by Step

  1. Position the Cars
    Position another vehicle (the “booster vehicle”) with a healthy battery and the disabled car so they do not touch each other. Be sure both batteries are of the same voltage.
  2. Ignitions Off
    Turn off the ignitions of both vehicles and set the parking brakes. Place automatic transmissions in “Park” and standard transmissions in neutral.
  3. Read the Manuals
    Read the owners’ manuals for BOTH vehicles for any special directions. Unless given different directions in the owner’s manual, use the booster cables in the order presented in Steps 5 & 6.
  4. Wear Safety Gear
    Wear safety glasses and gloves while using cables.
  5. Stay Alert
    Some components in the engine compartment can run with the engine being on, ex. fans. Be careful where you place your hands.
  6. Connect the Positives
    Clamp/connect one end of the positive (+) booster cable to the positive (+) post of the dead battery. Connect the other end of the same cable to the same marked post (+) of the booster battery.
  7. Connect the Negatives
    Connect the second, negative (-) booster cable to the other post of the booster battery. Make the final negative (-) booster cable connection on the engine block of the stalled vehicle away from the battery.
  8. Start your Engines
    Start the booster vehicle and let it run for a few minutes. Then, start the disabled vehicle and keep it running. If the disabled car does not start by jump-starting, there may be problem with the alternator, starter or another component of the electrical system.
  9. Disconnect the Cables
    Remove the cables in the reverse order of connection, being very careful not to let the booster cable clamps touch each other or come in contact with car parts.

  10. Be sure to drive the formerly disabled car for at least 30 minutes so that the battery can charge before turning it off. As soon as possible have the battery checked by an auto repair professional. A dead battery could indicate other problems with your car or may require replacement.