How to Connect Battery Jumper Cables

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Buellton Garage advises that you can expect to get three to four years out of a car battery before it dies. The battery can die on its own if it is too old, or it can discharge prematurely if you leave the lights on or a car door open. Provided you can find someone who is willing to help, you can most likely get your engine started by jump-starting the battery using jumper cables. Here is how to do it.

Position the Cars

You cannot move the car with a dead battery unless you push it, so ask the person who has offered to help to position his or her car in front of your car so that the engines are facing each other. Make sure to leave approximately 18 inches of space between the two cars so you have room to work. Also, make certain that you set the parking brakes on both cars so that they do not move.

Uncover the Batteries

With the engine off, pop the hoods and remove any covers that are covering the batteries. Set the covers aside so they are out of the way. Inspect the batteries to make sure you cannot see any corrosion on the battery terminals or the battery cables. If everything is clean, you are ready to connect the jumper cables. If the batteries are corroded, they must be cleaned beforehand.

Connect the Jumpers

Take the jumper cables and separate them so that you have a positive clamp and a negative clamp for each engine. Clamp the positive side of the cable to the positive battery terminal on the car that is going to give you the jump. Next, clamp the other positive side on the dead battery’s positive terminal. Clamp the negative clamp on the jumper battery and the negative clamp on the dead battery or on a piece of metal that does not have any paint on it. Your car’s body may have a spot for the negative clamp.

Start the Engines

Now it is time to start the engines. The car that is offering to jump-start the dead battery is the car that should be started first. Once its engine is running, you can turn the ignition key or press the start button on the car that has the dead battery. If the battery has any life left in it at all, it should accept the charge and the engine should fire up. Keep the engine running and disconnect the cables in the reverse order of how you connected them. Disconnect the negative clamps first and then the positive clamps.

Drive to Buellton Garage in Buellton, CA, for a battery test. If we need to, we will replace the battery.

Photo by structuresxx from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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