How to Jumpstart a Car

Car Jump Start

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It’s happened to everyone: your battery dies at the worst possible time, and you’re stuck. Knowing how to jumpstart a car is a must-have life skill. All you need are some jumper cables and someone willing to let you hook your car up to theirs.

Things to Know About Jumpstarting a Car

You can pick up a set of jumper cables at any auto store or big box store for under $20, so it’s a good idea to have them stowed in your trunk all the time. But, you could damage a vehicle that has an electronic ignition system or that runs on alternative fuels, so consult your manual before beginning.

How to Jump a Car

Jumpstarting a car is not difficult, but it has to be done exactly right to avoid damage to both vehicles:
  • Park the vehicles close enough together for the jumper cables to reach both batteries.
  • Make sure both vehicles are in park, the engines are shut off, and the parking brakes are engaged.
  • Pop the hoods on both vehicles, and make sure they’re secured.
  • Identify the positive terminal of your battery. It will have a plus sign or the letters “POS” on it, and it may be bigger than the negative terminal. Attach one of the red clips.
  • Identify the positive terminal of the battery in the other vehicle, and attach the other red clip to it.
  • Attach one of the black clips to the negative terminal of the battery in the other vehicle.
  • Attach the last black clip to a surface on your car that’s not near the battery and isn’t painted, like to one of the metal pieces holding the hood open.
  • Start the engine in the other car, and let it run for two to three minutes.
  • Attempt to start your car.
  • If it won’t start, make sure the cables are connected correctly, and try again. If you can’t get it to start, your battery is probably dead.
  • If your engine starts, drive your car around for at least 15 minutes so the battery can recharge.
  • If your car won’t start the next time you try, you need a new battery.

Battery Service at Chicago Northside Toyota

Chicago Northside Toyota can help with your battery service and all your repair needs, like spark plug replacement and scheduled maintenance. Conveniently located near Cicero and Oak Park, it’s easy to schedule an appointment with us. Contact us today!
Categories: Parts, Service