How Can I Start the Car From a Jerk?

If you drive a car, you should probably know how to start if the battery runs out. But this is one of those things where everyone has their own way of doing it, so how do you know which one is correct? After all, you are dealing with batteries and motors – you want to make sure you have everything right.

First, make sure you have everything you need. You will need a couple of jumper cables, which we recommend always keeping in the trunk or hidden in your car, and you will need a car with a good working battery.

Safety first

Before you start, make sure your jumper cables are in good condition. They must be long enough to be easily found between a car with a good battery and a car that needs current. It should be free of exposed wires, and the rubber cover should be free of cracks or damage. The clamps of the connecting cables must be clean; as are the battery terminals you connect them to. We recommend storing the battery terminal brush in the trunk along with the connecting cables, just in case.

Once your vehicles are in place, turn off both of them, park them (or neutral for manual control) and apply the parking brake. Go ahead, open the hoods of both cars and prepare the jumper cables.

Connect cars

Remember that the red connector is positive and the black connector is negative. The red clip on one end connects to the red clip on the other; cables do not cross in the center.

Be careful when connecting two vehicles – when connecting one clip, try not to let the other clip dangle in the engine compartment or rattle under the hood. Now what? AAA , Edmunds and Car and Driver Magazine agree to this course of action:

  • Connect one red clip securely to the positive (+) terminal of the discharged vehicle.
  • Connect the other red clip to the positive (+) terminal of the vehicle with a good battery.
  • Connect one black clip to the negative (-) terminal of the vehicle with a good battery.
  • Attach the other black clip to an unpainted metal surface anywhere in the engine compartment of a discharged vehicle. This will ground the connection — even a bolt or crossbar will do.

Make sure all connections are secure and the clamps are secure. Make sure the grounding connector is away from moving parts. You don’t want the clamps to rattle or move when you are about to start one of the cars.

Start your engines

Start the booster machine (with a good battery). Starting the cars in that order will immediately start charging the car with the discharged battery, so in most cases you don’t need to let the booster car run with the dead car turned off. off. However, if the battery in the dead car has been discharged for a long time, you may need to let the accelerator idle a little to charge the dead car’s battery.

As soon as the booster launches, start the dead car. It will most likely start immediately, but if it doesn’t, stop trying, wait a few minutes, and then try again. If it still won’t start after two or three tries, stop trying – you don’t want to damage the starter. Perhaps the battery simply does not hold a charge or something is wrong with the car.

Unplug cars

If your dead car does come to life, leave it on and then slowly disconnect the cables in the reverse order you connected them. This means first disconnecting the ground of the dead car, and then the negative terminal of the working battery. Then disconnect the positive terminal of the good battery and, finally, the positive terminal of the vehicle already started from an external source.

Be very careful when doing this – you are dealing with live cables. Only touch the protected clamp handles, and when you disconnect one end, do not let it dangle in the motor and do not let the positive and negative clamps touch each other.

To leave

If you’re lucky, you can say goodbye to your battery friend and drive your already running car to safety. You may need to start the engine again the next time you turn it off, but a good 15 minutes of driving or idle time should be enough to get the battery fully charged.

However, it is important to note that if the battery is indeed in poor condition, you should contact a mechanic or auto parts store with a certified charger and leave the battery plugged in for a few hours. Your alternator will definitely charge the battery while driving, but it is not designed to be fully charged.

Starters & Battery Kits

If you don’t want to look for someone to help you start your car, or you have to deal with a car club or roadside assistance, an engine start kit can be a smart investment. Most are small enough to be carried in one hand and can be slid into the corner of the chest until needed.

When the battery runs out, simply pull out the starter kit and, depending on the model you have, connect it directly to your car battery or to an outlet inside your car and let the battery charge for 15 minutes or so before starting the car. … Many starters will also show you the general condition of the battery and tell you when to start your car.

Launchers come in all shapes and sizes, from 300 to 3000 amps, but most have a range of 4 to 600, which is enough for most vehicles. Expect to spend between $ 50 and $ 100 on a reliable model. Just remember to recharge the starter itself periodically, otherwise you will find that you have a dead battery and an inoperative starter.

Going down this route can save you the headaches of finding a kind stranger to help with a dead battery – just be sure to follow the directions for a good and safe start.

This story was originally published in 2011 and was updated on 11/25/19 to provide more complete and up-to-date information.


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