How to Jump Start a Car

Mechanic Removing Battery from Car

What happens when your vehicle won’t start? In most cases, Florence or Muscle Shoals drivers will grab the jumper cables and look for anyone who can help. The basics of jump-starting a car seem simple — connect the cables between the batteries — but every Northern Alabama driver should know the specifics so they can do it right, minimize the risk of damage or injury, and help another driver get on their way.

Read on to learn the steps to jump-start a car, and remember that once a battery dies, it’s a good idea to replace it soon to avoid needing future jump-starts. If you need a new battery, be sure to check our parts and service specials first.

Learn the Right Way to Jump-Start a Car

Before you can jump-start your vehicle, you have to locate a set of jumper cables and find another compatible vehicle that can provide assistance. Even though you need another car to jump yours, you shouldn’t rely on them to have jumper cables and should keep a set in your trunk or cargo area. If you can’t find another driver who can help or a set of jumper cables, you can also call a jump-start car service like AAA.

If you have a set of jumper cables and another driver that is willing to help, all you need to do is follow the steps listed below:t

  1. The car with the working battery should be parked facing the other vehicle, and it should be turned off. Engage the parking brakes for both vehicles involved.
  2. Open both hoods to locate the batteries. With some vehicles, there may be a plastic hood covering each battery terminal.
  3. Identify the positive and negative terminals. Battery terminals should be inspected for corrosion. Make sure the terminals are clean.
  4. Attach the red clamp to the positive post on the dead battery.
  5. Connect the other red clamp to the positive terminal of the healthy battery.
  6. Attach the black clamp to the negative post on the healthy battery.
  7. Connect the last clamp to an unpainted metal surface on the frame of the car with the dead battery.
  8. When the cables are attached securely, start the engine of the vehicle that has the working battery first, then try to start the vehicle with the dead battery.
  9. It may take some time or your vehicle could start right away — if it doesn’t start on the first try, remember not to turn the key all the way back, or you could risk flooding your spark plugs and causing a different kind of problem.t
  10. Once the dead vehicle has been jump-started, take off the jumper cables cautiously in the reverse order that they were placed on. Turn off the car that was used to help jump-start the dead battery.
  11. You want to make sure the jump-started battery remains charged, so the vehicle should run for at least 10 minutes. There may be different recommendations from the automaker, so it is a good idea to take a look at your owner’s manual.

Other Issues

What is the course of action when the car won’t jump-start? The battery may need to be replaced, or there could be another underlying cause. Here is how you can troubleshoot the problem:

  1. Try to start the car. If you only hear a clicking sound, it could be a sign of a faulty starter. Bring your vehicle in for a replacement today.
  2. If the electrical systems of the car turn on, but the engine fails to turn over, there are several possible culprits. The ignition switch, battery, starter, or a fuse could be what’s causing the issue. Once again, it is recommended that you have your vehicle looked at by a professional.
  3. Be sure to keep your vehicle running for a while after getting the jump. The battery needs to recharge fully after being drained.
Jumper Cables

Trust the Service Experts at Greenway Chevrolet Of The Shoals

If your vehicle recently required a jump-start, it is a good idea to bring it in for an inspection and a battery check at our service center before returning to your usual driving habits around The Shoals. Contact Greenway Chevrolet Of The Shoals today if you have any questions.

We are currently updating our Specials. Please check back soon.

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