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How to Jump-Start a Car (8 steps)

If the battery in your car dies, you might be able to jump-start it using jumper cables and the assistance of a kind stranger’s car. Make sure that the battery on the helpful person’s car has at least the same voltage as your own if you can safely use jumper wires on your own car. It doesn’t matter if your car has negative ground and the other vehicle has positive ground, or if your vehicle has an alternator and the other vehicle has a generator, as long as the cables are connected correctly.

Caution: Using jumper wires could harm your car if it has an electrical ignition system or if it runs on alternative fuel.

Follow these instructions to jump-start a vehicle safely:
1. Get your jumper cables ready.

Investing in a set of jumper wires and storing them in the trunk is a smart move. If you don’t have jumper cables, you’ll need to find a sympathetic stranger who is eager to help you and who also happens to have some.

2. Put the ignitions of both vehicles in Park or Neutral, then turn them off.

Also set the parking brakes on both wheels.

3. Connect one of the red clips to your battery’s positive terminal.

It is larger than the negative terminal, or it has the letters “POS” or “+”

4. Connect the other red clip to the other car’s positive terminal.

5. Connect one of the black clips to the second battery’s negative terminal.

6. The last black clip should be fastened to an unpainted metal part of your car that is not close to the battery.

Take use of one of the metal struts holding the hood open.

This is how the cables ought to appear.

To jump start a car, you'll need to make sure you connect the jumper cables in the proper order.
Jumper cables should be connected in the right order.

7. Start the engine of the working car and let it run for a while.

8. Attempt to start your car.

Check that the cables are correctly connected and have the other person run their engine for five minutes if it still won’t start. Then attempt to restart your vehicle. Your battery might be beyond repair if the vehicle still won’t start.

Don’t turn off your engine if the jump starts your automobile. At least 15 minutes should be spent driving about to replenish your battery. The battery needs to be replaced if the automobile won’t start the next time you use it because it isn’t keeping a charge.

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