Tips and Proper Procedure to Jump-Start a Car


You probably have a pair of jumper cables in your car, but do you know how to use them? We've put together tips on jump-starting your car to make sure you do it as safely and efficiently as possible. 

First off, replace any old jumper cables you might have, especially if they start to corrode. You typically want four-gauge and insulated wire, a pair that reaches around 20-feet, according to Before starting, consult your manual to double check everything. And remember, never touch live connections together.

After you've parked the two cars near each other, follow this procedure:

1. Turn off both cars. Put in Park/Neutral.

2. Clamp one positive (red) jumper to the dead battery's positive terminal.

3. Clamp the other positive jumper onto the positive terminal of the booster car.

4. Connect the negative clamp (black) to the negative battery terminal in the booster car.

5. Clamp the remaining negative jumper to an unpainted bolt, bracket, or metal part several inches away from the battery. This grounds the connection.

6. Start the booster car. Let it idle to build a charge.

7.  Start the dead car after several minutes, and continue to let it idle.

8. Remove the cables in the order you put them on.

9. Drive the jump-started car for about 20 minutes to charge the battery. Consider replacing your battery.

With these tips in mind, you'll be better prepared should the worst happen.

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