Do you know how to jump start your car?

Let’s be honest – a flat battery can happen at the most inconvenient time – but it shouldn’t ruin your day! Even with our newer cars, knowing how to jump-start your car is good to have in your back pocket.

Do you know what a jump start is?

Jump-starting refers to supplementing the remaining charge in your battery with the charge from another power source – such as a car. The car with the flat battery is temporarily connected to a car with a fully charged battery via jumper cables – also known as jumper leads. 

It’s important to first determine if your battery is actually flat – turn on the ignition to start – listen for the usual cranking sound from your car’s starter motor. If your car does nothing at all (aside from a clicking noise), there’s a fair chance you have a flat battery!

We’ve put together an easy guide to help you safely jump start your car.

Step 1

Before opening the bonnet or battery compartment, make sure your transmission is set to park or neutral. At the same time make sure your park brake is firmly set. Remember to turn the ignition off before opening the bonnet and locating your battery. 

The positive terminal has a plus symbol (+) and/or red coloured marking – negative is identified with a minus symbol (-) and/or black marking. The same markings can be seen on your jumper cables.

Step 2

With another running car (perhaps a good Samaritan or friend) parked closely enough for the jumper cable to reach, it’s time to make the connections. Firstly, detangle your cables, clamp the positive terminal to the positive terminal of the flat battery to the running car and then do the same for the negative.

Be sure to check your car manual for your cars specifications – some cars require a different step such as connecting the negative cable to the engine block or another earthing point of the disabled car.

Step 3

Once the connection is made, its best to wait a couple of minutes to ensure the flat battery has enough charge. After a short time, disconnect the jumper cables in the reverse order to starting. 

It’s important that after you’ve gotten your car running, to not switch it off for at least 30 minutes – enough to charge your battery properly.

It’s as simple as that! But did you know you could have roadside assistance to help you with breakdowns? Contact Carbiz today to find out how.