Towing san Francisco & San Jose

How to jump start your car battery in 10 easy steps

If you’ve ever found yourself faced with a flat car battery you’ll know exactly how frustrating life can get. There’re very few feelings in this world that are worse than the feeling of being stranded because you can’t drive anywhere. Flat car batteries are generally a result of either leaving your car lights or engine on overnight or for extended lengths of time. In some instances, old or faulty batteries can also be the culprit. Whatever the reason, knowing how to contend with a flat battery is a hugely beneficial skill, and one we’re about to teach you.

What you’ll need:

  • Additional vehicle (w/ working battery)
  • Jumper cables
  • Protective wear

How to jump start a car battery

Follow these 10 simple steps and your vehicle will be up and running in next to no time.

  1. Identify the problem

First thing’s first, you need to ascertain whether the battery is drained. You can do this by testing your headlights (a drained battery will lead to dimmed or extinguished lights) and checking the sound of the engine (a slow turnover is a symptom of a flat battery).

  1. Preparation

Before you get down to the dirty work, gather together everything you might need. Put on gloves, unravel jumper cables and have a rag nearby to clean off excess grease and oil.

  1. Position the cars

Position the working vehicle as close as you can to the disabled vehicle, with each hood facing the other hood. If necessary, manually move the disable vehicle to the street to do so. Be sure there is someone to assist if you plan on carrying out the latter.

  1. Connect the jumper cables

The jumper cables need to be attached in a specific order. Take the POSITIVE cable – this is ordinarily colored red – and attach one end to positive terminal on the drained battery. Connect the other end to the POSITIVE terminal on the working battery. Next, take the NEGATIVE cable – this is usually colored black – and connect it to the NEGATIVE terminal on the working battery. Attach the other end of the cable to grounded metal (e.g. nuts, bolts, chassis) on the vehicle with a drained battery.

  1. Turn engine on (working vehicle)

Switch the working car’s engine on and allow it to idle for 30-60 seconds. As the vehicle idles, be sure to rev the motor several times during the process.

  1. Turn engine off (working vehicle)

Switch the engine off and remove the ignition key.

  1. Turn engine on (disabled vehicle)

On the disabled vehicle, turn the engine on. If the jump start has worked it should start up as usual.

  1. Leave the engine running (disabled vehicle)

Once the engine is on, leave it running for a minimum of 20 minutes. Rev the motor periodically and allow the engine to idle. With any luck you’ll be ready to roll before you know it.

  1. Find fault (if necessary)

If your engine doesn’t fire up at the first time of asking, go back and check the jumper cable connections. Adjust the clamps where necessary before trying again. Follow steps 5-8 again. If the engine doesn’t start, you’ll need to seek assistance.

  1. Clear up after yourself

Whether your car is ready to drive or needs the experienced eye of a professional, clear away your cables and any other equipment used.

A battery jump start is generally a straightforward task to achieve but it’s still one that comes with a certain degree of risk. There have been plenty of cases in which amateurs have attempted to jump start their car and caused further damage to their engine or, even worse, themselves.

Towing Long Beach is one reputable tow truck company that can provide you with a professional battery jump start. If you’re looking to avoid the stress, dirt and workmanship that comes with a jump start, let the professionals take care of it for you.