Precautions to Take When Jump-Starting a Vehicle

October 18, 2021 11:24 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

With colder weather fast approaching, there’s an elevated risk of battery issues that could result in you needing a jump start for your vehicle. Jump starts are among the auto electrical services we provide all year round, but if you have the proper tools and equipment, you can jump start your vehicle on your own.

If you choose to go the DIY method, it’s important to take all of the proper precautions to ensure you complete the task safely.

Here is a brief, step-by-step overview of how to safely jump-start your vehicle—that is, if you choose not to seek professional assistance with auto electrical services:

  1. First and foremost, a general safety rule: Never let the cable ends or vehicles touch while you are performing a jump start. This could cause some significant safety hazards and potential electrocution, so be very careful with your cable and vehicle positioning.
  2. Make sure both vehicles are off. As an extra precaution, you can set the parking brakes. This is beneficial for vehicles that might have been sitting with dead batteries for some time and may or may not be set to park.
  3. Locate the battery inside each car. It should be fairly obvious, but, if not, look for the positive and negative terminals or a cover that could be concealing it.
  4. Start by connecting the cables to the dead battery first. Put the red cable on the positive terminal on the dead battery; then attach the other end of the red (positive) cable to the positive terminal on the booster vehicle.
  5. You can then move on to the negative (black) cable. Connect, first, to the negative terminal in the booster car (not the dead car); then move on to the dead car to connect the negative cable to any unpainted metal surface located within a foot of the dead battery.
  6. Clear the area. If there’s anyone standing in the area, move them away—or at least get them out from under the hood.
  7. Start up the booster car, and wait a couple minutes to allow the booster car to deliver power to the vehicle with the dead battery.
  8. After at least two to three minutes of letting the booster car run while connected to the dead car, attempt to start up the dead car. If it doesn’t work, you may need to let the battery charge longer.
  9. If the jump works, you should spend at least 15 to 20 minutes driving the car to allow the alternator to fully recharge the battery.

It can also be beneficial after a jump to schedule a service appointment with an auto shop that offers professional auto electrical services. The technicians there can analyze your battery and determine if it was a one-time issue or if the condition of your battery has significantly deteriorated, potentially necessitating replacement. If the battery is not the issue then you may have an underlying electrical issue that needs repair. Thankfully we offer auto electrical services to get you back on the road as soon as possible.

For more information about battery maintenance in your vehicle, reach out to the team at Rivergate Muffler & Auto Repair today.

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