How to Jump-Start a Car

Share  
Once the dead car is running, disconnect the cables in the reverse order you connected them. DO NOT let the clamps touch.

Difficulty: Beginner

CARS.COM — Summer is coming, and you're about to hit the road for an epic road trip. Just one problem — the car won't start. If you find yourself turning the key to no avail, here's a quick rundown on jump-starting your car.

Related: More Service and Repair Tips

Park cars nose-to-nose, about 18in apart. (left to right) 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, 2017 Toyota Highlander

Find a volunteer vehicle and park the assisting car nose to nose with yours, about 18 inches apart. Make sure that both vehicles are in Park, that their emergency brakes are on and that their engines are off.

Clamp one end of the red cable to the dead battery's positive terminal.

Clamp one end of the red cable to the dead battery's positive terminal and the other end of the red cable to the functioning car's positive terminal.

Attach the end of the black cable to the working battery's negative terminal.

Attach the end of the black cable to the working battery's negative terminal and the other end to a metal section — such as a bracket or bolt away from any moving parts — to ground it in the dead car.

Turn the ignition and start the working car. Let it run for 1 to 2 minutes, revving the engine slightly.

Turn the ignition and start the working car. Let it run for 1 to 2 minutes, revving the engine slightly.

Turn the ignition and start the working car. Let it run for 1 to 2 minutes, revving the engine slightly.

Now give your dead car a try. It may take a couple of tries, but don't try to start it more than three or four times in a row, as this could damage your car's electrical system.

Once the dead car is running, disconnect the cables in the reverse order you connected them. DO NOT let the clamps touch.

Once the dead car is running, disconnect the cables in the reverse order you connected them. Do not let the clamps touch.

Lastly, take a quick drive to let your battery charge to full capacity so it will start again next time.

If your car refuses to start after a few jump attempts, it may be due to battery corrosion or a problem with your fuses, generator, ignition switch or starter connection.

Share  

Enter to Win $300

Review your car to enter our drawing today.
Write a Review

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. 18+