It has happened to all of us when we have been running late with a busy day ahead, and unfortunately found out that we have a dead car battery. The usual is that we have left the headlights on all night or taken a long vacation and haven’t started the car for a while, resulting in a dead battery. We need that quick fix to get the car back on the road again, in a perfect world, a car would perform smoothly all the time and we would never have to jump-start a battery.
However, if that unfortunate day comes and that dreaded ticking sound occurs indicating that the battery is dead, there are a couple of options at your fingertips: dialing 24/7 mobile battery assistance that will bring a replacement battery.
or call your regular roadside assistance. However, if this is not an option, jump starting your car may be the last resort.
The experts at ACDelco, the premier supplier of car spare parts and batteries have come up with the perfect guide to help you jump start a car the safest way possible. Jump starting a car is no means a permanent solution but more of a temporary one, to get a car to the nearest service centre and the battery replaced.
It is recommended that before jump starting a car everyone should familiarise themselves with the steps outlined in the car owner’s manual, here are some standard rules to safely jump start a car:
Take out jumper cables, it is a good idea to buy a set of jumper cables as it is unknown when they might be needed. For those who don’t have any, reach out to someone who does.
Safety Before Anything Else
Safety is always first, so do not smoke, create a spark, or light a match near a battery.
Don’t be Shocked
Before jump starting a battery check the voltage, which should be mentioned on the battery itself. Try to ensure that the battery that is providing the power is the same voltage as the dead battery, if not this can be a safety hazard.
The Colours of your Destiny
It is also recommended to check the indicator dot which is mostly on the top of the battery. The colour of it depends on the charge of the battery, here is an easy breakdown: Green – fully charged, Brown or Black – charge is lost and Yellow – battery needs replacing.
No Touching Allowed
Another important factor is to make sure the two vehicles are not touching before jump starting the battery.
What did the Positive Say to the Negative?
Always check that the positive and negative terminals on the battery (again usually on the top of the battery) are clean and free of corrosion before jump starting. If they need cleaning then baking soda and water works well, or in an emergency carbonated cola drinks do the job too.
Avoid the Danger Zone
Make sure that the engine supplying the power to the dead or low battery is switched off. Never let cables touch each other as this can be dangerous and cause a spark or damage to the battery. Next, connect the powered battery to the positive cable to the plus (+) terminals and connect the negative cable to the negative (-) terminals on both batteries. Ensure the dead or low battery is connected last.
There will be Charge
Then turn on the engine in the vehicle with the good battery and leave it idle for five minutes, this will start charging the low or dead battery. Turning on the headlights of the car with the battery problem helps absorb voltage which otherwise could cause damage to the vehicle’s computer.
The Moment of Truth
Once the five minutes have passed try to start the vehicle, if it doesn’t start check the cables are properly connected and have the other car engine run for a few more minutes, then try to start the car again. If it still won’t start then the battery may be completely dead and will need replacing.
Go For a Ride
If the jump works and the car starts, remove the cables. Drive the vehicle for at least 30 minutes to recharge the battery and drive the car to the nearest service centre to replace the battery.
Remember this is no way a permanent solution and ACDelco recommends that you visit your service centre at the earliest for a replacement. This guide is part of ACDelco’s commitment to providing services and products to its customers and inform drivers on how to safely manage car maintenance whenever needed.