Give it a Jump

A Quick Guide on Jumping Your Vehicle

You’re hopping in the car and getting ready to leave for work, but your car won’t start. It’s not making any noise when you try—it’s dead. That’s a likely sign that it’s the battery. So you know all about getting the jumper cables out of the trunk, and you found a friend or neighbor to come over and give you a boost, but do you know how to jump your car?

There’s no shame in not knowing—it can seem like a nerve wracking task, especially when it comes to knowing where to connect the cables. So here’s your quick guide on safely jumping your car.

  1. Safety first—Make sure both cars are turned off and their hoods are opened.
  2. Connect one end of the red jumper cable (positive) to the positive terminal on the dead battery. It’s either red-capped or has a clear “+” so you know it’s the positive terminal.
  3. Connect the other end of the red cable to the positive terminal on the good battery.
  4. Connect the black jumper cable (negative) to the negative terminal on the good battery. It may be black-capped or will have a clear “—“ symbol.
  5. Connect the other end of the black/negative cable to an unpainted metal surface under the dead car’s hood. Generally somewhere on the engine block will be a good place. DO NOT connect it to the negative terminal on the dead battery as you need a ground.
  6. Start the car giving the boost and let it run for roughly 5 minutes, then start the dead car.
  7. Remove the cables in the reverse order. So detach the black ground cable from the engine block, then detach black cable from the good battery. Next detach the red positive cable from the good battery. Finally, remove the red cable from the positive terminal from the dead battery.
  8. Let the jumped car run for at least half an hour to sufficiently recharge the battery.

By following these 8 simple steps can help you safely jump start your car. The next time your car doesn’t start and you need a jump, you won’t have to worry about connecting the jumper cables to get you going again.