There’s nothing worse, you jump in your car after a day out and about, turn the key, and nothing happens… Thankfully you are prepared, and you have a set of jump start cables in your boot, and another car who has come to your rescue, but what do you do next?
Don’t worry, we got you.
We’ve put together this guide that runs through, step-by-step, how to correctly, and safely, jump start your car when you have a flat battery.
So let’s get into it.
The first thing you need to do is park both cars side-by-side. Turn off the vehicles and lift the bonnets.
On the vehicle that won’t start, check the battery for:
- Loose or damaged connections
- Corrosion on the terminals
- Cracks or leaks
- Any other physical damage
If you do notice any physical damage to the battery, do not proceed with the jump start. It is best to get your vehicle assessed by a professional. Call your roadside assistance or a mobile auto electrician.
Now you are ready to jump start the vehicle. First, take the red clamp, connect it to the positive terminal on the flat battery. Then, connect the other red clamp and connect it to the positive terminal on the donor vehicle.
Next, connect the black clamp to the negative terminal on the vehicle with the Flat battery. Then, connect the other black clamp and connect it to the negative terminal on the donor vehicle.
Now you are ready to carry out the jump start. Check that everything is connected properly and secure. Start the engine on the vehicle with the flat battery.
Once the vehicle is started, let it run for at least 10 minutes. This will charge up the flat battery enough to keep the vehicle running. It will also return charge to the donor vehicle’s battery to ensure that vehicle also starts after the jump start.
Once 10 minutes have passed. Turn off the vehicle that had the flat battery (which now’s got 10 minutes of charge in it). Keep in mind the battery is not fully charged, but there should be enough charge in the battery now to start and run the vehicle.
After turning off the vehicle, disconnect the black clamp from the negative terminal on the donor vehicle, and the negative terminal on the flat battery.
Next, disconnect the red clamp from the positive terminal on the Flat battery, and the positive terminal on the donor vehicle.
Close the bonnets on both vehicles and check that both vehicles start ok. And that is how you jump start a car.
What to do next?
Go for a drive… to your nearest auto electrician or mechanic.
Contrary to popular belief, if your battery is completely dead, a short drive is not going to be enough to bring it completely back to life. It is recommended to head to your nearest automotive workshop to get a full check on your vehicle’s starting system. There could be an underlying issue with your alternator or your battery may need to be replaced, so it is best to get the vehicle inspected to prevent any further damage.
Here at Accelerate Auto Electrics & Air Conditioning we are approved repairers for RACQ and offer free Start & Charge tests at our Maroochydore workshop. If you have recently had to jump start your vehicle, or are having any other electrical issues with your vehicle, give us a call at 5479 6652 or contact us online.