A dead battery is something that every driver dreads of, especially if it happens in the middle of the road. You have to pull over by the side of the road or even worse, push the car to the side of the road. After that, you have to wait for someone driving by to actually stop and agree to help you jump start your vehicle. The way motorists act today and depending on the time of the day, sometimes it can be hours before anyone pulls over and cracks their hood open to assist you. Jump starting the car should be a breeze from there, right? Well, not every time, because you need to know how to jump start the car, just in case the other driver is a good person, but he or she does not know how to connect the two vehicles.

Equal voltage

There is one prerequisite to jump starting your car. Apart from jumper cables that you probably already have, the voltage of the two batteries needs to be the same. If the voltage is higher, that is not a problem, but if the voltage is lower, then there is a good chance that no current will flow between the two batteries. This issue can occur on foreign roads, where car batteries have a different voltage than your car.

Be careful not to damage respective cars

Another problem can occur if either vehicle possesses an electronic ignition system. Once you receive the impulse, such a power surge has the potential to mess up the other car’s electronics. Another issue can occur with alternatively fueled vehicles that are not suitable for jump starting. This process can damage their combustion system and there is a good chance that the car won’t start again.

The jumper cables

Like we already said, an integral part of this process is actually having jumper cables. They are best stored in the trunk but even if you have forgotten your set of jumper cables, perhaps the Good Samaritan that pulled over can borrow you theirs. However, you do not wish to depend upon strangers, so always check your trunk for jumper cables before setting off on a longer journey.

The process itself

Once the jumper cables are ready, turn off the ignition and make sure that both of the vehicles are in Park on Neutral, so the cars don’t start moving involuntarily. Just in case, engage the parking brake as well. This will ensure that both cars will remain still during the whole procedure.

Take one of the red clips and attach it to the positive terminal on your car’s battery. In most cases, a clear “+” sign will indicate the correct bulge that is also bigger than the negative terminal. Then take the second red clip and repeat this procedure with the positive terminal of the other car.

Having attached the red clips, it is time to pick up one of the black ones and attach it to the negative terminal on your battery. The last black clip should be attached to a metal surface that is firstly not painted, and secondly, as far away from the battery as possible. All the while, one of the metal struts should be positioned to keep the hood open.

Having connected the clips correctly, the other person should start their car and let the engine run for some time. After a few minutes, you can get back in your car and turn the engine on. If you did everything correctly, you should be back on the road in no time.

Possible problems

If you did the whole procedure but your car still won’t start, there are several possible issues. First of all, you should inspect if all the clips are properly connected and if the last black clip is far away from the battery. You mustn’t be impatient, as sometimes it takes up to ten minutes before your battery recharges. Finally, the problem could be the car battery itself, as they can malfunction sometimes. If the car won’t start after several attempts, you may need to call a car battery replacement service that can provide you with assistance on the road.

Roadside safety

If the battery dies in the middle of the road, then jump starting the car just off the side of the road can be dangerous. The level of danger increases if this happens on a highway, so you need to learn this procedure by heart, so you get the job done as fast as possible and get the hell out of there! Put on reflective vests and don’t forget to place the warning triangle at the distance prescribed by the law. If you are ultimately unable to jump start your car, don’t just leave it at the side of the road but call a tow truck company and get as far away from the car while you wait for their arrival.

As you have seen from our detailed guide, jump starting a car is nothing to be afraid of. After a few practice runs in your driveway with the help of a neighbor, you will be ready for real roadside mishaps.