Car Not Starting? Jump It! Here’s How.

If your car is experiencing a dead or weak battery, and it won’t start, you can try to jump-start it. Never done this before? No problem, we’ll explain how!

Even if you once knew how to jump start a car, it can be easy to forget all the ins and outs, and to help you avoid looking helpless when asked to jump start a car as well as help prevent you from shocking yourself when you do it, we put together a step-by-step on how to jumpstart a weak, or dead car battery.

Before you attempt to jump start your car, make sure it’s the battery that’s the reason it won’t start up. If you turn the ignition and the car does absolutely nothing, it’s likely you have a dead battery; but if you turn the key and hear the engine cranking, it’s probably not a dead battery.

If you see that your battery is damaged, leaking or corroded – do not attempt to jump start your car, but call in an auto repair professional.

These handy tips can help you jump start a car in a few steps:

  1. You’ll need jumper cables and another car. It’s a good idea to keep a set of jump leads in your trunk. Park both cars in neutral next to each other, so that when you open the bonnet, the jump lead can reach both vehicles. You can also use a portable power pack instead of jump leads – they can be very handy and save you from needing to borrow another car.
  2. Shut off the ignition in both cars. Keep metal objects away from the battery, as they can cause a spark. Remove loose clothing in case they get caught in moving parts, avoid naked flames and never smoke. Also, make sure headlights and other electronics are off and remove the key from the ignition.
  3. Attach one of the RED clips, or leads, to the positive terminal of your battery – it will have “POS” or “+” on it, or will be bigger than the negative terminal, then attach the other red clip to the positive terminal of the other car’s battery.
  4. Next, connect one of the BLACK clips to the negative terminal on the working battery. Attach the other end of the black clip to an unpainted metal surface, such as a bolt or bracket, away from the dead battery. Use one of the metal struts that holds the hood open.
  5. Make sure the leads don’t touch together or any metal surfaces and that they’re away from moving parts, then start the engine of the working car.

  1. Let the engine run for a few minutes, and then try to start your vehicle. If the jump works and your car starts, don’t shut off your engine – drive around for at least 15 minutes first to recharge your battery. Once you’re sure your car is all set, remove the jump leads in reverse to the way you attached them.
  2. If it won’t start, make sure that the cables are properly connected and have the assisting car run for five minutes, then try to start your car again. If it still won’t start, your battery may be beyond help. Also, if the car starts but won’t start the next time you use it, the battery’s life is over and it needs to be replaced.

WARNING: If either vehicle has an electronic ignition or alternative fuel system, the use of jumper cables may cause damage.

Our auto garage expert team at CNM Auto Repair is passionate about assisting our clients with your Domestic, European, Japanese or Asian vehicle and ensuring it’s performing optimally for years to come. We offer a free check-up of your battery, and low-cost fitting service should you need a new one!

Contact our family owned and operated Lancaster PA garage for all your auto repair needs, including tune-up, alignment, and other car and light truck services – make an appointment with our expert auto mechanics today at (717) 397-1497.