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How To Jump Start A Car With Cables | Car Won't Start

In order to start your car’s engine it needs a battery, but what do you do if your battery’s dead and your car won’t start? One solution is a jump start. So here’s a step-by-step guide to successfully jump starting a car.


How To Jump Start A Car

This skill is right up there with being able to cook. It’s super useful (and kind of impressive!). So let’s get down to the nitty gritty...

Jumper Cables To Start Car

What You Need To Jump Start A Car

If your car doesn’t start, call Frank’s at (215) 355-8877.

A jump start is when you use one car’s battery to give another’s enough power to get it started. All you need is two vehicles and a set of jumper cables to transfer the electricity. Keep in mind though, that there are many kinds of motors with many different batteries. A huge diesel truck’s motor probably can’t be successfully started with the power from a small sedan, but using the diesel truck to start the sedan would probably work easily. A good rule of thumb is that a larger car can start a smaller one, but not the other way around! Unfortunately in jump starting size can matter.

First Step In A Car Jump Start

First position the cars close together, but be sure they are not touching. Connect the red (positive) clamp to the dead battery and be sure to leave the other end on a part of the motor that won’t conduct electricity, like plastic. Then attach the positive followed by the negative clamps on the other end of the cables to the working motor. Now attach the black (negative) clamp to the negative side of the dead battery or a ground point:

Jumper Cable Ground Point

Finding A Negative Ground For A Jump Start

If you can not access the negative terminal of the battery easily you can find a good ground connection. A ground point can be any easily accessible metal part of the motor that isn’t near a fuel source or moving part. Often the top of the shock assembly will do, or a large metal area on the engine block that is away from the fuel line. Once all the cables are attached be sure they aren’t in the path of the motors’ fans or belts.

Should I Rev My Engine To Jump Start A Car?

Now start the working motor and let it run for a few minutes. You can even rev the engine up to 2,000 RPMs to send more current to the battery. At this point, you can try to start the dead engine. If it doesn’t turn over immediately, wait a few minutes to allow the battery to charge and try again. 

Now you can disconnect the cables, but be sure to leave the car that was dead running until you can get it to a mechanic. First, disconnect the negative ground on the car that was dead and be sure it doesn’t touch anything. Then remove the positive lead - still on the car that was dead - and be sure it doesn’t touch anything too; including the negative cable. Last, disconnect the positive cable on the working car and the circuit is broken so you can safely remove the last negative lead from the working car.

Now you know how to jump-start a car with cables, but - even if your car still won’t start - Frank’s can arrange a tow to our Southampton facility and we even have loaner cars to keep you moving in the meantime!

Call Frank’s Servicenter at (215) 355-8877.

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Car Battery