Tips on how to jump start a car

Advance Auto PartsBefore missing that important meeting, being late to pick the kids up from school or enduring first date embarrassment when you need to call to ask to be picked up, take the time to learn the basics of how to jump start a car battery yourself.

Many people are surprised at how easy it is to learn how to get car batteries running again, and quickly become confident in what to do if a battery gives out at a bad time.

Jump start with the following steps:

1)   First, park a working vehicle next to your car. It’s best to line them up side by side or hood to hood, but be sure they don’t touch. Then, turn off your car’s ignition and also turn off any accessories in your car such as a CD player, phone charger, dome light and so forth. Check to make sure your external lights are off, too, which can drain car batteries further.

2)   Then, with your jumper cables, connect the red positive clamp to your dead battery’s positive post. This is clearly marked by a plus sign on your car’s battery. Then, connect the other red clamp to the positive post on the good battery in the other vehicle.

3)   Next, make sure the cables are out of the car’s hood components and not tangled in any way. They should run along the ground and not rest on the battery itself, the engine or any other internal component of either vehicle.

4)   Take the black clamp and connect it to the good battery’s negative post. Then, connect the other black clamp (also known as the negative clamp) to any metal surface onto the inside of the dead car. Carefully check the cables entirely to be sure they are not lying against or tangled up with any moving parts of either vehicle.

5)   Start up the engine of the working car and let it idle for a few minutes. Then, start your dead car and wait a few more minutes for it to receive a bit more power from the good battery. If it is still unable to start up, give the battery a few more minutes to revive.

6)   When the car is started, undo the BLACK NEGATIVE clamps first. This should be the reverse order of how you placed them on the car and it’s essential you remove the negative ones first to avoid injury or damage. Continue to be careful to keep dangling cables out of the car’s internal parts.

7)   Drive your revived car around for a bit to make sure the battery is working properly. Do this in a parking lot or another area where you are safe if your car battery dies again.

8)   Do not turn off your vehicle until it’s had adequate time to run and recharge a bit on its own.

It’s really that simple to revive your car battery, and almost anyone can learn how to do it.

Also watch a video on how to jump start a car battery, created by automotive experts at Advance Auto Parts.

Editor’s note: Visit Advance Auto Parts for more info on the quality car battery options available.


  1. Thanks for the idea. I am having a little bit of battery problem with my Chevrolet, I am gonna try this next morning. A car battery will trouble you a lot in winter. My car battery was also problematic in winter season, but then I bought a battery warmer and installed it after that my battery performed quiet well. Thanks again for your useful tips.

  2. Vickie Toups says:

    I Wish to thank advance auto parts for the service they gave me. My sister found out she had lung and brest cancer . Every day for two weeks we had trouble with our battery trying to get her to doctor.Stop by advance auto they went out of there way to help me.I really appreciate the kind and loving thing they did for me .God bless advance auto employees. I feel God sent me there. THANK YALL AND GOD BLESS Gulfport Mississippi

  3. Since your battery is two years old, there is dilnietefy a likelihood that it might not pass a load test if you take it to a garage and have the battery charged and tested. Any decent garage is going to load test your battery if you do decide to get it recharged there. What you need to do in order to get your car to start is to find someone patient enough that is willing to charge your battery with their car through some jumper cables for about a half-hour. It probably won’t even take that long, but your battery status at the moment is pretty bad. A totally discharged battery that is two years old is going to take a little bit longer to bounce back, considering whether or not it even does.Of course I knew I would get a thumbs down by someone being nice enough to charge someone else’s battery through jumper cables (which has absolutely no effect on the slave vehicle even though they think it might). Maybe they might be overly wealthy for road service at your home plus the tip for the tow truck driver. Let’s see, tow truck to your house, takes battery out, takes to garage, brings back, reinstalls. Well, what do you know that’s about the price of a new battery. Think about it.The bottom line is, you charge it, if it works, great. If it don’t, buy a new battery. It’s really not very complicated.

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