By Damien Andrews
First, for safety’s sake…
•Check your Owner’s Manual for complete details on jump-starting your particular vehicle.
•Only connect batteries that have matching voltages: 12-volt to 12-volt • 6-volt to 6-volt and so forth. Inspect your battery or refer to your Owner’s Manual to determine voltage.
•Make sure that the batteries in both of the vehicles involved are as close together as safely possible.
•Do NOT let the two vehicles involved make contact with each other.
•If your battery is lead-acid and has caps which can be opened so that water can be added, open and check them before attempting to jumpstart the vehicle. If the liquid inside the battery appears frozen, do not attempt to jumpstart the vehicle.
•To prevent possible battery acid accidents, if one or both of the batteries being used has vent openings, cover them before proceeding with the jumpstart process. This can be accomplished with a rag.
•Park both vehicles with the batteries as close together as possible (see diagram below). Park both vehicles with the emergency brake engaged. Automatic shift vehicles should be put into “Park” and manual shift vehicles should be put into neutral. Chock the tires if necessary. Be careful not to park in such a way that it would create a safety hazard to other vehicles.
•Fully extend the jumper cables to be used and ensure there are no loops or knots. Do NOT allow the clamps/clips to make contact with each other.
•Be sure not to allow battery cables to become tangled in working engine parts, such as the fan wheels, cooling fan, compressor, etc.
•If you should get battery acid on your body, immediately flush thoroughly with water. Seek appropriate medical attention if necessary.
Now let’s jump start that vehicle…
The clamp ends of battery cables are color-coded: one is red, one is black. Red is positive (+), and black is negative (-).
Step 1 – Connect the red (+) clamp to the positive terminal of the dead battery.
Step 2 – Connect the other red clamp (+) to the positive terminal of the working battery.
Step 3 – Connect the black clamp to the negative terminal on the working battery.
Step 4 – Connect the clamp on the other end of the black cable to a solid part of the engine in the vehicle with the dead battery. Look for a bolt or any other protrusion which is of adequate size to clamp to. Avoid clamping to rusty or corroded metal as it will reduce effectiveness.
Step 5 – Start the working vehicle and allow it to idle. The dead battery is now receiving a charge.
Step 6 – Start the vehicle with the dead battery.
Step 7 – Disconnect the jumpstart cables in this order: black clamp from the engine block • black clamp from the terminal • red clamp from the vehicle used to jumpstart • red clamp from the vehicle that was jumpstarted.