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how to jumpstart your car
06th August, 2021

How to Jump-Start Your Car From Another Car

A flat battery can cause all sorts of issues and completely derail plans, especially when your knowledge of how to jump-start a car is somewhat lacking. If you are someone who hasn’t experienced this issue before, and even if you have, it’s natural to be nervous about what to do when this situation arises, especially if you haven’t prepared.

At SSC Mechanics, we are experienced in a wide range of mechanic and car repair services. So, if you suspect that your vehicle is having battery issues, it’s best that you bring it in for a checkup before any issues have a chance to manifest. However, if it’s too late for preemptive action, fret not, for we’re here to teach you everything you need to know about how to jump-start your car.

What You Will Need to Jump-Start a Car

When it comes to jump-starting a car, it’s important to stay prepared. That said, whilst you may not think you have some of these items, you may find that you happen to have some laying around in your boot. If not, then you’ll likely need a friend to come and provide you with some assistance, if your situation allows for it.

The materials you’ll need to jump-start your car are:

  • Your vehicle, which will need to be in a place where the battery is easily accessible.
  • Jumper leads
  • Another non-electric or hybrid car with a full battery (hybrids and electric cars should be avoided due to the fact that this process can cause damage to these vehicle varieties)

Once you have the items you’ll need, it’s important to then learn how to use them safely. Remember, batteries can be dangerous when used improperly, which is why we always suggest utilising the services of an experienced mechanic where possible. With that said:

How to Stay Safe When Jump-Starting a Car

  1. Make sure that you aren’t wearing or holding any metal items. This is because, upon contact with your battery, metal objects like rings and necklaces can cause sparks, or even cause your battery to explode in some circumstances.
  2. Remove any hanging articles of clothing, such as scarves and flowy jackets, as they can get caught in the machinery of your car once it has been successfully jump-started. Plus, if you were to accidentally touch the battery with metal, it’s best to have as little flammable clothing as possible.
  3. Avoid any naked flames coming near either battery, including cigarettes. Car batteries can produce flammable gasses, making naked flames a massive safety risk during this process.

Ensure That Your Battery Isn’t Visibly Damaged

Sometimes, your battery dying is a symptom of an underlying issue. This can become quite dangerous for those that are jump-starting their car depending on what issues are present. That’s why it’s good to do a check of your battery before starting. For example, if your battery is leaking, this is a sign that you should call a mechanic and avoid interacting with it until they arrive.

You should also stop if your jump leads are visibly damaged or get hot during the process. These are signs that something may be wrong and should be treated as a sign to stop and wait for help.

Avoid Handling Your Jumper Leads While Your Car is Running

Attempting to remove your jumper leads while your engine is running can cause lasting damage to the car’s electrical components, and should be avoided wherever possible.

Now that we’ve gone through some of the initial safety precautions, we can start on how to actually jump-start your car.

How to Jump-Start Your Car With Jumper Leads

Get Both Cars in Position

Before you start trying to use your jumper leads, it’s important that your two vehicles are unobstructed and can easily reach from one battery to the other.

Connect the Jumper Leads to Their Correct Positions

The red jumper leads should connect to the positive terminals of each battery, whilst the black should connect to the negative terminals.

Start the Working Car and Keep It Running For One Minute

It’s best to keep the engines off for a few minutes before starting, but once you do, leave the car with the functioning battery on for a minute before turning on the car with the flat battery.

Do the Same For the Flat Car and Leave Both Running For Ten Minutes

Leave both cars on and idling for ten minutes to ensure the jumper leads have time to do their job.

Turn Off Both Cars

Once the ten minutes is up, turn off both vehicles. Do NOT attempt to disconnect the jumper cables before the cars have been switched off.

Disconnect the Jumper Cables

Make sure the leads don’t touch the car or each other whilst you are removing them.

Restart Your Vehicle

Once all of the work is done, try turning your car on again to see if you have been successful. If so, great! If not, then it’s time to call a mechanic or tow truck for assistance.

When Does My Battery Need Changing?

Ideally, a car battery should be changed every 5-7 years. If you think it’s time to get your battery swapped over, contact one of our specialists at SSC Mechanics today!

Want to stay up-to-date with more vehicle tips, tricks and information? Keep visiting our blog for more posts on car care and maintenance every month!

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