Jumpstarting a car is knowledge you never knew you’d need until its too late.
How many have been stranded at home or along the side of the expressway, helpless when their car battery dies.
If we’re honest, it’s as essential a skill to know as CPR.
Not everybody knows how to do it, but you’ll save the day if you know how to!
Here’s how to not get caught out this festive season with a dead battery:
1. Firstly, have a set of jumper cables handy in your car (which we are assuming is the dead one)
2. Park the working car as close as possible to the dead car. Preferably nose-to-nose or side-by-side, but ensure no contact between them.
3. Put each car in Park, set the parking brake, and turn off both cars.
4. Locate the batteries in each car, specifically their positive + (red) and negative – (black) terminals.
5. Connect a positive + (red) clamp to the positive + terminal of the dead battery, making sure the connection is solid. Remember, red to dead.
6. Connect the other end of that cable to the positive + (red) terminal of the working battery.
7. Still at the working battery, connect one end of the negative – (black) cable to its negative – (black) terminal.
8. Clip the other end of that cable to an unpainted metal surface on the dead car, far away from the battery. You can use the strut holding the bonnet open.
9. Start the working vehicle and let it run for a few minutes.
10. Now try to start the dead vehicle.
Things could go one of two ways from here:
a. If the dead car (your car) starts, hooray! Do not switch off your engine yet. Keep it running for around 15 minutes to charge up the battery.
b. If the dead car won’t start, make sure your cables are properly secured in the order above, and try starting your car again.
If possible, head to a workshop straight away to have your battery checked and replaced if necessary.
Once your car is running, unclip the negative – (black) cables from each battery first, and be careful not to let them touch the red clamps.
Now, remove the red clamps, and again be sure to not let them contact with each other.
You now have a working car!