Today I had to go over to my brother's apartment to help him get his Mazda3 started. The culprit? A dead battery! It had been awhile since I had actually done a jumpstart with a car, since I usually use a “jumpbox” when a car has a dead battery. It was a good refresher for my brother and me.
First thing you want to do is make sure the car with the good battery has sufficient gas. My 96 Honda Accord had plenty of gas before going over to my brother's. Also you want to make sure you have jumper cables. This is embarrassing to admit, especially since I have an auto blog, but I did not have jumper cables in my car. I had to get a set out of another car before going over to my brother's apartment. I will buy jumper cables for my Accord though! I promise!
When I got over to my brother's apartment, I parked my Accord as close to his car as possible. Obviously leave enough room for you to get between the cars. Hook up the cables in this order:
- Red Positive Cable onto Positive Terminal to Dead Battery
- Attach the other Red Positive Cable onto Positive Terminal to Good Battery
- Black Negative Cable onto Negative Terminal of Good Battery
- Attach the other Black Negative Cable of the Engine Block, Alternator, or Some Ground
After you have the cables hooked up start the car with the good battery and let it run for about 5-10 minutes. It's important to make sure the cables have a good connection or you will be wasting your time. (I know this from experience, but got a reminder about it today.) After letting you car run for awhile, therefore letting the good battery charge the dead battery, try to start the car with the dead battery. If it starts, let it run with the other car with the good battery for 2 minutes. If not, keep the car with the good battery running since the dead battery needs more time to charge.
Once you have the dead battery car running keep it running for awhile to let the alternator charge the battery, shut off the car with the good battery. Remove the cables in the REVERSE of how you put them on. Refer to the instructions above. I would drive around the car that had the dead battery to bring up the charge. It might even be good to head over to an auto parts store that will test your battery for free. You could wait a day, drive it around, and then see if it gives you trouble. Most likely if you do go to an auto parts store after having to jump it you will be told the voltage will be low. My brother and I still did this today to see if what the voltage of the battery was. I would recommend driving it around to give it a chance to bring the change back up. If the battery has been giving you trouble and been dying on you a lot, I would recommend changing it, since that battery will only continue to give you trouble.
I hope this post helps people who do not know how to Jump-Start their car.