Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Jumpstart a Car

jump-start

When you car battery dies, you car will not start. To get the car moving again, you need to “jump” your car using jumper cables that help conduct electricity from another vehicle, which has a properly functioning battery, to yours. Giving your car a jumpstart is a simple task, here's how you can do it:

How to jumpstart a car

  1. Prepare both cars - Place both vehicles in Park or Neutral. Shut off the ignition and engage the parking brakes in both cars. Keep both car hoods open during the entire process.

    Warning: Make sure that the other vehicle you pick does not have an electronic ignition system or is an alternative fuel vehicle.

  2. Attach clips to your battery - Take a close look at your jumper cables and locate the red and black clips. Attach one of the red clips to the positive terminal of your battery. The positive terminal will have a “POS” or “+” on it, or it will be bigger than the negative terminal.

  3. Attach clips to the other car's battery - Carefully attach the other red clip to the positive terminal of the other car’s battery. Attach one of the black clips to the negative terminal on the other car’s battery.

  4. Attach black clip - Attach the other black clip to an unpainted metal surface on your car that isn’t near the battery.

  5. Start your car

  6. Drive around to recharge your battery - If the jump works and your car starts, do not shut off your engine. Drive around for at least 15 minutes to recharge your battery.

    Note: If the car won’t start, make sure that the cables are properly connected. Have the other car run for five minutes, and then try to start your car again. If it still won’t start, you will need to contact YourMechanic to inspect the starting problem with your car..

If you need further information on how to properly use jumper cables on your vehicle, consider looking at an in depth article on jumper cable use.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed Related Trouble Codes: P2441: EVAP Vent Valve Stuck Open EVAP trouble...
Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...


Related questions

Q: ABS, Trac Off, and Airbag light on after battery change.

You may have damaged the systems when last you disconnected and connected the positive cable to the fuse block and without using the battery ground. I would recommend disconnecting just the battery ground, and then leaving it off for ten...

Q: Fuel pump engages. Batery good, alternator good volts, jump start helps when wont start. Temp does not matter. Intermittent?

Hello. Thank you for writing in. There are several reasons your vehicle may only start when jump starting. The first and most common is a build up of resistance that is causing you to need a boost of voltage to...

Q: My car keeps shutting off - even with a new car battery

This is most likely due to the alternator not recharging the battery. This is why you lost all the electrical power and the engine dies. All these systems to keep the engine running need electrical power. I recommend having the...