Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How do you jumpstart the battery?

asked by on

How do you jumpstart the battery?

A: The battery in your car should last for sev...

The battery in your car should last for several years without any need for maintenance. However, it will eventually succumb to old age. It’s also possible that your battery will be drained by something else – leaving the hazard lights on, for instance. In these circumstances, you’ll need to jumpstart the battery. Here’s how to do that:

  • First, open the hood and check the battery. If the sides are bulging, do not attempt to jumpstart it. Clean any corrosion off the terminals if the battery is in otherwise good condition.
  1. Park the vehicle with the booster battery close by but don’t let them touch.

  2. Turn on the heater fan, but turn the other accessories off.

  3. Connect the positive clamp to your battery’s positive terminal.

  4. Connect the other positive clamp to the donor vehicle’s positive terminal.

  5. Connect the negative clamp to the donor vehicle’s negative terminal.

  6. Connect the other negative clamp to a piece of exposed metal under your hood (not part of the fuel system).

  7. Start the donor/boosting vehicle’s engine.

  8. Crank your engine.

  9. If it doesn’t start immediately, wait a couple of minutes and try again.

  10. Remove the jumper cables in the reverse order of installation (starting with the negative cable attached to your car).

  11. Have the battery tested and replaced if necessary.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How does the outside temperature display work in a 2012 Toyota RAV4?

Your car has an outside temperature display that will tell you the temperature outside of the car. This can provide you with important information for your trip. It can display temperatures from -40 degrees F to 122 degrees F. If...

Q: How do I use the passenger side cargo compartment?

Your SUV has plenty of storage, both in terms of rear cargo capacity and storage areas throughout the cabin. One area that you might have overlooked is the passenger side cargo compartment. You can find this storage area in the...

Q: Car won't start.

The performance of the battery and charging system must be checked. There may be a problem with the alternator recharging the battery especially if the vehicle required a jump-start after a new battery. Hire one of our expert technicians to...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...