You have probably been in a situation where you get in a car, turn the ignition, and nothing happens. You might hear some clicks, but the engine won’t turn over. The likely culprit? A dead car battery. Fortunately, if you are prepared with some jumper cables and a little know-how, you can get your car started and back on the road in no time. Here is what you need to know:
Why Does a Car Battery Die?
Any number of things can cause a car battery to lose its charge. It can happen if you accidentally leave a dome light or your headlights on overnight. Or maybe you don’t drive your car for an entire month. You might have corrosion on the battery connections or problems with the charging system. Or ultimately, you might just have an old battery that is in poor condition. If your car battery dies, there are things you can do to revive it. The most common option is a jump start.
How to Jump Start Your Vehicle
Here are a few tips to follow so you can easily and safely jump start your battery:
Step 1. Choose the Right Cables
You should always store a set of jumper cables in your car because you never know when you might need them. Most jumper cables are fairly inexpensive. You can get them in a variety of lengths though some people prefer longer cables because it gives they are more convenience. Just remember, the thicker cables are stronger, and the average is about a gauge six.
Step 2. Safety First
The purpose of jumper cables is to transmit an electrical current from one car to the other. The last thing you want is a dangerous electric shock. So before anything else, you want to make sure children and others are a safe distance away from the engine. Use caution when handling jumper cables, especially when they are connected to a car battery. Do not touch the metal ends to anything outside the appropriate target. It would be advisable to wear gloves and protective eyewear, if you have them. And if you are unsure of what to do, take a moment to read the manual for any extra steps you might need for a successful jump start.
Step 3. Prepare for the Jump
Park the functioning car across from your vehicle so they face each other, but never touching. For automatics, put the vehicle in park, for manual transmission, put it in neutral. Be sure you put the parking breaks on and turn off both cars to start. Open the hoods and locate and uncover the terminals on batteries. The terminals are usually covered in red and black casings with a plus or minus symbol on top. Identify which is positive and negative so you can successfully jump your vehicle.
Step 4. Attach the Cables
Lay the cables out on the ground so the metal clamps don’t touch. Attach the red cable to the positive terminal on the dead battery. Then attach the other red clamp onto to the live battery of the other car, keeping the cars off. Next connect the black clamp to the negative terminal live battery. But do not connect the final black clamp to the negative terminal on the dead battery. Instead, find a piece of unpainted metal on the dead car far from the battery.
Step 5. Start the Working Vehicle
The last step is to turn over the working vehicle and let it run for a few minutes. If your battery has been dead for a while, it will need time to charge. Attempt to start the dead vehicle. If it doesn’t work, turn it off and let it charge a little more before trying again. Once you start the dead vehicle, do not shut it off. Instead, leave it running while you carefully remove the cables in reverse order (black ground, black live, red live, red dead). Be sure you drive the dead car for 15-30 minutes to build up the charge on the battery.
If the jump start does not work, or your battery dies repeatedly, it might be time to schedule an Holly, MI auto repair. Call Holly Tire to book an appointment. You can call or stop by 15140 N. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442.