Your ''how to'' guide for using jumper cables

For your own safety, it’s important to know how to jump start your car

Most of us have experienced a flat car battery, and boy is it the worst or what? When you are visiting friends and you have forgotten your car lights on, all of a sudden a great evening turns into a very stressful one. Especially when you’re not that knowledgeable when it comes to jumper cables or car batteries, this can be quite the dilemma.

When your battery is dead, you need two things: a set of jumper cables, and an obliging person with a car with a working battery.

You also need to know how to use the jumper cables. Here is your ”how to” guide to do it safely:

  • First work out if you need jumper cables. If turning the key just makes a ‘click’ noise, jumper cables are the answer. If your car makes starting noises and your lights and radio still work, the problem isn’t the battery.
  • Straighten the jumper cables and find the red clips and black clips.
    Park the working car opposite or next to your car so that the jumper cables can reach both batteries. The batteries need to be close enough so that the jumper cables can reach them. Open both bonnets and make sure both cars’ ignitions are off.
  • Attach one of the jumper cable’s red clips to the positive terminal of your dead battery. The positive terminal should have a ‘+’ sign on it and may have a red plastic cover. If the terminal has a plastic cover, remove it and attach the clip to the metal part.
  • Attach the other red clip to the metal on the positive terminal of the charged battery.
  • Next to the red clip you just clipped to the charged battery is a black clip. Attach this to the metal on the negative terminal of the charged battery (this should have a ‘-’ sign).
  • Now take the other black clip and attach it to any unpainted piece of metal on your engine. (DON’T attach it to the dead battery).
  • First start up the working car and then start your car. It should start immediately. (If it doesn’t, try wiggling the clips to get a better connection.) Once it’s started, leave your car running.
  • You can disconnect the cables in any order, but just make sure the red and black clips don’t touch while they’re still connected to a battery. To be extra safe, disconnect the clips in reverse order.
  • Drive your car for about 20 minutes to charge the battery.