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How to jump start a car

Jump starting a car battery

A flat car battery can happen for a wide variety of reasons; from leaving lights on overnight; to a faulty alternator - a flat battery can be a huge inconvenience. One way to recharge a battery, and thus get your car moving again, is to carry out a jump start from the battery of another car or from a portable power pack.

The following instructions give a step by step guide to safely and effectively using a jump start to get your car back on the road.

You will need:

- Jump leads
- Another car with a battery of the same voltage or a portable power pack
- Goggles for eye protection

Before jump starting:

- Check your battery for any signs of leaking, corrosion or other damage. If the battery is damaged you should never try a jump start, consult a mechanic instead.
- Keep all metal objects such as tools, watches and jewellery away from the engine. Metal objects can cause a spark which is very dangerous.
- Ensure all the car´s electrical equipment is switched off.
- Ensure there are no naked flames. Needless to say, you should also refrain from smoking.

You are now ready to begin the jump start.

Step 1

Park the 2 cars near to each other but not touching. Make sure they are close enough for the jump leads to reach from one engine to the other. Turn off both of the ignitions, place the cars in neutral gear and then lift the bonnets.

Step 2

Starting with the flat battery, connect the RED cable to the POSITIVE (+) terminals of both the working and flat batteries.

Step 3

Connect the BLACK lead to the NEGATIVE (-) terminal of the working battery. On the car with the flat battery, attach the BLACK lead to a metal part of the car (for example a hinge or bolt) which is not touching the flat battery. Keep the black lead a good distance away from the flat battery. This lead will act as an earthing wire.

Step 4

Ensure that the jump leads are a safe distance away from any moving parts of either engine and then start the engine of the car with the working battery. Leave the working car running for about a minute.

Step 5

Try starting the car with the flat battery. If it does not work immediately, leave the jump cables attached to the running working engine but do not allow the leads to heat up as this is a fire hazard.

Step 6

Once the car with the flat battery has started, leave the engine running for a few minutes to further charge the battery. If the jump start does not work, there may be a more serious problem with your car and you should consult a mechanic.

Step 7

Remove the leads in the reverse order to that described above. Be careful to avoid touching the leads together or against the metal surfaces of the car. Pack the leads away carefully for the next time you need them.

Once you’re finished, you can get back on the road but it is advisable to get the battery checked to ensure that it is still in good enough condition to do the important job it must perform for the car.

Car Care Tips  20/06/2013 11:43:14

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