How to jump-start a dead battery

 

It is 7 am and you are about to go to work… you go to start your car and suddenly you realize it’s dead. I have had this happen in -40 and it was 20 years ago before rechargeable battery packs were a thing. I had to call and ask a friend to see if they were awake. He said he hadn’t even finished his coffee but said he would be right on his way over. He arrived, and I pulled out my unused set of 20-foot jumper cables. I connected to his truck battery on one end and to my car on the other end.

After he left his truck running for 2 minutes while the cables were connected, I tried to start my car, and boom, it started right up, and off to work I went. I made sure to take my buddy out for lunch a few days after that to say thank you for going out of his way.

Jump-starting a dead battery
Jump-starting a dead battery

If I would have had a battery charger pack, this could have been much easier. I soon found out my battery was not holding a proper charge and shortly after my buddy stopped by, I had to replace the battery in my car. If your battery is failing, I would look into finding out why it is at your local Calgary engine repair shop, sometimes it could be the battery is not holding a proper charge and other times it could be a different issue such as your alternator failing.

There is a common issue of batteries not starting in cold weather. Today I will inform you how you can jumpstart a car with a dead battery properly so as to not hurt yourself or your vehicle.

There are a couple of ways you can jumpstart your dead battery. Whether you have a set of jumper cables or you have a battery pack, you can get it done easily and safely.

Step 1 – Get a good set of jumper cables or a battery charger pack.

  • Jumper cables are great as a backup to a battery charger pack so you might want to look at getting both so if the charger pack doesn’t work, you might be able to have a friend, family member, or a passer-by stop and help you out. The great thing about having a charger pack the fact that they are light, transportable, and easy to use. I worked at a dealership and sometimes the cars would not start on a cold morning. I just had to ensure that I had a charged battery pack and it always worked well in starting the vehicles. So make sure your battery pack is always plugged in. Be sure that your car battery is inspected and clean as well so you know that the jumper cables will work to become properly grounded.

Step 2 – Locate your battery and ensure it is clean.

  • Sometimes your battery is covered by a battery cover. If you cannot locate your battery easily and initially, you can simply look up a YouTube video of how you can charge your battery on your specific make and model and the video will show you where the battery is located. Once you have located your battery, remove the cover if there is one. If you are reading this now and would like to know where your battery is, it is great to get educated so in the case that you might ever need to jump your car.

Step 3 – Properly connect your charger cables to the battery.

  • If you look at your battery, there will be two posts on the top of the battery. There should be indicators as to which side is positive and which side is negative by either a positive (+) sign and a negative (-) sign. The (+) side is always coloured as RED and the (-) side is always coloured as BLACK.
  • The same will be indicated for the (+) and the (-) side for your cables and there will be one black one and one red one. For your battery to charge, there must be a positive and negative current flowing from the other vehicle to yours, or the battery pack to your vehicle.

Step 4 – Charge your battery.

  • If you are using the battery pack charger, first, turn it on, and then you will need to remove the (RED +) cable and connect it to the (RED +) post on your battery. Then remove the (BLACK -) cable and connect it to the (BLACK -) on your battery. Wait 5 minutes and while the battery charger pack is still connected, start your car and then leave your vehicle running as you take the cables off and put them back into the battery pack.
  • If you need to use cables instead of a charger pack, it is the same process but there are cables on each end that you need to attach to the batteries on both cars. The car that has the working battery should be started and the started car will push a charged current to charge your battery. Leave the vehicle running for up to 5 minutes and your vehicle should start. Start your car by leaving the other vehicle running. Do not disconnect the cables or shut off the other vehicle until your car is started and then you can remove the jumper cables.

Make sure that when you charge your car with jumper cables whether it be from a charging pack or a set of jumper cables is to ensure that once the charger pack is on or the other end of a set of cables is attached to the battery of a running vehicle, DO NOT touch the (RED +) and (BLACK -) cables together in the process of putting them on or taking them off your vehicle. This will create a spark that could potentially hurt. Charging your battery is very safe and it rarely occurs. Just be sure you stay aware and safe in the process. And now that your battery is charged, happy driving!