How to jump start a car: Safety tips and best jumper cables

How to jump start a car: Safety tips and best jumper cables

“Click-click-click-click” then complete silence. Now your engine won’t start, and now you are stuck in the middle of the road. Luckily, you keep your emergency kit with you in your trunk. Now you are looking at the strange equipment and alien cables, and you don’t know how to use them to bring your engine back to life. Having all the equipment is a good start, but to Jump-start a car is not a technique which everyone may be familiar with.

Cables often don’t come with any sort of manual. You can’t always wait for a good samaritan to help you out in a bind – so remember these simple steps and essential safety tips to jump-start a car.

Essential tools to jump-start a car:

Before you start to jump your engine, you need these two things;

· Jumper cables

· Power source – such as a working vehicle

What are the jumper cables?

Jumper cables are the one you use to connect two vehicles while jumping. Any pair of wires is better than not having them at all. Thick and longer cables make the perfect connection without much loss. While buying a jumper cable, you need to make sure it has a length of at least 20 feet. If you want the best cables for your vehicle, we currently recommend taking a look at the ENB125 1awg 25ft cables.

Energizer Jumper Cables, 25 Feet, 1 Gauge, 800A, Heavy Duty Booster Jump Start Cable 

It’s backed by the brand power of Energizer (a household brand name of which most of you know and trust). 25-foot-long cables ensure you will not have to maneuver dangerously or try to push a dead vehicle around a dark parking lot in neutral; 1 gauge wiring which transmits energy faster than smaller gauges like 4awg, and it’s protected by a flexible and color-coded jacketing and quality clamps which give a nice firm grip and easy placement of cables for both vehicles. It is a flexible cable that can works at -40 degrees due to the CCA stranded 1awg cables.

These jumper cables come with a carrying bag which you can use to neatly organize your set and place it practically anywhere in your car.
Be aware: Thick and long cables can be quite a chore to put back in a bag, but it is worth doing to prevent more unnecessary delays the next time you need your set.

Energizer also has a lighter, smaller, and more economic set of cables which are also fantastic. The ENB420 are 20ft 4awg cables which are basically the little brother of the ENB125 above and use a modern mechanic-style clamp and jaws.

Energizer Jumper Cables, 20 Feet, 4 Gauge Heavy Duty Booster Jump Start Cables

The length is great for standard passenger cars and they are much lighter than thicker 1awg or 2awg cables. They may take a little bit more time for energy to transfer, but are still far better than the “wally-world” set your friend has in the back of their Kia Rio which has 10-awg cables. We often hear reports of cables which have thick jackets but super thin wire inside, which may be misleading as you can’t usually see the cable inside!

How to Jump a Car

The most common way to jump-start a car is through another vehicle. You need to align both the vehicle’s nose to nose for proper connection. Here are some simple steps to jump-start a car.

  1. Make sure it is safe to jump-start the car.

 It is essential to check the owner’s manual before jumping your car because new model cars are made from different technology hence different guidelines.

  • Make sure both vehicles are turned off and parked:

Turning off both the cars in the park and engaging emergency brakes is essential to avoid unnecessary sparks. You would have to align both vehicles as close as possible unless you have a pair of longer cables, e.g., more than 20 feet.  

  • Locate the 12-volt battery

Locating a car’s battery was easier back then, but now we have alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles that use multiple batteries, so it is not straightforward to find a battery. Mainly, all cars have a 12-volt battery under the hood. But if you couldn’t see the battery under the hood, find a box labeled +12 volt and check for a post that can be used instead of a battery.

  • Order of attaching the clamps:

Properly attaching cables is so important that a minor mistake could cost you a considerable loss, so better safe. The right way to connect jumper cables between the two vehicles is as follows:

  • Red to Dead – Connect the red cable or positive clip to the positive terminal on the dead car’s battery. 
  • Red to Donor – Connect the other end of the red jumper cable, positive, clip to the positive terminal on the working or donor car’s battery.
  • Black to Donor – Connect the black jumper cable to the negative terminal of the working or donor car’s battery. 
  • Black to Metal – Connect the black jumper cable to an unpainted metal part of the dead car’s hood. The best place is the engine block, frame, or chassis.
  • Start the donor vehicle.

Cross-check that the clamps are secured and properly connected before starting the donor vehicle. Then, let it started for 5 minutes before starting the recipient vehicle. 

  • Start the recipient vehicle.

Once the donor’s engine has run for some minutes, you can start the recipient vehicle. If it doesn’t start, recheck the connections and wait for few minutes. Cold and old batteries take time to charge, so you might want to wait for 5 to 10 minutes. Accelerating the donor’s engine can help.

  • Disconnect the cables

Disconnect the jumper cables in the reverse order you connected them:

· The black cable on the unpainted metal

· The black jumper cable from the negative terminal

· Red cable from the donor car 

· Red  jumper cable from the dead car’s battery

  • Let your vehicle run for a while

Once the recipient vehicle starts running, do not turn off the engine straight away. The battery still needs charging, and you can let it charge for some time.

  • Have your battery checked

Take your battery to a mechanic later to have it checked to prevent this problem from occurring again. 

What if the vehicle doesn’t start after jump starting it? 

If the dead car doesn’t start after some minutes of being powered, then: 

1. Check the connections again and repeat, letting the vehicle a jump run. 

2. Try starting the vehicle again. 

3. If the car does not start after many attempts, the battery may not be suitable for jump-starting.

Unfortunately, you got stuck in the darkness of night; then, you need basic tools like a torch, thermal blankets, etc., so you can get the best tools from here. 

HOKENA LED Road Flares Emergency Lights – Roadside Warning Car Safety Flare Kit for Vehicles

They provide the best-LED road flare lights in the town. With their easy to carry and waterproof tools, you don’t need to worry about battery change or jump-start a car as you need to take special care while handling the car engine. 

Important Safety Tips:

  • While working on a battery, make sure to avoid any open flames or cigarettes because batteries emit highly inflammable hydrogen gas.
  • Check for any cracks or leaks in the battery before jump-starting it. It may cause an explosion.
  • Take special of the cables that the red and black ends never touch each other. This can cause a dangerous electrical spark.
  • Don’t let your jumper cables hang freely around the engine. They can disturb the moving parts.
  • Always connect batteries with the same voltage, e.g., 12V donor battery with 12V recipient.
  • Purchase only heavy-duty and long jumper cables to make a secure and reliable connection.
  • Keep your face away while working with the battery.
  • While disconnecting the cables, keep them from touching each other until they are done disconnecting. If they touch in the process, they will spark and start a fire.
  • Do not jump-start frozen batteries.

Pro Tip: If you live in a very cold environment, buy the thickest-gauge jumper cables you can find 

It is normal for a vehicle’s engine to stop working so you should well-known of the techniques to jump start a car. This article covered all the simple ways to jump start a car and the best cables you can use to get the most out of it. Plus, you should not ignore the safety tips while jumping a car.

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