There’s nothing more annoying than that sinking feeling you get when you turn the key in the ignition and the car doesn’t start. It’ll happen to everyone at least once, and most likely many times more. With winter upon us, it’s also more common, so it’s a good idea to clue yourself up and learn how to get the car going again.
You’ve got two choices when it comes to getting that engine to spark back into life. You can either push start the car, or you can jump it using leads and another vehicle.
Push starting means having some people physically push the car along while you try the ignition and release the clutch. If you’re lucky, you might be on a hill. This will get the engine to turn and fire, and in theory, you’ll be away. This isn’t always a fool-proof method either – sometimes it just doesn’t work. It certainly won’t if your car is automatic.
The best thing to do then, if at all possible, it to jump the car using leads, Thankfully I have only ever needed to jump-start a car once in my life, and actually this was someone else’s car, not mine! One of the things that my brother told me about cars when I was learning to drive was how to jump-start a car without electrocuting yourself in the process!
Although I am grateful to him for giving me this useful information in case I ever needed to jump-start my car. Anyway, if you don’t have a clue what to do with those black and red leads, this handy guide will tell you all you need to know!
A Cautionary Note:
It is important that you make sure the procedure is as safe as possible. Not following these instructions correctly may result in you or your car being electrocuted! Oh, and obviously I nor this blog site is liable if you do manage to blow yourself or your car up…
Make sure that you keep any metallic objects out of the way of your battery or the jump leads; this includes things like rings, watches, tools, etc. I should also point out that if the battery looks damaged (for example, it’s leaking), don’t attempt to jump-start it. While I am on the subject of keeping things out of the way, this also includes loose-fitting clothing such as scarves, neckties, that kind of thing.
Some people stupidly smoke whilst they are hovering above their engine bay and battery. For the love of God, please do not smoke near your engine bay! I once saw a person do this, and he set his engine on fire because it had a leaking fuel injector rail!
Finally, if your jump leads look damaged – don’t use them! This is because broken clamps can overheat, greatly increasing the risk of fire.
How to Jump-Start a Car
Now that we’ve got the health and safety warnings out of the way, it’s time for you to learn how to jump-start your car! Before you begin, make sure that the wiring clamps on your batteries are tight because it is possible to have a non-starting car due to a loose wiring clamp!
Here are the steps you need to take to jump-start your car:
- Connect the red jump lead to the other car’s positive battery terminal;
- Next, connect the other end to your battery’s positive battery terminal;
- Connect the black jump lead between the other car’s negative battery terminal and a part of that car’s chassis (this is the earthing point);
- Wait a couple of minutes, start the other car’s engine and then let it idle for 60 seconds;
- Start your car’s engine and let it idle for 10 minutes.
During this time, do not remove the jump leads from either car. If they get hot, so it’s better to turn both engines off for a few minutes to cool the jump leads down.
After the 10 minutes have elapsed, turn both engines off and disconnect the leads in reverse order. Finally, start your car up by itself.
I hope this handy guide will tell you everything that you need to know. Learn it, memorize it, and you won’t be concerned the next time the car doesn’t start.