How To Jump Start a Car

July 19th, 2019 by

Dead car batteries happen, and you’ve probably been there before: Hop into the driver’s seat with places to be only to turn the key and get…nothing. Silence and frustration.

Knowing how to jumpstart a car correctly is a basic, important automotive skill that many Littleton car owners surprisingly lack. But that’s OK: Read this guide from our VW service department to learn how to do it the right way.

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What You Need to Jump Start a Car

  • Jumper cables
  • A working car

How to Jump Start a Car

  • Determine if a dead battery might be the cause: If the car won’t start but the radio and lights work, the battery isn’t dead, and you shouldn’t be attempting to jump start. If all the electronics aren’t working and the car won’t start, attempt a jump.
  • Prepare the scene: Get your jumper cables out and at the ready, and make sure the working vehicle is pulled up close enough to the car with the dead battery so that the cables will reach. Turn both cars off and put the parking brakes on.
  • Identify + and – terminals: Jumper cables are almost always color-coded: Red for positive, black for negative. The corresponding battery terminals in your car are usually likewise colored, or marked with a “+” or “-“. If you can’t find which is which on your car battery, do not guess. Call for someone more knowledgeable or for roadside assistance if you subscribe to a service like AAA or your vehicle is covered.
  • Attach the cables: First, clamp the red clamp to the positive terminal on the dead battery. Then, do the same with the working battery, and attach the black clamp to the negative terminal on the working battery. Instead of clamping the negative clip on the jumper cables to the dead battery, attach it to a clean, unpainted metal surface like a nut or bolt under the hood of the dead car. This keeps things stable.
  • Start the working vehicle: Start the engine on the working car and let it run for a little bit so it can charge up the other car’s dead battery.
  • Attempt to start the dead vehicle: After a couple of minutes of the other engine running, attempt to fire up the car with the dead battery. Sometimes revving the engine lightly on the working car while trying to start the dead one will provide a bit extra juice.
  • If the car starts: Then, terrific! You’re good to go, so carefully disconnect the jumper cables (don’t allow the clamps to touch one another) while your newly-jumped car is still running and store the cable away. You’ll want to take the car on a drive now to recharge the battery a bit, so you don’t have to repeat this process all over again right away.
  • If the car doesn’t start: Then your car might be facing another problem. Consider a tow or any roadside assistance options you may have, and schedule service with a reputable repair shop like the service department at Emich VW.

VW Battery For Sale Near Littleton

If you find yourself having to jump your car pretty often, it’s probably time to replace the battery. To do that, pay a visit to our Littleton area Volkswagen parts department, where we offer high-quality parts that will match your car, along with great periodic specials to help you save money on whatever your vehicle needs.

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