How to Jump a Car Battery

You hop in your car, ready to go, only to hear a strange clicking noise when you turn your keys in the ignition. It sounds like your battery is dead.

So now what? An experienced driver likely knows how to approach the situation. But what about those who’ve never dealt with the frustration of their car not turning on?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help:


1) Suppose a friend or any Good Samaritan offers to help. Have them drive the GOOD CAR up to YOUR CAR so the batteries are as close as possible.


2) Attach the red ‘positive’ cable to the GOOD CAR battery terminal, then attach the other red ‘positive’ cable TO YOUR car battery terminal.

3) Attach the black ‘negative’ cable to the GOOD CAR battery, then ‘ground’ the car by attaching the other black ‘negative’ to a solid, unpainted metal surface on YOUR CAR (such as a bolt), as far away from the battery as possible. Avoid any moving parts in the engine.


4) Start the GOOD CAR first, wait 2 minutes, then start YOUR CAR, wait for 2 minutes.


5) Remove the cables in the REVERSE order they were attached in (i.e Black/Your Car, Black/Good Car, Red/Your Car, Red/Good Car)


6) Let YOUR CAR run for 2 more minutes then hit the road.


Red Goes to Red – RED = Positive +

Black Goes to Black – BLACK = Negative –

No Luck?

If this doesn’t work, it may mean that the terminals in your car battery are no corroded. You may want to move them back and forth to try and get a connection and get rid of some of the gunk on them. If you have an older car, it could also just mean that your battery is old. If that’s the case, it’s time to replace the battery.

Make sure to always have jumper cables in your trunk just in case an accident happens.

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Electric shock hazard: Failure to follow these step-by-step instructions could result in electrical shock or other serious injuries. If you’re unsure about anything in this article, please contact a mechanic or another car specialist.

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