January 3, 2020
Jump-starting a car is a pretty simple procedure, but it’s an important one to know! Whether you’re helping out a friend or jumping your own vehicle, it’s a skill that’ll come in handy often. Jump-starting can seem intimidating if you don’t know the first thing about it, but by the end of this article, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to take it on.
STEP 1: TRY TO DETERMINE WHY YOUR CAR BATTERY DIED.
The most common reason why batteries die is from lights that are left on overnight, so check that first. Other common causes include an interior light that won’t shut off because of a faulty door latch or trunk switch, a bad alternator, or maybe even a subwoofer, poorly installed stereo system, or car alarm leeching power due to a short circuit. If you’re unable to find the cause and your car battery dies often, it’s worth bringing your car in to have a professional mechanic diagnose the problem. It can be dangerous to ignore this problem - especially if you end up on the side of a busy highway with a dead battery.
STEP 2: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB.
The first tool you can use is standard jumper cables, which you’ll use to connect to another vehicle’s battery to tap into their power source. Jumper cables come in various lengths, so you’ll want to choose the right size for you. Standard jumper cables require you to park the two vehicles face-to-face. If you do happen to be on a busy highway, it can be dangerous to attempt to park like this. This is when extended jumper cables would come in handy so that you can park nose-to-tail instead. In either case, make sure the vehicles are parked close to each other, but not touching. Keep in mind that thicker cables will transmit electricity more efficiently. The last thing to note when purchasing jumper cables are the clamps. Solid copper clamps are recommended over copper-plated clamps, as the copper-plated ones can wear down over time and make it much harder to jump start your car battery.
The second tool you can use is a portable power pack. This pack is a self-contained battery that you keep charged and ready-to-use, either in your trunk or your garage. Just attach the pack to your car’s battery, and you’ll be back on the road in no time at all! A huge benefit of using a portable power pack is that you don’t have to wait for someone to come to your rescue.
STEP 3: CONNECT THE CABLES
No matter which tool you use to jump start your vehicle, it’s essential to learn how to connect to your vehicle's engine properly.
STEP 4: DISCONNECT THE CABLES
So now you have the knowledge you need to make this task a breeze! We hope this article helped you. If your battery continues to go dead, contact our expert mechanics at (360) 425-3933 and they'll get that problem straightened out for you in no time at all.