How to Jump Start a Car
Car batteries can go flat for all sorts of reasons, and a dead battery means you won't be able to start your engine. One way to get your vehicle going is to carry out a jumpstart using jump leads - read this Halfords guide to jump starting a car to get you back on the road again.
When jump starting a car, it's very important to follow safety instructions carefully. Below is some general advice - however, you must ALWAYS check your vehicle's handbook and the instructions supplied with your booster cables before attempting a jump start.
JUMP START CHECKLIST
- Jump leads (sometimes called booster cables)
- A working car with a battery that is the same voltage as yours
- Safety goggles
Note: A portable power pack can be used as an alternative to jump leads - it's useful to have one of these in the house, which will save you having to use another car. Always ensure the power pack is fully charged before using it to jump start.
BEFORE JUMP STARTING
- Check that your battery isn't corroded, leaking or damaged. If it is, DO NOT attempt a jump start - call a professional instead. You can have your battery checked for free at Halfords, and we stock a huge range of batteries if yours needs replacing.
- Keep any metal objects, including jewellery, watches, tools, straps etc well away from the battery to prevent causing a spark - this can be very dangerous.
- Remove any loose clothing like ties, scarves or long sleeves so you don't get them caught in any moving parts.
- Avoid naked flames and DO NOT smoke.
- Ensure all headlights & other electrical equipment are off.
HOW TO JUMP START A CAR USING JUMP LEADS
- Park the two cars close enough so that the jump lead can reach both batteries, but make sure the cars don't touch. Ensure both ignitions are off and the cars are in neutral, and. raise the bonnets.
- Carefully connect the RED positive (+) cable to the positive (+) terminal on the flat battery. Then connect the other end of the red cable to the positive terminal on the working battery.
- Connect the BLACK negative (-) cable to the negative (-) terminal on the working battery. On your car, attach the other end of the black cable to a metal point (such as a bolt or bracket) that is away from the dead battery. This will act as an earthing point.
- Check that the leads are well away from any moving engine parts such as drivebelts or the cooling fan. Start the engine of the working car. You can rev it a little if you wish (as long as it's in neutral and the handbrake is on!).
- After about a minute, try starting the car with the dead battery. If it doesn't start, leave it a little longer and try again, however if the jump leads get hot, you must switch off the engine to prevent them overheating and causing a fire.
- Once you have your car running, leave the engine on for a few minutes to help charge the battery a little more.
- Remove the jump leads in the reverse order to the way you connected them, taking care not to touch them together or against any metal surfaces.
- If your car won't start after attempting a jump start, you may have a more serious problem with the battery, alternator or ignition system and should call your mechanic or breakdown service. Halfords can also check the battery if you're able to get your car to your nearest store.
BATTERY CHECKS AVAILABLE AT HALFORDS
While a jump start may get your car up and running temporarily, it's best to keep your battery in good working order in the first place.
Fully trained professionals at your local Halfords store can check your car battery for FREE to see if it's in an acceptable condition. If you do need a new battery, we offer a low-cost fitting service as well as a massive range of batteries at affordable prices.
If you like, you can use our handy car battery lookup tool to help you find the right model for your car.
We also sell car battery chargers and booster packs, allowing you to charge your battery at home. Reserve and collect is available on our vast range of car maintenance products, as well as home delivery, so order today!