How To Jump Start a Car?

If you take proper care of your car, you may not need to do jumpstart a vehicle for years. But it’s important to know how to jump-start a car in case of an emergency.

Jump-starting a car battery is a basic skill that every driver needs to know. It’s not something that’s done regularly and never at a convenient time, but with some knowledge and by following a few simple steps, it doesn’t take long to jump-start a car.

You can be back on the road in a matter of minutes. To jump-start a car, you need jumper cables, also known as booster cables, to connect the dead battery in your car to a fully charged battery in another vehicle. It’s a great idea to keep a good set of cables along with other roadside emergency equipment in the trunk of your car.

Read on to learn how to jump-start a car by following these simple steps.

How To Jump Start a Car?

1. Park

First, find another car with a full battery and park it near your car. They can be side by side or facing each other, as long as the jumper cables can reach both batteries.

Turn off the engines on both cars and take out the keys. Make sure to engage the emergency brake in both vehicles. Also, switch off anything that uses power, like the AC, lights, and radio.

Bonus Tip: Most cars have the battery under the hood, but some models have it in the trunk or under the back seat. Just position the car with a working battery accordingly. If you’re not sure where the battery is located, refer to the vehicle’s manual for guidance.

2. Locate Battery Terminals

How To Help Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery

Now it’s time to open the hoods of those cars and get to the batteries. You’ll find two metal terminals on each battery—one positive (+) and one negative (-). If the battery terminals are hidden, no worries!

There are usually some remote metal posts for easy access to jump-start or give it a boost. Look out for a red cap on the positive terminal. Refer to the vehicle manual for terminal locations if necessary.

Make sure those terminals are nice and clean. If you see a white or greenish gunk coating the posts, grab a wire brush, aluminum foil, or anything except your bare hand to remove it.

Trust me, you don’t want that stuff irritating your skin. Oh, and one important thing—don’t even think about jumping the battery if it’s cracked or leaking.

3. Connect the Jumper Cables

When you’re using jumper cables, you’ll find a pair of clamps at each end — one is red, and the other is black. The red one goes on the positive battery terminal, while the black one is for the negative or grounding post. Makes sure we connect everything securely and in the right order. We don’t want any personal injuries or damage to the car’s electrical system, right?

Make sure to keep the ends from touching each other while you’re clipping onto the batteries.

  1. Start by hooking up the red (+) clamp to the positive terminal of the dead battery.
  2. Next, connect the red (+) clamp to the positive terminal of the working battery.
  3. Now, attach the black (-) clamp to the negative terminal of the working battery.
  4. Finally, connect the remaining black (-) clamp to an unpainted metal surface of the dead car. Some models have a specific grounding bolt marked with a (–) just for this purpose.

Bones tip: make sure the metal parts on each clamp are touching the metal part of each battery terminal post. we want a good connection, Right?

4. Jump-Start the Car


Start up the car that has the charged battery and let it run for a couple of minutes. Then, head over to the car with the dead battery and crank that key until the engine fully starts. It might take a little while for the dead battery to start drawing power from the other vehicle.

If the engine is a bit stubborn and doesn’t start, try revving up the engine of the booster car. Sometimes giving it a little more juice can help get things going faster.

Bones tip: If you’re wondering whether you can jump-start a car in the rain, relax—it’s perfectly safe. Even with the extra moisture, the voltage of the vehicle’s battery isn’t high enough to make the task any more dangerous than jump-starting on a dry day.

5. Disconnect Jumper Cables

Leave both cars running, and remove the cables in the reverse order of how you attached them. Make sure the metal clamps don’t touch each other while connecting or disconnecting them from the battery terminals.

  • Start with disconnecting the black (-) clamp from the car that received the jump start.
  • Next, disconnect the black (-) clamp from the booster car.
  • Then, remove the red (+) clamp from the booster car.
  • Lastly, disconnect and take off the red (+) clamp from the car that received the jump start.

Once all the clamps are off, you can roll up the jumper cables and put them bake in your kit, and close the car’s hood.

6. Drive the Jumped Car

Let the revived car engine run for several minutes at least or drive for at least 15 minutes, if possible, to allow the alternator to charge the dead battery. Park the car in an open area of a safe location in case the car needs jump-starting again.

If the battery you jump-started is older than 3 years, it’s a good idea to get it tested. They can check if it’s still holding charge. And if there are other issues causing the battery to die, take the vehicle to a mechanic to have it inspected.

Related Article: How to Charge Car Battery?

What if the car doesn’t start after the jump start?

If the dead car doesn’t start after a few minutes of being powered then:

  1. Do you hear a clicking noise? Your starter might be malfunctioning.
  2. Does your electrical system still turn on? You might have an issue with the ignition switch, battery, starter, or fuse.
  3. Check the connections and repeat letting the car give the jump run.
  4. Try starting the car again.
  5. If the car does not start after several attempts, the battery may be too far gone to be jump-started.

How to jumpstart a car without cables or another car? (Only For Manual Transmission)

  • Find a hill or get some people to help push the car. We need a little momentum to kick things off!
  • Push the clutch pedal all the way down. We want it on the floor!
  • Pop the car into second gear. Not first, not third—just right!
  • Time to get the key in the ignition but hold off on starting the engine. Turn on the ignition but don’t start the engine. This is also known as key position two. The key is inserted and turned one step to the right. Turning one step further would start the engine, which you don’t want to do.
  • Alright, release the brakes and keep that clutch pedal down. We’re going to start coasting down the hill or with a little help from our friends.
  • Once we hit around 5 mph (8.0 km/h), then release the clutch pedal. At that point, the transmission will turn the engine over enough for it to start. This method usually works. If it doesn’t, try pressing and releasing the clutch again.

How to Jumpstart an EV/Electric Car


How to Jump-start a car without jumper cables?

Without cables – the bump start (only works for manual cars). Turn on the ignition. Have your friends start pushing the car, or let off the brakes if you’re on a hill. Once you’re moving at a fast walking pace, bring up the clutch quickly and the engine will start.

How long does it take to Jump-Start a Car?

If you’re going to jump-start your car by yourself, you can expect the process to take about 10-15 minutes. If you have a professional jump-start your car, then it might take a little less time.

How to Jump-Start a Car Yourself?

1. Place both vehicles in front of each other and park. For safety, apply the parking brake.
2. Open both hoods and locate the batteries. If necessary, remove the plastic hood.
3. Find the positive and negative battery posts. Make sure they are free from corrosion.
4. Connect the red clamp to the positive pole of the dead battery.
5. Connect the other red clamp to the positive pole of the working battery.
6. Connect the black clamp to the negative terminal of the working battery.
7. Connect the final black clamps to an unpainted metal surface on your car.
8. Start the car’s engine with a good battery.
9. Try to start your engine.

Can you jump-start a car with a bad starter?

Most of the time, NO, you can’t jumpstart a car with a bad starter unless you repair it. When the battery is dead, jumper wires or boosters are employed. You use a second battery to provide the necessary electricity to start the car.

Can You Jumpstart a Car With a Bad Alternator?

It is possible in some cases to jumpstart a vehicle that has a faulty alternator, as long as the battery has enough charge to keep running. However, the alternator should be replaced as soon as possible.