How to Jump-Start a Car

Jump Start a Car


At Exceptional Motorcar, we want you to get the most out of your used vehicle ownership in Lima. As such, we strive to provide answers to your many auto-related questions, even when it comes to DIY service & repairs.



While we’re a used-only dealership without our own service center, we still strive to meet your needs. You’ll have many service-related questions at some point or another during your vehicle ownership!

So, with that in mind, one thing you need to know is how to properly jump-start a car if you own an internal combustion vehicle that requires a battery to start the engine. We can help you learn the proper way to jump-start a car, eliminating your anxiety and saving you from spending money unnecessarily on a jump-start car service or tow truck to help you.

The Proper Way to Jump-Start a Car

While you can call a jump-start car service if this simple process doesn’t work (which would indicate your problem is beyond just the battery), it’s always a good idea to try to jump-start a car battery yourself. The one caveat is that you need another person with a working vehicle for this to work. You’ll also need a set of jumper cables.

Once you get the second vehicle and jumper cables, the process is easy. Note: If you don’t feel comfortable recruiting a stranger to help you or you’re in a new area alone, you may wish to just call a jump-start car service for peace of mind.

Otherwise, it’s easy to learn how to jump-start a car:

  1. Face the two vehicles with the batteries facing each other to shorten the distance for the jumper cables. Most vehicles have batteries in the engine compartment, meaning the cars will usually face hood to hood. Some foreign cars, though, have the battery in the trunk. After you’ve parked the vehicles, turn them off and set the parking brakes.
  2. Gain access to the batteries. You may need to remove a plastic hood to expose the battery terminals.
  3. Find the positive and negative battery terminals. Make sure they are clean and free of any corrosion or dirt. In general, the positive terminal is red and the negative terminal is black.
  4. Get out your jumper cables, and separate the red ends from the black ends. You don’t want them to touch, ever, as they could spark.
  5. Connect the red clamp to the positive post on the dead battery.
  6. Uncoiling the battery cable, hook the other red clamp to the positive terminal of the battery with the charge on the working vehicle.
  7. Connect the black clamp to the negative post on the good battery.
  8. Connect the last black clamp to a grounded, unpainted metal surface on your car’s frame, typically somewhere under the hood.
  9. Once everything is hooked up securely, start the engine of the vehicle with the good battery. The vehicle that has the good battery may see a brief drop in power while the second vehicle tries to start.
  10. Let the car with the good battery run for a bit to try to get more electricity into the dead battery.
  11. Try starting the engine of the vehicle with the dead battery.
  12. Once the dead vehicle has been successfully jump-started, carefully remove the jumper cables in the reverse order that they were placed on, and keep the other vehicle running while doing this.
  13. Be sure to keep the engine running on the restarted vehicle for at least 10 minutes to ensure that the weak battery doesn’t die again right away. The alternator will help recharge the battery. Consult your owner’s manual for more info on recommended times. It’s also recommended that you get your battery tested and/or replaced ASAP.
  14. If your car won’t jump-start, it may indicate a larger problem. We recommend bringing your vehicle in for service as soon as possible.

Additional Car Battery Tips & Tricks

There are plenty of reasons aside from a dead car battery why your car won’t jump-start. Here are just a few worth noting when you try to jump-start a car battery.

  1. If you try to jump-start the car but only hear a clicking sound, the starter might not be functioning.
  2. If the electrical systems of the car turn on, but the engine does not, then the issue could be a number of things including the ignition switch, starter, or even something as simple as a fuse. It’s worth bringing your vehicle to a qualified service center for further diagnostics and investigation. Once there, the team will be able to recommend how to fix the issue.
  3. Don’t forget to keep your vehicle running for a while after it gets jump-started. That allows the battery to recharge some after it’s been completely drained. Note that some batteries still can hold a charge for some time after being jumped. Usually, this is the case after a vehicle with a good/newer battery has been sitting idle. A remedy to prevent this is using a battery trickle charger. Sometimes, though, an old and worn-out battery that requires replacing is the reason for a car needing a jump. You’ll need to replace that battery as soon as possible

Turn to Exceptional Motorcar for More DIY Auto Care Tips

Looking for moreservice and maintenance tips? We’re here to help! Wondering if it’s time to trade in that old vehicle for something newer with more features? Be sure to look over our entire selection. Feel free to contact us or call (419) 785-8369 if you have more questions.


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