How to Jump Start a Car: A 4 Basic Steps Guide

how to jump start a car

When it comes to how to jump start a car, there are some general guidelines you can follow to make sure the process goes smoothly.

How to Jump Start a Car

The general rule of thumb is to have all the vehicles shut off for ease of working, however this may not be possible depending on your situation.

Step 1: Park The Cars.

  • Park the car next to the other car, but not touching. But make sure that your cars are parked on level ground, and that the handbrakes are on both cars.
  • Pop the hoods of both cars and find the battery in each car. It will be a big black box with a positive (red) and negative (black) terminal. The positive terminal will have a “+” sign on it, while the negative terminal usually just has a “-” sign on it or is clearly marked as such somewhere nearby.

how to jump start a car

Step 2: Connect The Jumper Cables.

  • Connect the jumper cables.
  • Connect one red cable clamp to the positive terminal of the dead battery.
  • Connect the other red cable clamp to the positive terminal of the good battery.
  • Connect one black cable clamp to the negative terminal of the good battery.
  • Attach the other black cable clamp to an unpainted metal surface on your car far away from your battery, like a bolt on your engine block or frame, or a piece of heavy-duty metal that won’t move around when you start your car and rev up its engine.

(don’t let it touch anything that might be hot from being near your engine).

This is important!

Step 3: On With The Ignition!

  • Turn on the ignition of the vehicle with the charged battery and let it run for several minutes.
  • Start the engine in your car.
  • Let both engines run for at least two to three minutes before turning off your good battery’s engine.
  • Make sure to not turn on any accessories such as your radio, lights or air conditioning, as these will drain power from your battery.

Start Your Engine.

If the battery is fully functional, the car should start right up.

If, however, the car struggles to turn over (or makes a clicking sound but doesn’t turn over), this is an indicator that it’s time to try jump starting your vehicle.

Step 4: Remove The Cables.

Once the dead car has started, remove the cables in reverse order:

  • Remove the red cable on the positive terminal of your running car
  • Remove the black cable on the negative terminal of your running car
  • Remove the black cable on the positive terminal of your dead car

jump start a car

This is a hard process, but it’ll only work if you follow the directions correctly.

This procedure can be a little bit difficult to follow, but if you can get it right on the first try, your life will be a whole lot easier.

A dead car battery is one of the most annoying things that can possibly happen to a car. When your battery is dead, you’re not going anywhere, and getting your car started again isn’t always easy.

Once you’ve identified that you have a bad or dead battery in your car and want to jump-start it yourself (as opposed to having it towed or paying for roadside assistance), all you need is another vehicle with a good battery, some jumper cables and about 15 minutes of time.

In fact, the process to jump start a car is pretty straightforward:

Hook up the red cable from one vehicle’s positive terminal to the other’s positive terminal; do the same with the black cables on each vehicle’s negative terminal;

Then start up the working vehicle and allow its engine to run for five minutes before starting up your own vehicle and driving off into the sunset.


After reading this guide – how to jump start a car, you should be able to jump start your car in no time.

Just follow the instructions, and by going through this process, you can take away a lot of the anxiety of not knowing how to jump start a car.

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