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There is nothing more frustrating than finding out you have a dead car battery when you’re already running late. Whether the battery is nearing the end of its life, or you simply left the headlights on, needing a jumpstart is never in your daily plan. Should you find yourself with a dead battery, would you know the correct way to jumpstart your car? This helpful article will breakdown the tools you’ll need and the correct method to get your give your car a jump.

Tools Needed:

– Jumper cables

– A car with a charged battery

– Glove (optional)

How to Jumpstart a Car

jumpstart a car diagram

    1. 1. Begin by having the owner of the other car pull close to your vehicle so the hoods are facing on another.


    1. 2. Ensure both vehicles are in park with the emergency brake on and that no radios, lights or fans are running in either.


    1. 3. Open both hoods. The latch to do this is located by the floor of the driver’s seat.


    1. 4. Going in a clockwise pattern: Start by attaching the red (positive) clamp to the positive terminal (indicated by a “+” or red cap) on the dead car’s battery (or jump box terminal)


    1. 5. Attach the other red (positive) clamp to the live car’s positive battery or jump box terminal


    1. 6. Attach one of the black (negative) clamps to a metal UNPAINTED surface in the live car’s engine bay


**Note: A bare screw works well and should be easy to find in the engine compartment

  1. 7. Finally, clip the last black (negative) clamp to an unpainted metal surface in the dead car

Now that your jumper cables are attached correctly, you can begin jumpstarting the car. Have the owner of the live car start their engine. Allow their car to run for a few minutes. Having them rev the engine can help to speed up the process. After a few minutes, attempt to start your car, if it fails to turnover, allow the live car to run a few more minutes and repeat.

WARNING: Jumpstarting with an electric car can cause damage. Consult your driver’s manual before attempting.

If the Dead Battery Won’t Start

If your car has not started at this point, you could have a problem with the connection to the terminals. Remove jumper cable clamps in reverse order of attaching them and check for signs of corrosion. Re-attach all jumpers, try to attach negative leads to a different unpainted metal surface and retry. If this procedure fails, you may need a new battery or alternator. Have the vehicle towed to a repair shop to check both.

While no one ever wants to deal with a dead battery, they can be unpredictable. Forgetting to turn off lights, weather and age are all common causes for batteries to die. This information will come in handy should you or someone you know ever need a jumpstart. For more ways to take care of your vehicle, just call us at 724-929-2300. Our agents would be happy to answer any questions, review your current policy, or get you a free quote fast.