Of course it happens in the pre-dawn darkness, on a winter’s day when you’re late for work. You grind the starter button, but all you get in return are a few faint clicks.  With the aid of a neighbor’s car and a set of jumper cables, you can jump start that dead battery. You will be on your way in minutes.

Even if you’ve never done it before, you can jump start a battery. But be cautious if either vehicle has an electronic ignition system or is an alternatively fueled vehicle. The use of jumper cables may damage it! To learn how to jump a car with ease, follow the steps below.

How to Choose Cables to Jump Car

Your “helper” driver may carry jumper cables, but you need to get your own and keep them in your car. Look for ones that are 4 to 6 gauge in size and at least 20 feet in length. The heavier cables and heavy-duty clamps will be more durable and provide a better connection. Because it’s not always possible to place vehicles next to each other, having longer cables will ensure the batteries reach each other.

How to Jump Car with Clamps

When handling jumper cables, keep the red and black clamps from touching. Try to have one person at each end to make the connection, so as to prevent the clamps from touching. If the clamps do touch when they are hot, you could cause a short and create some dangerous sparks in either vehicle or both.

Make sure the running vehicle with a good battery is parked next to your dead vehicle. Open the hood of each car and find the battery location. Sometimes there’s a plastic hood covering the battery or the battery posts. You’ll need to remove it to access the posts.

Now, determine which post is positive (+) and which is negative (-). The positive post may have a red cable attached, but it’s best to look for a plus or minus sign to determine its polarity.

Brush away any dirt or gunk from the posts so you can have as clean and solid a connection as possible.

First, connect one end of the red clamp to the positive post on the dead battery. Then connect the matching end of the red clamp to the positive post on the functioning battery.

Next, connect the black clamp to the negative terminal on the good battery. Then instead of connecting the remaining negative clamp to the dead battery, find an unpainted engine bolt or piece of the vehicle’s frame and secure your clamp to that. This will ensure a safer jump situation.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

Now, start the functioning vehicle first, then try to start the dead vehicle. If your vehicle fires up and your jump was successful, leave it running while you carefully disconnect the cables. Make sure the clamps don’t touch. Keep your vehicle running until you’ve reached your destination. This will give it ample time to recharge so you aren’t stuck again with a drained battery.

If, however, the interior lights come on and you hear the engine turn over but it won’t start, then you may have another issue. Use a multi-meter to test your battery voltage. It varies with vehicle types, but it should read slightly more than 12 volts when the vehicle is turned off. If your battery is in good shape, then it’s time to troubleshoot other issues.

And that’s a job for a mechanic. Might as well take the day off.

Choosing the right Auto Transport Company

Auto transport for a non-working car can be a daunting task. If you are unsure of where to turn, do your research. It is easy to say we are the best transport company, but that doesn’t do good if you don’t trust us or know what we are about. Call us today to find out how we can perform auto transport for faulty cars, and do it expertly. DIY Transport also provides customers an easy to use way to get free, car shipping quotes. Visit our homepage to utilize our car shipping calculator and get an instant, accurate quote now.