There will come a time when you forget to turn off your lights or leave on an accessory and your battery decides to die. Whether it's your honest mistake, unscheduled routine maintenance has caught up with you, or the age of the unit is the factor, it’s never a convenient time.
The following are guidelines to ensure a safe jump start to get you home or to a repair shop.
Turn the ignition key and all electrical equipment to the off position in the vehicle to be jumped.
Most vehicles run off a 12-volt system, ensure that the two batteries are compatible. Some of the race
batteries on the market are a higher voltage.
Jumper cables are usually not very long and getting the engine bays close to each other isn't always easy.
When positioning your vehicles, don’t allow the two vehicles to make contact with each other.
Make sure the two vehicles are not in gear.
While making the connections, do not touch the cable ends to one another. The loud popping and sparks will
surely get your attention if it happens.
Connect the jumper cable wires in the following order:
1. Connect one end of the red jumper cable to the positive (+) end of the good battery.
2. Connect the other end of the red jumper cable to the positive (+) end of the bad battery.
3. Connect one end of the black jumper cable to the negative (-) end of the good battery.
4. Connect the other end of the black jumper cable to a good ground on the vehicle with the dead battery. This can be a bolt, bracket, or grounding strap bolt located in the engine bay. Do not attach this wire to the negative side of the battery.
Prior to starting the engine, stand clear of the engine bay on the off chance a battery decides to explode. This
is rare, but I've observed this once before. It was not on a Mustang and the vehicle did not appear to be well taken care of. The explosion sounded like a shot gun blast and sent battery acid everywhere. Please be careful during this simple activity.
Depending on how dead the battery is, it may start on the first try or it may take a few minutes to charge the
Once the vehicle is started and is at idle, remove the cables in reverse order. Again, be mindful of touching
the cables ends together.
On a side note:
You will not get shocked by touching both terminals of the battery at the same time with your hands. If your wrench (or another conductive item) happens to contact both terminals unexpectedly, the sparks will fly and consider having a clean set of shorts available.
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