How to Jumpstart Your Car : Expert Tips - OHS Body Shop

Life happens and sometimes the battery in your car just dies. It may happen due to different reasons – from the fact that the battery is just old to simply forgetting to turn off your headlights overnight. Anyway, there is nothing more frustrating in the morning than not being able to start your car due to a dead battery. The good news – it is not the end of the world and in most cases, the problem will be solved with jumpstarting. All you need are jumper cables and some good Samaritan with a running vehicle with the same battery voltage as yours. Safe and proper use of jumper cables is crucial.

Here is a step-by-step instruction on how to jumpstart your car:

1. Get jumper cables. The first step to a successful jumpstart happens even before your battery fails – when you go and buy jumper cables. Sometimes, even if you manage to find your good Samaritan, he might appear as carefree as you are. If you both don’t have a set of jumper cables, all you can do is to each other a good day.

2. Place both of your cars on N (Neutral) or P (Park) and shut the ignition off. Also, remember to engage in both parking breaks.

3. Take one of the RED clips and attach it to the POSITIVE (POS or “+”) terminal of YOUR battery. The positive terminal is also bigger than the negative one, so it is kind of a fool-proof system.

4. Attach the RED clip to the POSITIVE terminal of the second car.

5. Attach one of the BLACK clips to the NEGATIVE (NEG or “-“) terminal of the OTHER vehicle.

6. Attach the last black clip to any METAL unpainted area of your car. Make sure that it is not directly near the battery. For example, you might use one of the metal struts that hold the hood open. 

7. Now the second driver should start his car and let the engine run for several minutes.

8. Now try to start your car. If all the previous steps were followed correctly, your car should start. When it starts, don’t shut your engine off right away! Drive for at least 15 min to let the battery recharge properly. But in case you have stuck with a dead car again, it means that the battery does not hold the charge and it should be replaced. 

9. If you don’t manage to jumpstart your vehicle, go all over every step again and make sure that the cables are attached correctly. The second driver might also let his car run for several more minutes (at least 5 min). Then try again. If you are sure that the connection was right, the second car is running, but yours still won’t show any vital signs, your battery might simply be beyond help. 
Anyway, it is important to understand that even if somebody is willing to help, you both might lack experience and miss some important step. So, before getting frustrated and burying your battery on the back yard, you might want to address to a professional mechanic.

OHS Body Shop serves the Greater Flathead Valley and offers auto body repairs and more at our service centers in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Polson. Visit the closest to you to get comprehensive consultation from our qualified mechanics and the best prices in the area for all kinds of service.