30 October 2002
There is a cold bite in the air, she draws her jacket tighter and quickly shuffles to old reliable. Once seated, she trustingly twists her key only to be greeted by the trailing off sound of a clicking solenoid as her battery makes its last dying gasps. If one has driven a car for any period of time, you are lucky if you have never lived a version of this scenario. The skill of how to properly and safely jump-start a car is an easy procedure that any driver could learn. This guide will inform how to safely jump-start a vehicle. First, it will cover the safety concerns, and then it will address the proper procedure in attaching the cables. Finally, it will cover the starting and cable removal procedures.
Safety is a concern when doing this procedure, because besides containing an electrical charge and acid, batteries also produce an explosive gas as a byproduct. But if one follows a few precautions it is a safe and simple task. Most importantly one should protect their eyes during this procedure. It is a good idea to store a set of safety glasses with the jumper cables in the trunk.
First prepare the cars, the dead one and the car of some generous soul you have roped into helping. Turn off the ignition switch (key) and any other electrical devices that draw from the battery power of the discharged vehicle. Then position both cars close as possible, oriented so both batteries are near each other. This will aid in the distance the jumper cables are required to reach. Additionally do not allow the bodies of the cars to touch as it could cause a short. Next set the parking brake and place the transmission in neutral or park on both vehicles. Finally ensure both batteries are of the same compatible voltage, and if either has removable caps (does not apply to most modern maintenance free batteries) remove the caps.
Now that both vehicles are ready, a specific...