How to Jumpstart an Engine

When done properly, jumpstarting an engine is a safe and relatively simple procedure. Of course, jumpstarting an engine can be very dangerous if done improperly. Therefore, know that even after you have finished reading this article on jumpstarting an vehicle, you will still not be an expert.

Be sure to read the owner's manual of your car before you attempt a jumpstart. If you have any questions, be sure to talk to a professional, first. Jumpstarting an engine can be different hanging on which car you are trying to give power to. Just because you know how to do it on one car, it does not necessarily mean that you are an expert at jumpstarting an engine of another car. Some cars can not handle the power surge that a jumpstart can give it. Again, refer to your owner's manual.

1. Turn off your ignition. You want to save any extra power that may still be in your battery.

2. Park the "helper" vehicle (the one with the fully charged battery) near the disabled vehicle, but do not let the two cars touch.

3. Take a rag and remove the cell caps from the batteries of both cars and then cover the holes with clean rags so that no acid splashes out (covering the holes also keeps hydrogen gas in).

4. Take the ends of one of the jumper cables and attach it to the positive posts of both batteries. It does not matter whether you attach the red or green (or whatever) end to the positive posts, as long as you stick to just one color. If you put the red end on the positive post of one of the cars, then be sure to put the red end on the positive post of the other vehicle.

5. Now you can take one end of the second cable (the green end, in this instance) to the post of the "helper" vehicle (the charged battery).

6. Now take the final end of the second cable and ground it by clipping it onto a clean and unpainted parts of the broken-down car's engine or frame or other clean and metallic part. Do NOT attach this cable to the post of the discharged battery.

7. Before moving onto the next step, make sure that none of the four cable clips can accidently contact each other or drop into the moving parts of the engine once it is turned on.

8. After you have taken a minute or two to check these things, you can continue and turn on the "helper" car's engine.

9. Make sure that all of the accessories (lights, radio, A / C, etc.) are turned off in both cars, then start the engine of the vehicle with the dead battery.

10. If it does not start at first, try it again in a moment. If it still does not start, you may need to replace your battery.

11. The way in which you remove the jumper cables is important, too. First remove the negative (ground) cable from the previously disabled car's engine. Then remove it from the post on the "helper" car's battery.

12. Now you can disconnect the first cable (the red one, in this case) from the positive posts of the batteries in both cars.

13. Remove the rags and replace them with vent caps. Dispose of the rags.

I hope that this guide on jumpstarting an engine will help you when it comes time to jumpstart your own car (which, of course, we hope never happens). Again, to reiterate, be sure to check your owner's manual about jumpstarting an engine before you attempt this on your own.

Note: If you own a hybrid car, the procedure that you use may be completely different! Check with your manual and check with your dealer before you attempt a jumpstart.