A guide to jump starting your car

A guide to jump starting your car

If you ever encounter a flat battery, it’s likely you can quickly fix the problem with just a pair of jump leads, if you know how to. However, if you don’t, you seriously risk damaging your car. 

What you’ll need

  • Working jump leads, both red and black
  • The car with a flat battery
  • A vehicle will a fully charged battery (avoid hybrids or electric cars as this could cause damage)

How to stay safe

Ensure you’re away from busy roads with moving vehicles and that the leads you’re using are not damaged in any way. Additionally, make sure no objects are touching the leads or battery, including jewellery, tools, wires or anything else. 

Step by step guide

1. Line up both cars
  • Park both cars so their batteries are within easy reach of one another, while making sure the cars are not touching
  • Keep both handbreaks on and ensure ignitions are off
2. Connect the red jump lead 
  • Use the red jump lead to connect the car with the working battery’s positive terminal to the car with the flat battery’s positive terminal
3. Connect the black jump lead 
  • Use the black jump lead and connect it to the negative terminal on the car with the working battery
  • Then connect the other end to an earthing point
  • Safe earthing points are any unpainted metal on the engine block or chassis that are not near the flat battery or fuel system
4. Start the car
  • Keep both engines off for a minimum of three minutes
  • Next start the car with the working battery’s engine and let it run for on minute
  • Then turn on the engine of the car with a flat battery
5. Leave both cars idle
  • Now both engines are started, leave them on and idle for around ten minutes
6. Disconnect
  • Turn off both engines and carefully disconnect the leads in the reverse order to how they were connected
  • Remove the black lead from the car with the flat battery first, and the red lead from the working battery last
  • Ensure the leads don’t touch one another, or either car while you remove them
7. Restart Car
  • Restart the car with the flat battery and hope it will start! 
8. Recharge the engine
  • If you’ve managed to restart the car, the battery will need to recharge again fully
  • Drive normally and consistently, ideally not in start-stop traffic, for at least 30 minutes
9. Book in with your service centre
  • If your battery has got so flat, to the point where it will not start, it is most likely an issue your mechanic should have a look at
  • Book in with your mechanic as soon as possible

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