If your battery dies, do not panic! Usually something simple has caused the problem. Hot weather conditions, lights that were left on, or a failing alternator are pretty common but easily fixable issues that cause batteries to die. In the meantime, you probably want to get your vehicle crank and running until you can get the issue fixed. Here are a few tips to jump your battery safely.

  • Get a set of jumper cables. They are a handy necessity that should be in the trunk of your car or in a storage bin in a truck.
  • Make sure both cars share similar voltage and parked close to each other. It is safer to have both vehicles off completely before connecting the jumper cables.
  • Identify positive (POS or “+”) side and negative (-) side. Connect each red clip to the positive terminal of each battery. Then connect one of the black clips to the negative terminal of the other battery.
  • The other black clip is attached to a non-painted metal that must be kept far from the battery.
  • If you notice unusual damages or leaking on the battery, stop this process and call for a professional.
  • When the dome light in your car comes on, all cables are attached correctly.
  • Run the other vehicle for about five minutes to ten minutes, then turn it off so your jump start will not hurt their alternator.
  • Now you may start your car. If the car starts smoothly, drive it for 15-20 minutes to recharge your battery.
  • If the car won’t start right after that, or next time in use, it is time for the battery to be replaced.

Now that you have jump started the car, it’s time to clean up the mess.

  • Take off the jumper cables from all batteries in below order:
    + The negative connected to the metal takes off first.
    + Then the other negative clip connection
    + Lastly both of the positive cables.
  • Keep all metal away from the battery since they might ignite dangerous sparks.
  • Refrain away from loose clothes and smoking while jumping the battery.

If your vehicle stalls in an area that is not safe, such as on the freeway, at a busy intersection, or in adverse weather conditions, it is best not to try to jump your battery. Too much can go wrong and you can get seriously injured. Instead call a towing service. Major towers will have the capability to move your vehicle to a safer location and jump your battery. Even if they do not move your vehicle they can use their emergency lighting to slow traffic, making the situation much safer.