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jumping car batteryKnowing how to jump start your car is a useful skill, especially when the weather gets colder. Batteries don't hold their charge very well in the cold, and cold engines require more electrical energy to turn over. These two facts guarantee that many car owners won't be able to start their car this fall and winter because of a dead battery.

What You Need
  • Jumper cables in good condition with no exposed wire, no cracked plastic and no corrosion on the clamps.

  • Wire brush, which can come in handy for cleaning dirt and rust off of leads.

  • Another car with a charged battery.
Safety Precautions
  • Never jump start a battery that is damaged or leaking.

  • Your jumper cables must always be positioned so that there is no possibility of them getting caught in the moving parts of your engine.

  • Some batteries emit explosive gases. Don't smoke and don't generate sparks near the battery of your car.
Jump Starting Your Car
  • Park the car with the good battery close enough so that the jump cables reach the batteries of both cars. The cars must not touch each other. Turn off the car and set it to park (automatic transmission) or neutral with parking brake on (manual transmission).

  • Connect one lead of the red jumper cable to the positive terminal of the good battery, then connect the opposite lead of the red jumper cable to the positive terminal of the dead battery. Be careful not to allow the lead to touch anything other than the terminal it is supposed to connect with.

  • Connect one lead of the black jumper cable to the negative terminal of the good battery, then connect the opposite lead of the black jumper cable to a metal part of the car with the dead battery. This part can be a non-corroded bolt or exposed metal part of the chassis that is well away from the battery.

  • Start the engine of the car with the good battery and wait a couple of minutes for the dead battery to charge.

  • Start the engine of the other car. If it doesn't start, wait a few more minutes and then try again.

  • After starting the car, allow a few more minutes for the battery to charge some more.

  • Remove the jumper cables in the exact reverse order that they were attached, taking care not to touch anything with the cable leads.

  • Either let the car run or drive it for thirty minutes so that the battery gets sufficient charge.
If the car won't start, then something is wrong with either the battery or some other part of your car's ignition system. You may need to call a tow truck for assistance.

Stay safe on the road. Call First Insurance Group at (800) 511-2892 for more information on Somerset auto insurance.
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