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How to jump start your car

Being able to jump start your car is a useful thing to know, it can get you out of trouble if you start having electrical problems with your car.

There are a number of possible reasons why your car won't start using it's own battery, the two most common ones involve the battery itself not holding the charge from the alternator because it is faulty, or the alternator itself may be faulty and not charging the battery.

If the weather was cold when the car had trouble starting, it's often a good indicator that the battery may be worn out and needs replacing.

How to do a jump start

  • You will first need to get or borrow a set of jump leads. Its a good idea to buy a set and keep them in the car just in case

  • Ask a friend to park their car close to yours, and turn off their engine. It might be an idea to check the locations of the batteries in each car before you do this to make sure the cables will reach easily

  • Ensure both cars are in neutral (or park for automatics) put the handbrakes on and open the bonnets

  • The following stages involve connecting the battery leads. Take care to get all these connections right, it's not dangerous but you could do some damage if you get it wrong

  • Connect one end of the RED jumper lead to the positive terminal (+) terminal of your friends car.

  • Connect the other end of the RED lead to the positive (+) terminal on the dead battery

  • Connect the BLACK lead to the negative (-) terminal of the dead battery, and the other end to the negative (-) terminal of the other car

  • Start the engine of the friends car and leave it running

  • Try to start your car, if it starts - LEAVE IT RUNNING!

  • Remove the BLACK negative (-) jump lead connections first - keep everything clear of the moving engine parts

  • Remove the RED positive (+) jump leads from both cars

  • Close both bonnets and leave your engine running for 20 minutes to charge the battery

  • Continue on your journey but avoid stopping your engine again until you are either at home or at a garage, otherwise you may have to repeat the whole process again

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