There are a number of reasons why your car’s battery may go flat, from leaving the headlights running to a faulty battery. Whatever the reason, a flat battery is usually not ideal! There are ways in which you can learn how to jump-start your car and the latest blog in our ‘how to’ series shows you how to do exactly that!
What does jump starting a car mean?
Need to change your car battery?
When a car has a flat battery, a jump start is a handy way to quickly give the battery a boost. A jump start is a process that allows you to take electricity from another car to give the flat battery some life. By using jump leads, you can connect the two cars and a temporary connection is made in order to recharge the battery.
Can you jump start your own car?
So, it is possible to jump start your car yourself and in the blog below we’ll break it down into 8 easy steps. However, if you’re unsure or for added peace of mind, it’s always recommended that you instead call your breakdown company and have the car taken to a reliable garage to do it for you! If not used properly, jump leads could result in damage to your car and the other car so it’s always worth weighing up the best option first!
Can jump starting a car drain your battery?
Before you offer to help anyone jump-start their car, you should make sure your own car’s battery is fully charged, in good working condition and also matches their voltage (usually 12 volts). When performed incorrectly, jump starting can not only damage your battery but also drain it too.
Can a jump start damage your car?
In many cases, jump starting a car or having your car jump started can damage your vehicle. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, it’s always best to take your car to a professional to recharge a flat battery instead. Jump starting your car can cause overvoltage and runs a risk of damage to both vehicles involved. When you jump start a vehicle you are forcing a current though which is ar a higher rate than the battery is used to and in many cases can cause it to overload.
How to jump start your car
If you’ve decided that jump starting your vehicle is the way to go, you can find out how to jump start your car in 8 simple steps below.
1. Park both cars facing each other, but not touching and make sure there is enough room for both bonnets to be opened and the jump leads to be connected. Turn the ignition off and make sure the handbrake is on.
2. Jump leads are recommended to have in your car emergency safety kit in the event that you would need to jump start a car. First, connect the red jump lead to the flat battery positive (+) terminal and also to the other car positive terminal too.
3. Then take the black jump lead and connect it to the negative (-) terminal on the charged battery. Don’t attach the other negative on the flat battery and instead clip it onto the car’s earthing rod (if it has one) or well away from the flat battery and fuel system.
4. Leave the cars for about 5 minutes before starting the ignition on the working vehicle. Let the working vehicle run for about 1 minute.
5. Turn on the engine in the car with the flat battery and let both cars run for about 10 minutes.
6. Turn off both cars’ engines and disconnect the leads. You should disconnect in reverse order to how you connected them e.g. black lead first and then red lead.
7. Leave the newly charged car to run for about 20 minutes or so before taking it out for a 30-minute drive to test it.
8. Your battery should now be fully charged and start on demand when you next turn the engine on. If not, seek professional assistance as it can indicate a more serious problem with the vehicle.