How to Jump a Car: Step-By-Step Guide

The Importance of Knowing How to Jump a Car

Hello, Challenger! If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re stuck in a parking lot or on the side of the road with a dead car battery. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Knowing how to jump a car is an essential skill that every driver should have. It can save you time, money, and the hassle of waiting for a tow truck to arrive. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of jumping a car.

What You’ll Need to Jump a Car

Before we get started with the process, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to jump a car.

Item Description
Car batteries One working battery to jump, and one to provide power
Jumper cables Heavy-duty cables with alligator clips on both ends
Protective gloves and glasses For your own safety during the process

Step-by-Step Guide to Jumping a Car

Now that you have all the necessary equipment, let’s jump into the process of jumping a car.

Step 1: Locate Both Car Batteries

The first step is to locate both car batteries. Check the owner’s manual for the exact location in your car. Typically, you’ll find the battery under the hood.

Step 2: Position the Vehicles

After locating both batteries, it’s time to position the two vehicles. Make sure they are close enough for the jumper cables to reach but don’t touch. Turn off both cars and engage the handbrake.

Step 3: Connect the Cables

The next step is to connect the jumper cables following these steps:

  1. Red on Dead: Connect the Positive (+) red clamp to the positive terminal of the dead battery.
  2. Red on Charge: Attach the other end of the Positive (+) clamp to the working car’s positive terminal.
  3. Black on Charge: Connect the Negative (-) black clip to the working car’s negative terminal.
  4. Black on Dead: Lastly, attach the other Negative (-) black clip to an unpainted, grounded metal surface on the dead car’s engine block.

Step 4: Start the Working Car

Next, start the working car and allow it to idle for a few minutes.

Step 5: Attempt to Start the Dead Car

After a few minutes, attempt to start the dead car. If it doesn’t start, then wait a bit longer for the battery to charge.

Step 6: Remove the Jumper Cables

If the dead car starts, leave it running for at least 30 minutes. Afterward, remove the jumper cables in reverse order:

  1. NEGATIVE (-) black clamp from the previously dead car.
  2. NEGATIVE (-) black clamp from the donor car.
  3. POSITIVE (+) red clamp from the donor car.
  4. POSITIVE (+) red clamp on the revived car.

Step 7: Take a Drive

Finally, take the revived car for a drive to recharge the battery fully.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How long should I jump my car battery?

It usually takes five to 10 minutes to jump-start a car successfully. However, if the battery is severely discharged, it may take longer.

2. Can I jump-start a hybrid car?

Yes! Hybrid vehicles can be jump-started following the same process as a gasoline-powered car.

3. Can I jump-start a car with a dead alternator?

No! Jump-starting a car with a dead alternator may give a brief reprieve, but the car’s electronics will eventually shut down.

4. Can I connect the jumper cables in any order?

No! You must connect the jumper cables in the proper order: Red on Dead, Red on Charge, Black on Charge, and Black on Dead.

5. Can I leave the car running after jump-starting it?

Yes, you can leave the car running. However, it would help if you allowed it to run for at least 30 minutes to recharge the battery fully.

6. Is there an alternative to jump-starting a car?

Yes! You can use a portable jump starter, which is a self-contained battery that provides a similar starting boost.

7. Can I use just one jumper cable?

No! You must use a set of jumper cables with two alligator clips on each end.

8. How often should I jump-start my car?

Jump-starting your car frequently may indicate an underlying problem with the battery, charging system, or electronics. You should only need to jump-start your car in an emergency.

9. Can a dead battery damage my car’s electrical system?

An old, dead battery can cause strain on the alternator, starter motor, and electrical systems. So, it’s better to replace a dead battery as soon as possible to avoid any damage.

10. Can I drive immediately after jump-starting a car?

It’s better to wait for 30 minutes before driving right after a jump-start to recharge the battery.

11. Can I jump-start my car in the rain?

Yes, you can jump-start a car in the rain. But be careful with the wet cables and terminals as they could get slippery and dangerous.

12. Can I jump-start my car from another car that has a smaller engine?

Yes, you can! But make sure that the donor car’s battery voltage matches or is higher than the dead battery’s voltage.

13. How long will my car battery last after jump-starting?

It depends on how well you maintain your battery after jump-starting. It’s better to keep the battery fully charged to prolong its life.


Knowing how to jump a car is an essential skill for every driver. We hope that this guide has provided you with a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to jump a car. Remember to follow the proper procedure and safety guidelines to prevent any mishaps. Should you have any further questions on this topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Drive safe!


The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. We do not accept any liability or responsibility for any actions taken based on this article’s content. Always consult with a professional mechanic or roadside assistance provider for personalized assistance in jump-starting your car’s battery.