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By the Numbers

How to Jump Start a Dead Car Battery

Stopped in your tracks

You never know when you might need a jump start – whether it be from the bone-chilling cold of winter that can sap your battery’s starting power to leaving your lights on during a concert that drains your battery completely.  Knowing how to get your vehicle running again is a valuable skill that will get you back on the road in no time. Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to safely jump a car. 


Options for jump starting your car

                    When it comes to jump starting a car, you have a couple of options. You can use a portable jump starter or have another motorist assist you by charging your battery with their running vehicle and jumper cables.




Carrying a portable jump starter in your vehicle can get you back on the road in no time. From cables to power, a jump starter has everything you need to jump start your battery without the hassle of waiting for another driver or tow truck to give you a jump.


Booster Cable

If you don’t have room to keep a portable jump starter in your vehicle, you’ll want to make sure that you have jumper cables as part of your emergency road kit. Then you will need to call and wait for another driver and car to give you a jump. Follow these steps to get your car running again.

Jump starting your vehicle with jumper cables

Step 1:

Gather what you need

Running Car
Additional Driver


Running Car

Running vehicle


Extra Driver

Additional driver


Booster Cable

Jumper cables


Step 2:

Getting Started


Good Quality

Make sure you’re using good quality jumper cables. Ensure that they aren’t cracked or frayed.



Park the cars close together with the front ends facing each other. You don’t want to stretch the cables too far.



Place both vehicles in park.


Step 3:

Carefully connect the cables

Connect Positive

On the car that won’t start, connect the positive (red) cable to the positive terminal on the battery.

Step 4:

Starting the Cars


If you have to get a jump, it could be an indication that there is an issue with your battery. Have your battery checked out – it might be time for a new one.

If you have an electric vehicle like the Chevrolet Volt or Nissan Leaf, you shouldn’t jump another vehicle with jumper cables – it may cause damage.


Learn more about quality car batteries, find your car part, or find a local car repair shop today.

The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. 


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