How to Hook Up Jumper Cables

How to Hook Up Jumper Cables Advance Auto

How to Hook Up Jumper Cables to Easily Jump Start Your Car

Learning all the details about how to hook up jumper cables is of crucial importance when your battery dies or if it’s in need of a boost. Your car stopping in the middle of the road, or refusing to start when you’re planning an important trip, can be related to battery problems. If your battery is just discharged, and would need a quick jump start to recharge before you can turn the car on and use its own charging system, then you’ll find that knowing how to hook up jumper cables properly will be an essential skill.

Preparation Tasks Before Using Jumper Cables

Before even getting your jumper cables, you have to prepare everything and make sure the problem isn’t something more serious. You can start by testing your battery and checking the cables that connect it to the car, to make sure that the battery is the actual problem. It’s also a good idea to check whether the alternator or its belt are faulty. If that is the case, the jump start won’t help for long, but replacing the belt will get your car’s recharging system to work once again. Finally, if all else seems to check out, make sure your car is completely turned off, and proceed to find an appropriate booster car.

Getting the Booster Car to Hook It Up

The booster car is an important element to consider when figuring out how to hook up jumper cables correctly. The jump starting process requires a booster car with a fully charged battery that can be connected to your car’s battery in order to charge it temporarily. You can get a booster car from a friend or family member willing to help out. Have them park the car with its hood as close to your car’s hood as possible, but make sure the two vehicles aren’t touching. Then you can proceed to connect the jumper cables and give it a try to jump start your battery.

How Do You Have to Connect the Jumper Cables?

Now the question is, how to hook up jumper cables correctly and safely? The process is easy enough to understand, and it will only take a couple of minutes. After checking to see whether either of the batteries were affected by corrosion, you can proceed to untangle your jumper cables. Take the positive cable first, and use it to connect the positive terminals of the batteries with each other. Then simply take the negative (black) cable, and connect it to the negative terminal of the booster car and to a grounded metallic area of your own car. You are then ready to try jump starting your car.

Safety Requirements When Using Jumper Cables

Of course, there is more to figuring out how to hook up jumper cables safely than the few steps shown above. First of all, you need to make sure the cables don’t touch any of the engine components. Also, make sure to follow the order required for connecting each of the cables sequentially. Failure to do so may result in a short circuit and a dangerous electric arc that could even be life-threatening. Secondly, the clamps you use to connect all the jumper cables have to be tightly secured. Make sure each of the cable ends are firmly fastened to their respective terminals before moving on to each step. If your battery is completely flat, the donor car may need to run for awhile or you may need to even rev its engine so its alternator delivers more amperage for the boost. A small 4-cylinder engine may also have a hard time turning over a big V8, so be patient!

Disconnecting the Jumper Cables

When you finish the jump starting process and the time comes to remove your jumper cables, it is essential that you follow the same order in reverse. This means you have to first disconnect the negative cable from your car, then from the booster car. The following step is to do the same with the positive jumper cable, first carefully unfastening the clamp from your battery’s positive terminal, and then doing the same with the clamp secured to the positive terminal of the booster car. If you follow all these instructions to the letter, you’ll find learning how to hook up jumper cables for the first time can be a straightforward and safe process.

Last updated November 30, 2017

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