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How To Jump Start a Car

Jumper cables being used to jump start a car

When your car is on the side of the road in Providence with a dead battery, it’s time to jump start your car. If you don’t know how to jump start a car with cables, your first instinct may be to call a jump start car service. However, if you have a set of jumper cables and a friend who can help, learning how to jump start a car only takes a moment! We’ve broken down everything you need to know below.

Before you get started, take note that attempting a jump start with the wrong method or a damaged or even frozen battery can cause more damage to the vehicle and even individuals conducting the jump. We warn you that you could possibly fry a key electrical component by not following the proper procedure for how to jump start a car with cables.

The Proper Way to Jump Start a Car with Cables

Interested in learning how to jump start a car with cables? Jump starting your car battery requires two things: a set of jumper cables and another vehicle with a working battery. Once you’ve determined that you’re ready to get started, peruse these steps to learn the proper way to jump start a dead battery:

  1. Park the car with the good battery facing the vehicle with the dead battery, and make sure both vehicles are turned off. Engage both parking brakes for safety.
  2. Pop the hood on both cars and find the batteries. Be advised, you may need to take off a plastic hood to find the battery terminals.
  3. Find the positive and negative terminals, making sure that they’re clean and free of corrosion.
  4. Put the red clamp on the positive post on the dead battery.
  5. As you uncoil the battery cable, connect the other red clamp to the positive terminal of the good battery.
  6. Attach the black clamp to the negative post on the good battery, then place the final clamp on an unpainted metal surface on the car’s frame.
  7. After you have everything hooked up correctly, start the engine of the vehicle with the good battery first, and let the dead battery charge.

After a few minutes, you should have no trouble starting the vehicle with the dead battery! Just make sure not to turn it off again right away, or you may have to restart the process. It’s recommended that you drive around for at least 15 minutes to recharge the battery. If your vehicle doesn’t start the next time you drive it, this means the battery isn’t holding a charge and will need to be replaced.

Reasons a Car Won’t Start

A bad or dead battery is one of the main reasons a car won’t start. If you are unable to jump start your car with cables, you’ll either need a battery replacement, or it could be something else entirely. Here are some reasons a car won’t start:

  • Cheap Jumper Cables: Inexpensive or low-quality cables aren’t thick enough to carry a current that’s strong enough to recharge the battery.
  • Corroded Battery Terminals: The cables that are attached to your battery carry its electric current to the starter and the rest of the automobile. If the terminals that cables are connected to are corroded or not attached properly, the power flow will be obstructed and it will prevent your car from starting, even with a jump.
  • Bad Starter: Turning the key and only hearing a click means that the starter is not operational and it’s time to come to your local service center for a replacement.
  • Bad Alternator: Keep your car running for a while after you get the jump so your battery can recharge fully after being out of juice. If you still have to jump start your battery after turning it off once more, it may be that your alternator is on the fritz.
  • Bad Ignition Switch: If you have difficulty turning your key or see flickering or dying dashboard lights, it could indicate that the ignition switch is bad.
  • Spark Plugs: Old or fouled spark plugs can make it difficult to start a car and can also lead to misfiring and reduced fuel efficiency. 
  • Cracked Distributor Cap: A broken, cracked, or malfunctioning distributor cap can also cause a vehicle to misfire or be hard to start.
  • Broken Timing Belt: The timing belt turns the engine’s cam and crankshaft so that the cylinders fire at the appropriate times. If the timing belt is broken or slipping, you may hear unusual ticking noises from under the hood or the engine may not turn over.
  • Empty Gas Tank: It may seem obvious, but if you haven’t been keeping an eye on your fuel gauge, you may simply be out of gas. This is actually good news in the sense that nothing serious is wrong with the vehicle. All you need to do is get a gas can and pour enough into the tank to be able to drive to the nearest gas station.

If you haven’t been able to determine why your car won’t start, feel free to contact the service team at INFINITI of Warwick.

INFINITI of Warwick Has Got You Covered

Whether you want to schedule service near Coventry because your car won’t start with a jump, or you’re on the hunt for more DIY car care tips, such as how to check car oil, more tips on the proper way to jump start a car with cables, or where to find INFINITI tires, INFINITI of Warwick has you covered. We truly pride ourselves on customer service, and we’re eager to make great customer experiences. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (877) 361-2409 if you have any questions.

INFINITI of Warwick 41.698358, -71.499528.