Knowing how to recover a dead battery is an essential skill that every driver needs to have. If you’re so lucky not to experience a dead battery, it will be nice if you’re able to assist another driver when the need arises. Every driver must have a set of reliable jumper cables in their vehicle every time. You can buy a set of jumper cable at an auto parts store or at any big box store. The jumper cables will last for many years. They can be stored in your vehicle’s trunk.
However, you need to understand that you the jumper cable must be used with caution; this must be realized before you even learn how you can use jumper cables to jump start a vehicle. Do not allow any of the clamps of the jumper cables to touch each other while in use to avoid electric shock.
How to Use Jumper Cables To Jumpstart a Vehicle with a Dead Battery
It is very important to always have a pair of jumper cables in your vehicle. However, before you buy new jumper cables, search for ones that are about 4 to 6 gauge in size with a length of at least 20 feet (ones that can easily be stored in your trunk or under a seat). Always go for durable cables that will provide a better connection. Also, longer jumper cables are better so that batteries can reach other since it is not possible to place vehicles right beside each other.
How to Make the Connection
Whenever you handle jumper cables, always keep the red and black clamps from touching each other. These can be prevented from touching by ensuring that you are not mishandling the cables when setting them up. Also, try to have someone at the end of each cable to make the connection and to also prevent the clamps from touching. If the clamps touch when they are hot, this can cause a short in either of the two vehicles and lead to some very dangerous sparks.
Ensure that the running vehicle with a good battery is parked next to the vehicle with a dead battery. Identify where the battery is located in each vehicle. If there is a plastic hood covering the batteries o battery posts, remove the hood so that you can have access to the posts. It is very important to have the right tools for this purpose before you find yourself in this situation, so be patient enough to familiarize yourself with the setup of your battery.
Once you’ve been able to access the battery posts, determine the positive (+) and negative (-) posts. The positive post may have a red cable attached; however, the right thing is to look for a plus or minus sign to determine the polarity of each post.
Remove any dirt or gunk from the posts with a brush to create a clean and solid connection. Connect one end of the red clamp to the positive post on the battery that is dead, and then connect the matching end of the red clamp to the positive post on the battery that is working.
Finally, connect the black or negative clamp to the negative polarity on the good battery. Instead of connecting the remaining negative clamp to the dead battery, look for an engine bolt that is not painted and secure your clamp to it to ensure a safer jumpstarting process (you can also use any piece of the vehicle’s frame).
Start the Engines
Start the vehicle with the functioning battery first, then try to start the vehicle with the dead battery. If the interior lights come on and you hear the engine turn over without starting, then you need to check for other issues. If, however, you hear a clicking sound while trying to start the vehicle, then you might have problems with the starter.
Test the voltage of your battery with a multimeter. The multimeter depends on the type of vehicle that you have, but it should read slightly higher than 12 volts while the vehicle is off. If your battery is in good condition, then you need to check for other issues.
If the vehicle fires up, thereby indicating a successful jumpstarting process, let it run while you disconnect the cables carefully. Ensure that the clamps do not touch while doing so. Let your vehicle run until you get to your destination. This will give your battery enough time to recharge.
In case you don’t want to bother yourself with getting a vehicle with good battery, you can go for portable power packs that can be used to jumpstart your vehicle. The fully charged power pack can be attached to your dead battery while you start your vehicle. Ensure you keep the pack charged.