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You don't always have to call for a tow truck just because of a dead battery. Here's a step by step guide to jump start your car.
Category: Car Ownership Advice
Starting a car modern car is easy, you hop in, put the key into the ignition, give it a turn till the engine springs to life. With keyless systems, it gets even better - just press that engine start button.
But such convenience is only possible with a healthy, working car battery. While manual cars can be push-started with a friend's help or a slope, automatic cars will require a jump start when its battery runs flat.
See the importance of knowing how to jump start yet? Well, no worries if you don't know how to, here's all you need to know.
How to jump start your car with another car
This is the default way to jump start a car, you see it in TV shows, you might have even seen it in action at your carpark.
While you can also jump start your car with the aid of a fresh car battery (more about this later), who will have one with them? So the most common method is to jump start the car with the aid of another car.
What you need:
- A car with a good, healthy battery of the same voltage (most cars uses 12v batteries)
- A set of jumper cables
Jump start your car with these simple steps:
1. Park the cars so that the batteries are within reach of the jumper cables (note that some cars have their batteries in the rear)
2. Connect the red jumper cable from the working battery's positive terminal (+) to the flat battery's positive (+) terminal.
3. Connect the black jumper cable from the working battery's negative (-) terminal to an earthing point - an unpainted metal surface such as bolts on the engine block or the chassis of the car with the dead battery.
4. Now the working car should be started - the batteries of both cars are essentially connected in parallel, the alternator from the working car will provide power to both cars.
5. You should now be able to start the car with the flat battery - you can also get the driver in the working car to rev up the engine to around 3,000rpm to allow a stronger output from the alternator.
6. With the car now up and running, you can carefully disconnect the jumper cables, one at a time. This is to prevent the possibility of shorting the connections - you must not let the positive and negative cable clamps contact one another at anytime.
7. You should allow your restarted car to idle for a reasonable amount of time, or better yet, take it out for a drive, to allow the battery to be recharged.
How to jump start your car with another battery
Even if there isn't another car around, you can jump start your car with a fresh battery.
This method would come in handy if you can borrow or source for a car battery - you can then jump start your car and head out to a workshop to get your battery replaced if needed. The process is identical to jump starting with another car.
How to jump start your car with a portable jump starter
This is my favourite method, and the simplest for anyone to jump start a car.
In recent years, portable jump starters are readily available and their reasonable cost make them a must-have for all drivers. Some of these can even double as a powerbank for your smart phones as well.
1. Connect the provided jumper cables to the portable jump starter.
2. Connect the red jumper cable to the battery's positive (+) terminal.
3. Connect the black jumper cable to the battery's negative (-) terminal.
4. Get in and start your car.
5. Unplug the jumper cables one by one.
Do note that the procedure might differ slightly from one portable jump starter to the other.
Here are some related articles that might interest you
All about maintaining electric car batteries in Singapore
Top 8 car breakdown problems in Singapore
7 signs you need a car battery replacement
Recommended onsite car battery recovery & replacement service providers
12 things you should stop doing right now to avoid killing your car
Jump starting with the above methods won't work? Find a workshop here for mobile battery repair/replacement.