Jump Start a Car The Right Way

If you’re going to jump start your vehicle, you better do it right. This simple guide is pretty universal. We explain how to jump start a car with jumper cables, as well as how to use JackPak to jump vehicles. It’s easy!

How to jump start a car battery the right way

How to jump start your car with jumper cables and another working car:

  1. Make sure both vehicles’ engines are off
  2. Hook red jumper cable to the positive jump post of the working battery
  3. Hook other end of red jumper cable to the positive jump post of the dead battery
  4. Hook black cable to negative end of working battery
  5. Clip other end of black cable to unpainted metal surface that is not near the dead battery (hinge that keeps hood open)
  6. Start up working vehicle and let engine idle for a few minutes
  7. Attempt to start dead battery. If it does not start after a couple tries, you may need a new battery
  8. If car does start, unhook cables starting with negative, then positive
  9. Do not turn your car off right away, drive around so your alternator has a chance to send a charge to your battery

How to jump start your car using JackPak

  1. Make sure all lights, radio and anything else that draws power are turned off
  2. Hook positive clamp to your dead battery
  3. Hook negative clamp to unpainted metal surface of car
  4. Turn on JackPak
  5. Attempt to start car
  6. Once car is on, switch off JackPak and disconnect starting with the NEGATIVE clamp

Why do I want to hook the negative end to an unpainted metal surface as opposed to the actual negative jump post on the battery?

The main reason: when you do hook the clamp up to the negative post on the dead battery, it can cause sparks. Sparks can then ignite the highly flammable vapors that seep out of your battery. This can cause your battery to explode, leaving you covered in harmful battery acid.