“If you start me up,
If you start me up I’ll never stop”
- ‘Start Me Up’ Rolling Stones (1981)
Having the skills to jump start your car could get you (or a friend) out of a tight spot.
Maybe you left your headlights on or an interior light and your car engine simply won't turn over. We recommend you call for help from your road service provider or a battery specialist, but in the case of an emergency it's good to know the right steps for the procedure.
Most modern vehicles with electronic management systems and electronic ignition must only be jump started with specially protected leads or major damage can be done to the electrical system. Make sure you consult the vehicle owner's handbook for the manufacturer's recommended procedure before trying to jump start any car.
Jump Starting 101:
- Check both vehicles have a battery with the same voltage
- Turn off all electrical loads (e.g. air conditioner, etc.)
- Check the vehicles aren't touching, and are in 'Park' or 'Neutral'
- On negative grounded systems, connect both ends of one jumper lead to the positive (+) terminal of both batteries
- Connect one end of the other jumper lead to the negative (-) terminal of the booster battery
- Connect the other end of that cable to the engine block or car frame of the vehicle to be started
- Ensure both jumper cables are clear of fans or other moving parts
- Start the engine of the booster car
- Attempt to start the engine of the vehicle with the flat battery
- If the vehicle does not start within 30 seconds, call an auto electrician
- If the vehicle does start, allow both cars to idle for 10 minutes to ensure the booster car can 'cycle' (reduces the chance of electrical damage)
- After starting, remove cables in reverse order, starting with the one connected to the engine block or car frame
Why not check out more driver and vehicle safety tips and procedures including; changing a tyre, understanding and locating your tyre placard, understanding driver safety or DIY health checks on your car. Alternatively find your local Tyres and More store.