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How to Jump-start a Car Safely?

How to Jump-start a Car Safely?

Snapshot: Ever happened, you start the car and got stuck due to a drained battery. Here is a simple way to jump start your vehicle safely.

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Usually happens, when planning to go back home from a party and your car just nods off to start. You try to crank it again and you get a simple denial of engine start. There might be a possibility that the car’s battery depleted and at this point you really need to know about “How to Jump-start your car safely”. I’m used to this one, some of the unusual perks that you are offered with, if you own an old car. Many drivers wonder how to go about the jumpstarting their car when the battery just say ‘Yes’ to drain. So let’s find out what are the Do’s and Don’ts for jumpstarting a car.

But before going any further for the procedure, we need to make sure that the battery is the main culprit here.

Is Battery the real culprit?

You need to check the headlamps, whether they are dim or bright! If they are dim, it's likely your battery is the near depleted. If your headlamps are bright, then the problem is not with the battery and a jump start will not help.

Make sure when you unlock the door from outside, the interior light works (unless the bulb is fused).  

Turn on the ignition and see whether your dashboard lights up in a usual manner and also check the stereo system as well. Dimming of lights and getting sound out of the system might also happen due to a low battery, but if there is no flickering with the dash lights, then there is a possibility that problem is with ignition switch.

Check the cranking, is it turn over very slowly, or cranking quickly? If the vehicle cranks quickly, that clears the issue of a dead battery and there is no to jump start the car, but if you feel a slow crank, or no crank, you probably have a dead battery.

Things you Need

Basic requirement here is a set of jumper cables (longer can be more convenient) and make sure that you get cables thick enough, for high-amperages.

Source of charge battery like another car or a portable battery.

Jump Start

Check the Battery connectors, if they are very dirty, brush it gently to clean. Generally, the ‘Red’ cable is used to connect to the Positive (+) terminal, and the Black one goes to the Negative (-), which is our grounding point. Another important thing to remember is that the clamps should be well connected and if you are using a mobile battery pack, it should be fixed and should not fall over when the car starts. Also, the cables should not be near moving parts as well.

Before doing the jump maintain a decent amount of distance between the two vehicles.

Connect red clamp to the (+) positive terminal of the drained battery. Then connect the other end of the red clamp to (+) positive terminal of the charged battery.

Now, connect the black clamp to the negative terminal of the charged battery and the other end should be clamped to an unpainted surface around the engine block of the drained car. Surely, you must be thinking that why are we not clamping the negative terminal of the drained battery? Just to avoid igniting battery fumes, if present. Some cars have a dedicated spot for that marked as Ground or Gnd.

First, start the vehicle with the charged battery to avoid draining a weak, but working, rescue battery and then start the vehicle with the depleted battery. It should start.

Leave the vehicle running, once the vehicle with the drained battery starts working, as the drained battery is now being charged by its alternator.  

Now, taking off the cables is done in a very careful manner. Disconnecting the cables is done in a ‘REVERSE’ order, without touching the surroundings, as the cable still holds live current in it. you can use a hard cardboard box to clamp it later.

Keep the car with drained battery running for around 15 to 20 minutes before turning it off again. Here the best idea is take the car for a spin before letting it to rest.

Safety Points

It is necessary to be aware of the danger of injury and chemical burns as well as the risk of accident or fire when working on the battery and the electrical system. In simple language prevention is better than cure.

Battery acid is extremely corrosive. Wear protective gloves and safety glasses that will help in avoiding acid or lead particles to come into contact with eyes. Also avoid contact with skin or clothing.

Do not tilt the battery – acid might leak out of the vapour vent. In case, electrolyte splashes into the eyes, it is advised to rinse at once for several minutes using clear water and seek medical care immediately. If splashes on the skin or clothing, neutralize it with soap solution, and rinse off with plenty of water. And it is better to consult right away, if acid is swallowed by mistake.

Untangle the jumper cables and make sure that the ends of the two cables never touch each other once connected to battery.

When handling jumper cables, avoid sparks (including those from static charges) and never try to cross the battery poles, the high-energy spark can cause injury.  

Keep open flames, sparks, uncovered lights and lit cigarettes away from the battery.

Jump-start the battery in an open area, as a highly explosive mixture of gases is given off when the battery is under charge.  

Keep children away from the battery and battery acid.

Turn off all the electrical equipment before starting any work on the vehicle electrical system and remove the ignition key. Also keep in mind the minus cable is disconnected from the battery.

Turn off the anti-theft system, before disconnecting the battery or else you have to bear alarming.

First disconnect the minus cable and then the plus cable, when disconnecting the battery from the vehicle's electrical system.

Before reconnecting the battery, turn off all electrical equipment. First connect the plus cable, then the minus cable. The battery cables must not be connected to the wrong battery poles - serious risk of cable fire.

Never charge a frozen or thawed out battery, there is a risk of explosion and chemical burns. If the battery has been frozen, the best bet is to replace it. Usually when battery is discharged, it can freeze at temperatures around 0°C.

Make sure that the vapour hose is always attached to the battery.

There is a risk of explosion when using a damage battery, replace it, immediately.

Also Read:

Driving Tips to Save Fuel

Summer Tips: Things you should never leave in Car

Summer Tips to prepare your Car

Features that makes a Car more desirable

Prepare your Car for long road trips


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