How to Jump Start a Car With Jumper Cables (Dead Battery)

How to jump-start a car – Is there anything worse than realizing you’ve got a dead car battery? Unless you enjoy the exercise associated with pushing your car to the nearest gas station, it’s a good idea to carry jumper cables, and to know how to jump-start your car!

When jump-starting a car yourself. Remember to always have a good set of jumper cables in the car, as this happens to the best of us. Here’s how to jump it:

How to Jump Start a Dead Car Battery:

how to connect jumper cables order
*Diagram from
  1. First park your working car next to the dead one (not touching)
  2. In the dead car, turn off the ignition, lights, radio, and anything else that might be charging or use the power
  3. Get the jumper cables
  4. connect the red positive clamp to the dead battery’s positive post (has a “+” plus sign)
  5. connect the other red clamp to the good battery’s positive post (Make sure that the cables aren’t dangling down into the engine)
  6. Connect the first black negative clamp to the working car’s negative battery terminal
  7. Connect the other black clamp onto any unpainted metal surface on the dead car’s engine
  8. Start the working car, and idle a couple of minutes
  9. Now, start the dead car
  10. Once it’s running, disconnect the cables in reverse order, (black clamp on bad car, black clamp working car, red clamp good car, red clamp bad car) and run or drive for at least 10 minutes (while listening to song, “Jump Start My Heart,” by Natalie Cole?)

It’s not a bad idea to make a little card to remember the order in which you connect the cables. In fact, we just made one above that you can click on and print out for your glove compartment. Here are simplified instructions for how to jump your car:

How to Jump Start Your Car (Printable)

how to jump start car printable instructions

It’s also a good idea to consider a portable jump starter in your car, but you’ll have to charge it every few months. (Ever wonder how long car batteries last? You should know!)

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