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How to Jump a Car


You turn the key, but to no avail. It might be time to give your car’s battery a quick jump.

If you’ve never jumped your car before, you may not be familiar with the process. The Ira Lexus of Manchester team has put together this guide on how to jump-start a car, so you can get on your way in Bedford, Manchester, and Merrimack.

Car Jumper Cables

Gather the Right Equipment

With some simple steps (and the right equipment), you’ll have a good chance of bringing your car back to life. You’ll need a couple things to complete the task: jumper cables and a power source. You might have a portable jump battery, but of course, the more traditional way of jumping your dead battery is to use another vehicle.

If you’re going with the traditional method, check that the cars are the right distance apart before starting a battery jump. You’ll want to have the jumper cables at the right distance to reach each battery.

Jumper cables will come in various lengths, usually between 10 and 20 feet. Make sure you have the right fit for your vehicle and be sure to keep those jumper cables in your trunk! They won’t do you any good in the garage or stored away in the basement.

Headlight Test

Safety When Jumping a Car Battery

Safety is paramount when jumping your battery. There’s obviously electricity involved, so it’s important to remain safe throughout the process. A dead car battery isn’t a big deal. A serious injury is a big deal.

Be sure to keep the two cars out in the open, and away from small children or pets. Once the jumper cables have been attached to a battery, don’t attach the other clamps to anything else other than another battery.

You also want to ensure that the voltage system of the donor battery is the same as the dead battery being jumped. A 6-volt and 12-volt should never be mixed. The easiest way to tell if the donor battery is up to the task is to check the headlights. If the headlights are bright and steady, then this car will be able to help jump-start yours.

Jumping a Car

Jump-Starting Your Car

Once you’ve got the equipment and safety items in order, put the cars in park or in neutral, and turn the ignitions off while activating the parking brakes. Open up the hood of each vehicle, and attach the clips.

The red positive clamp should align with the positive terminal on the dead battery, with the other end of the positive clamp attached to the working battery. The black negative clamp should match up with the working battery’s negative terminal. Connect the other end of the negative clamp to the unpainted metal part of the dead car. Start up the donor car, and idle it for a few minutes. Then, start up the car with the dead battery and see if it can get going. If you’re successful, remove the clips in the reverse order they were connected.

Make sure your car runs for at least 10 to 15 minutes before turning it off.

Jump-Start Failed? Give Us a Call

If you’ve been unsuccessful in jump-starting your car, our Ira Lexus of Manchester service team will replace your vehicle’s battery and prepare it for the roads of Bedford and Manchester.

Give our team a call today. We’ll get you back on the roads of Merrimack as soon as possible.

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Ira Lexus of Manchester 42.955522, -71.481662.