How to Jump Start a CarUltimately, as a vehicle owner, you’ll encounter a dead car battery. Whether it’s the result of leaving your lights on or just an old battery, the quickest resolve is to jump the battery. Even though it’s one of the most common car maintenance issues, it probably still makes you nervous to hook those cables up for the first time. Jumpstarting a dead car battery is surprisingly simple, but some people never learned how, or it’s been so long since they learned they’re fuzzy on the details.

We’ve put this simple list of steps together to walk you through exactly what to do if you need to jumpstart a dead car battery.


1)  First you need to know if it is the battery, other than the gauges in your car, your dash lights will flicker when you attempt to start your engine. If your lights and dash lights dim when you attempt to start your car, that is a good indication your battery is the culprit.

2) Once you  have a working vehicle ready to help, check the location of the batteries and park the cars so the jumper cables will easily reach both batteries. Turn off the working vehicle.

3) Connect one positive clamp (RED) to the positive terminal of the dead battery. Make sure your connection is good to the metal prong.

4) Connect the other positive clamp (RED) to the positive terminal of the good battery. Once again make sure the connection is solid or the battery won’t charge.

5) On the good battery end of the cables, attach the negative clamp (BLACK) to the negative terminal of the battery.

6) Connect the remaining negative clamp (BLACK) to a non-painted metal surface on the dead vehicle.

7) Start the running car and let the engine run for a few minutes to allow the dead battery to charge. We recommend letting the battery charge for about 5 minutes before attempting to start it.

8) Attempt to start the dead car. If the car doesn’t start or even turn over, check your connections and give it another 5 minutes before trying again.

9) Once the dead car starts, remove the jumper cables in the opposite order of how you attached them.

10)  Let the dead car run roughly 20 minutes to recharge the battery. As batteries age they lose the ability to hold a charge, so if your battery is older, it may be time for a replacement.


One tool we highly recommend to keep your trunk is a good pair of jumper cables; and now that you know how to jumpstart a dead battery, you can put them to good use.