At one point or another, most everybody will have to contend with a dead battery. Vehicles have advanced a lot over the years, so this occurrence happens less often than a few decades ago. However, even with the best automotive batteries, they can die in an instant. Generally, you are able to tell right away you have a dead battery, so there is no need to find a car diagnostic tool. You just need some jumper cables and another vehicle.
Take Out the Jumper Cables
Everyone should have a set of jumper cables in their cars. You can keep them in the trunk most of the time. Otherwise, you will have to depend on a Good Samaritan coming along who has a set. In general, it is preferable to be prepared. You may also want to consider purchasing a portable car battery charger, which will allow you to put some juice in your battery without the need for another car. It costs a bit more, but it is a great convenience to have.
Place Both Vehicles in Park or Neutral
Once you have another vehicle to get a jump from, you need to put both cars in neutral or park. You then need to shut off the ignition for both of them. You should apply the parking brakes to ensure they do not move in the slightest during this procedure.
Attach the Clips Correctly
The jumper cables will have two red clips and two black clips. You should attach one of the red clips to the positive terminal, indicated by a “+” or “POS.” It will also be larger than the negative terminal. You will then attach the other red clip to the positive terminal on the other vehicle.
Next, attach a black clip to the negative terminal on the other car’s battery. Lastly, you will need to attach the final black clip to any unpainted metal surface on your vehicle. This surface should not be anywhere near the battery. A good option is to use one of the metal struts that keeps the hood ajar.
Start the Working Vehicle
From here, you can turn on the other person’s car. You should allow the engine to run for several minutes After this, you can try to start your vehicle to see if it will start. In the event the battery is still dead after following all of these steps correctly, then you may just need to replace the component.
If your car does start, then you want to drive around for 15 minutes. During this time, you are recharging your battery so that it hopefully maintains its charge for a while. Your car may not start the next time you need it. This is a sign you need a replacement.
Know Your Car
It is worth trying to jump start your car the first time the battery fails. There is a chance it is merely out of juice and just needs a little more. However, when you need a new battery, you need to get it from a reputable auto parts store near you.