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How to jumpstart a vehicle

Fortunately, many auto insurance providers are affiliated with roadside service companies that can assist stranded motorists.

However, there is something to be said for being able to take care of these types of car problems on one’s own, as providing a vehicle with the juice it needs to run can be accomplished through a jumpstart, so long as there’s another vehicle in the area that can be of assistance.

But jumpstarting a car is not something that can be done off the cuff. People have to know what they’re doing to avoid a potential explosion or further damage their car.

To help motorists understand what’s involved in jumpstarting a vehicle, Car Care Canada offers a few helpful tips.

Inspect battery before connecting cables

Before attempting to jumpstart a car, it’s important to ensure that the battery isn’t leaking any fluid. If it is, that may be a sign it’s damaged and needs to be replaced.

However, if the battery appears to be in good working order and showing no signs of leaks, Car Care Canada says to turn off the engine and do the following:

Where to place the cable’s clamps

For starters, provided motorists have a set of booster or jumper cables – which can be purchased at any automotive maintenance store – connect the positive connector to the positive point on the dead battery and the other positive connector to the positive post on the healthy battery. Do the same with the other connector but attach that one to the corresponding negative post on the healthy battery.

As for the end of the negative cable, connect that one to some part of the dead car’s engine such as the engine block. Be sure not to attach the negative cable connector to the dead battery, as this could lead to an explosion and result in serious injury or further damage to the vehicle, CCC notes.

Start vehicles

Once everything is in place, start the engine on the car with the healthy engine. After a few seconds, start the ignition on the dead car. If the engine on the good car turns over, disconnect the cables in the reverse order that they were attached.

Using a portable battery booster

While many motorists are happy to help someone who’s experienced battery problems, some may like the rest assurance of being able to provide for themselves should they be in distress. That’s why people will often buy a portable battery booster.

The jumpstarting process is virtually identical to the one involving another vehicle, CCC indicates. Connect the positive clamp of the cable to the dead battery, then attach the positive clamp to the positive portion of the portable device. Do the same with the negative clamp, making sure that it connects with the engine block of the dead battery and the other negative clamp with the corresponding negative on the portable battery booster.

When batteries are most at risk

While a dead battery can occur at anytime – especially if it’s running only on a battery – it typically occurs in the winter months, as cold temperatures can be particularly harsh on a vehicle’s function, CCC indicates. To keep a battery in its best condition possible, automotive experts recommend having it checked if it’s three years or older. A vehicle repair company may be able to tell if it needs to be replaced and what model is needed for that type of vehicle.

How to jumpstart a vehicle

Whether it’s mistakenly leaving the car in the “on” position or forgetting to turn off a dome or headlight, just about everyone has run into a car issue involving a dead battery.