Avoid These 3 Pitfalls Of Jumping A Car

Posted on: 13 October 2015

If your car's battery has died, one of the easiest ways to get your car up and running again is to request a jump from another driver. Unfortunately, while this is a fairly common procedure, it's easy to make a small mistake that can either leave you or your good Samaritan in a bad situation. To safely jump your battery and keep your car and theirs running safely, avoid these pitfalls.

Don't Reverse the Steps

Connecting the cables in the correct order is one of the first things any jumpstarter learns. But as time has changed, the consequences of attaching the cables in the wrong order has become even more severe. Since the vast majority of cars now have complicated computer systems that control everything, you're not just risking frying your battery or your motor: you may find many of your onboard systems don't work. Getting your car to start and driving away only to find that your windows, radio, windshield wipers, or on-board assistance systems don't work wouldn't be a good feeling, so always place the cables in this order:

  • Attach the positive cables to the positive terminals on your battery
  • Attach the negative cable to the negative terminal on your battery
  • Attach the other end of the negative cable to any part of your car that's made of metal and not attached to the battery

Never Touch The Cables Together

This mistake is common when people plug in the functioning car battery first, and then the dead battery. You should always plug your cables into the dead battery first, then attach them to the live battery. Otherwise, this is the one step that can easily make your good Samaritan angry that they ever helped you.

Accidentally touching the wires to each other after they're connected to a live battery can short the battery of the car that's trying to help you. You may be lucky enough to get the charge you need to get up and rolling, but your good Samaritan may still end up needing to flag down a tow truck.

Keep Your Negative Connection Far Away

The cable that is attached to your car frame, or another metallic surface, is imperative to the jumping process. It helps any excess charge to escape without harming either car battery. However, keep in mind that you should always attach it as far away from the battery as the cable will allow. While it's incredibly rare, car batteries can potentially leak hazardous gases, like sulfuric acid, that can combust readily. If your negative cable is near the battery and sparks, any fumes could start a fire.

For more information or if you need a tow, contact Michael's Towing & Recovery Service or a similar company.


are you prepared for roadside emergencies?

Do you know how to handle a roadside emergency? Do you have everything in your car that you should to be prepared for these unplanned events? My blog is all about preparing for roadside emergencies long before they happen. You will find a list of things that you should keep in your car, tips for using these supplies and advice for finding a towing service that will get you out of the sticky situation as quickly and safely as possible. Hopefully, what you learn here will help take some of the stress out of any roadside emergency situation that you experience.