The 4 step process to jump starting your car so it revs up and doesn't blow up. It's really easy to boost your car battery you just have to do everything in the right order.
I had been planning on doing a post on how to jump start your car for a few years, but never got around to it.
Then one day my car wouldn't start. So I got around to it.
A combination of really cold weather and my general lack of desire to go anywhere is what prompted my battery to declare a work stoppage.
Cold weather and not driving your car for a long time will drain a battery to the point that it doesn't have enough juice in it to start.
It doesn't mean that battery isn't good anymore - it just means it's gone into hibernation.
You need to boost your battery just to get it started and then let the car run for about 30 minutes. During that time the alternator will do its job and recharge the battery so it's as good as newish.
Keep in mind, if your battery is old or needs to be jump started regularly, you don't have a battery that's in hibernation. You have one that's old, worn out, and needs to be replaced.
NOTE: Not replacing your car battery when it's old and weak means you're putting undo pressure on your alternator. And your alternator is a lot more expensive to fix than replacing your car battery.
So how do you jump start your car?
You need 2 things to jump start your car. A pair of jumper cables and a good battery.
The good battery can be from another car or a portable battery pack made for charging your own car.
WHAT? What's a portable jump starter??
I just discovered these things and am now obsessed with them. A portable jumper is a small battery pack that will fit in your glove compartment.
If your car battery dies, you just attach the jump starter pack to your car battery and start your car like a regular car boost. But with the added advantage of not needing a working car nearby.
A perfect gadget to have if you're alone somewhere that doesn't have other cars nearby to help you with a boost. If you live alone in the country, are on a camping trip, or work weird hours, where finding someone to boost your car when you leave work at 4 a.m. is hard, then one of these little car jumpers could be a lifesaver.
The next thing you need to keep in mind is ...
YOU DON'T WANT TO BLOW ANYTHING UP
To make sure you don't fry your jumper cables, alternator, battery, stereo or any other component in your car you have to attach the jumper cables in a specific order.
It's easy. Any fool could do it. You just have to make sure you do things in the right order.
- Positive clamp goes to positive on dead battery.
- Positive clamp goes to positive on good battery.
- Negative clamp goes to negative on good battery.
- Negative clamp goes to bare metal on dead battery engine. (best if the metal is at least 1' away from the battery)
- Turn both cars off. The one with the dead battery and the one with the good battery. Grab your jumper cables and find the batteries in both cars.
- Connect a red jumper cable clamp to the positive (+) terminal of the dead battery.
- Connect the other red cable clamp to the positive (+) terminal of the good battery.
- Connect the black cable clamp to the negative (-) terminal of the good battery.
- Connect the black cable clamp to an unpainted piece of metal on the car with the dead battery. Something on the engine is best, but if your car battery is in the trunk like mine, then clamp to the trunk latch. You should clamp to metal that's at least 1' away from the battery to prevent sparking.
- Start the car with the good battery.
- Start the car with the dead battery.
- After the dead battery starts, let the car run for 30 minutes to give the altnerator sufficient time to fully charge the battery.
- Remove the cables in reverse order (negative ground on dead battery - negative on good battery - positive on good battery - positive on dead battery)
And since I knew you were going to want to see me jump my car here you go ...
A sense of dread washed over me when the my car wouldn't start. I was heading to Betty's for some reason when I realized I probably hadn't driven my car in weeks.
It's your basic pandemic problem. Dead car batteries the world over because we're not going anywhere.
I toyed with buying a portable charger just so you could see it work, but wanted my car right away, not after a charger was delivered so I called my sister Pink Tool Belt who I knew was just leaving her store The Hillbilly Mansion a few blocks away from me.
She didn't even have to get out of her car. She just drove up, turned the car off and waited for me to kickstart my battery out of hibernation.
CAR BATTERY BOOSTING TIP!
If your car's battery is in your engine, back into your driveway so the battery can be accessed easily if it dies.
If your car's battery is in your trunk, drive straight into your driveway so the battery, (at the back of your car) can be easily accessed.
In the very same week, my niece's car battery also wouldn't start and she had to get a jump for the exact same reasons - very cold weather, and only leaving the house once a month or so to buy some COVIDdles.
How about you? Have you had to jump start your car this year? And are you, like I, willing to blame it on Coronavirus?