How to charge a car battery with jumper cables

Your car battery could die from various reasons. These could include having your car exposed to very low outdoor temperatures for an extended period, spending a very long time without starting your car or even leaving the headlights or interior lights on when the vehicle is not running. Fortunately, you can always get your car up and running if you have a set of jumper cables and a running vehicle ready. This is why it is advisable to travel with a pair of jumper cables with you just in case. That said, let’s get into the process of how you can charge your car battery.

Before actual charging can begin, you need to scrutinize your car to ensure the process will be conducted safely. Look at your vehicle battery and make sure it has no cracks or leaks. Your battery should also be free of any traces of battery acid on its exterior. In case you spot any of these, do not continue with the charging process using jumper cables as it could cause an explosion. It could also cause your injury in other ways. Put on safety equipment for the process. This includes goggles and gloves. They will prevent injury in case you come into contact with acid leaks. You should also make sure that the cables running from your battery are clean and free of corrosion. If this is not the case, you can clean them using a stiff-bristled brush.

Once you have ensured everything is intact, drive the car with a charged battery and park it next to your dead car. Ideally, the cars should be right next to each other, nose-to-nose or face each other head-on. The distance should be close enough for the jumper cables to link the two cars without strain. If your first pair is not long enough, do not connect two pairs together for a longer distance. They could melt and start a fire. Turn off the running car and open the hoods for both vehicles afterward.

Note the position of both the positive and negative terminals of the battery. They are marked with a plus and minus sign respectively. Pick up the positive jumper cable, typically red in color and connect it to the dead battery first. Connect its other end to the charged battery. This order is essential.

Once this has been done, connect the negative cable, typically black in color, to the charged battery. Connect its other end to any component of your dead car that has been properly grounded. Ensure the part you connect it to has no paint and has not undergone oxidation. The frame, for example, serves as an excellent grounding area to attach this end of the cable to.

Get into the car that can run and start it. This will cause the charging system of the running car to charge the dead car’s battery. Let the car run for at least five minutes. Once this time elapses, you can start the engine of your dead vehicle. The dead battery should turn over, and the car should start successfully. In case it does not, let five more minutes’ elapse and start the vehicle again.

Disconnect the jumper cables, starting with the grounding end of the terminal. Remove the end of the cable attached to the negative terminal of the dead car, then disconnect the positive end of the cable connected to your previously-dead battery. Finally, remove the positive terminal linked to the car that provided the charge.

Let your previously-dead car to run for at least 20 minutes. During this time, your alternator will completely charge the battery.