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How to Jump Start Your Car

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April 18th, 2018

These days, it’s hard for most of us to imagine what it was like before modern technology changed everything. If our WIFI goes down, one is likely to find us sitting in one place for hours and hours trying to remember what we did for entertainment before the internet (TV and board games, in case you were wondering). Yet even those who grew up before the age of the web knew the feeling of being thrust back into the state of nature that arose the moment they tried start their car and nothing happened. Today we are going to give you a brief guide to how you can try to jump start your car and some common errors to avoid. However, jump starting a car can come with some inherent risks for those who don’t know what they are doing. If you are less than confident in your abilities, we advise contacting a qualified roadside assistant instead.

Preparing the scene
The unfortunate failure of your battery has essentially sent you back in time and put you on a level with your pre-industrial ancestors. Perhaps it is fitting then that your ticket out of this conundrum lies in the rediscovery of an ancient good: community. In other words, you need to enlist the aid of another car owner to give your one a boost. While you might be surprised by how quickly you come across a Good Samaritan, you should not rely on them for jumper cables ideal for your vehicle. Plan ahead and stash a set of cables that are suited to the voltage of your battery in the car, along with a set of thick gloves and some safety glasses.

Set both cars to face each other but ensure they are not touching. Put both cars in park or neutral with the parking brake on. Switch off the cars, remove the keys, and turn off any lights that may use the car battery for power. Also make sure to plug out phones or any other accessories that may be charging.

Warning: Not every battery or ignition system is compatible with a jumper cable start and damage can actually occur. Consult your car manual first to find out which kind of system your vehicle uses.

The cable set-up
Connect both ends of the red (positive) cable to the positive terminals on each battery. Connect one end of the black (negative) cable to the negative terminal of the good battery and the other end to a clean unpainted metal surface in your car. Get your new friend to start their car in order to begin jumping and let it run for two to three minutes. If your car doesn’t start after this time has elapsed, repeat the process for another couple of minutes.

Post Start-up cautions
Once your car has started, remove the cables in the reverse order from which you put them on and make sure that the ends never touch. You should leave your car running for around thirty minutes to ensure your battery has charged up properly. Now, embrace your saviour as you would a family member and enjoy your re-entry into the world of modern civilization. Perhaps a celebratory horn honk is in order if you’re feeling frisky.

Repeated issues
If you consistently need to jump start your battery or your car is starting intermittently, there may be a deeper problem with the battery and it may need to be changed. If you are certain of your battery’s quality and charge but your car still won’t start, then there is likely something else at fault. At BCS, we are happy to diagnose any issues you may be having with your car and replace or repair any components that need attention.

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