Finding yourself on the side of the road with a dead battery can be frustrating.
But if you know how to jump-start a car, you can get back on the road in no time.
First, let’s review the basics of your car’s electrical system.
The battery provides power to the starter, which turns over the engine.
The alternator then takes over, providing power to the engine and charging the battery.
If your battery is dead, you can use jumper cables to jump-start the car from another vehicle with a working battery.
The Jump Start Breakdown
First, make sure both vehicles are turned off.
Then, connect the positive (red) cable to the positive terminal on the dead battery.
Connect the other end of the positive cable to the positive terminal on the working battery.
Next, connect the negative (black) cable to the negative terminal on the working battery.
Finally, connect the other end of the negative cable to a metal ground on the dead car.
Do not connect it to the negative terminal on the dead battery, as this can create a spark.
Start the working car and let it run for a few minutes.
Then, try to start the car with the dead battery.
If it starts, remove the cables in the reverse order you connected them.
Let the car run for a few more minutes to charge the battery.
You may need to replace the battery if your car doesn’t start.
Why Batteries Drain
There are a few reasons why your car’s battery may drain.
First, if your alternator is not working correctly, it will not charge the battery as the car is running.
This can cause the battery to drain.
Another reason for battery drainage is leaving lights on or other electrical accessories running when the car is turned off.
Over time, this can drain the battery enough that it will no longer hold a charge.
Finally, extreme weather can also affect your battery.
Cold weather can make it harder for the battery to turn over the engine, and hot weather can cause the battery fluid to evaporate.
Upgrading Your Electrical System
If you frequently jump-start your car, it’s a good idea to upgrade your electrical system.
First, check the connections on your battery terminals and clean them if necessary.
Then, test the battery with a voltmeter to see if it needs to be replaced.
If you live in a cold climate, consider investing in a battery heater.
This will keep your battery warm and prevent it from freezing and dying.
There are a variety of batteries on the market.
Some are better than others.
Be sure to do your research as to what the best possible battery is for your car.
Look for a high-quality battery with a long warranty.
It’s also a good idea to upgrade your alternator.
A higher-amp alternator will provide more power to your electrical system and help prevent your battery from dying.
Before replacing any parts of your vehicle’s electrical system, consult a professional.
Jump-Starting an Electric Vehicle and Plug-In Hybrid
Electric vehicles have a different kind of battery than traditional gasoline cars.
As a result, you can’t jump-start them with jumper cables similarly.
If you find yourself with a dead battery in an electric vehicle, the best thing to do is call a tow truck or roadside assistance.
They will be able to properly jump-start your car without damaging the battery.
Often, plug-in hybrid vehicles will indeed have a regular 12 Volt battery to power accessories and their engines.
In this case, you can use jumper cables like you would with a gasoline car.
If you use your electric motors more often than your gasoline engine, you may risk draining your car’s battery.
To prevent this, make sure to charge your car’s battery regularly.
Jump Starts Under Warranty
If your car is still under warranty, you may be wondering if jumping the vehicle will void the warranty.
The answer is maybe.
Jumping the car itself will not void the warranty, but if jump-starting the car damages another part of the electrical system, it may not be covered.
It’s always a good idea to consult your owner’s manual or the dealership.
Luckily, if you have coverage under an extended warranty plan that offers roadside assistance, you can often call for a jump start without worrying about the cost.
Protect My Car offers this kind of service with our “Premier” coverage level.
If you need a jump start, give us a call, and we’ll be there to help.
Warranties Protect Electrical Systems
As we’ve seen, electrical system failures can be expensive to fix.
Luckily, many new vehicles come with a factory warranty that will cover these kinds of repairs.
Check your warranty before paying for any repairs out of pocket.
If you have an older vehicle or one that is no longer under warranty, extended warranty plans are a great way to protect yourself from unexpected repairs.
Protect My Car offers a variety of extended warranty plans that will cover the cost of electrical system repairs.
Visit our website to learn more about our coverage levels and get a free quote.
The typical electrical repair in the united states costs around $600.00.
This can be very costly, especially if you have multiple repairs that need to be made.
An extended warranty plan from Protect My Car can save you a lot of money in the long run by covering the cost of these repairs.
Jumping a car is a relatively simple process, but it’s essential to do it safely to avoid damaging your electrical system.
If you frequently find yourself with a dead battery, it may be time to upgrade your electrical system.
And with a bit of knowledge and a few tools, you can quickly jump-start your car and be on your way.
Remember to take precautions when working with batteries, as they can be dangerous.
By following these tips, you can keep your car’s electrical system in good shape and avoid being stranded on the side of the road.