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1.Position the Cars & Pop the Hoods.

To get into jump-start position, you’ll need to find another driver with a healthy battery to help you out. As long as you or the other driver has jumper cables to use, you’ll be good to go.

You’ll need to park the working car nose-to-nose with the car that won’t start. Be sure to set the working car to “park” if it’s an automatic, or “neutral” if it’s a stick, and set ignitions in both vehicles to “off.”

Open and prop both car hoods, then locate both the car batteries and their two terminals or connection points. Each battery should have a positive terminal denoted by a red “+” symbol and a negative terminal denoted by a black “–” symbol.

2. Correctly Attach the Jumper Cables.

To use the working car’s battery to start the dead battery vehicle, you’ll need to attach the red jumper cable clamp to the positive terminal of the car that’s not working, and the other red cable clamp (on the opposite end of that same cable) to the positive terminal of the working car’s battery.

Next, clip the black cable clamp to the working car’s negative terminal and its opposite end to an engine bracket or designated jump point.

3. Jump-Start the Car.

Here’s the magic! Have the driver with the working vehicle start their car. After the car’s been running for at least a minute, try the car with the dead battery and see if it will start. If the car still won’t turn over, let the car that’s powering the jump run a little longer before trying again.

When the car finally starts up, remove the jumper cables by detaching the negative clamps first. Be careful to not let the clamps themselves come into contact with one another. Now that the car is ready to go, be sure to drive it for at least 15 minutes to generate a full charge before shutting it off to avoid another dead battery.

Always Have a Backup Plan

A dead battery is an occurrence you might have to deal with over the course of your time as a car owner in one way or another. Knowing these steps is useful information, and so is keeping a pair of jumper cables in your trunk—but, you can’t control where your car is going to breakdown, and if there will be a good Samaritan around to help.

That’s why it’s also smart to know the number of a local towing company, should you need it. CarTek Collision works with local towing companies who provice professional 24-hour towing services. If you breakdown in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, Pasadena or Glendale, give us a call anytime for a trusted tow.