How to jump start your car

Nothing is more annoying than to jump into your car and find that it won’t start because the battery is flat! So what options do you have?

Nothing is more annoying than to jump into your car and find that it won’t start because the battery is flat! So what options do you have? Bump start? You will need some energy and a few friends to push the car and probably find a down-hill incline!!!

The only other option – apart from calling one of the rescue services – is to jump start the car. But it is important to follow some simple rules to stay safe and achieve a start. What you will need is a set of jump leads, also referred to as booster cables, and a friend’s car that is working.


1. Position both of the cars close together so that the jump leads will reach the batteries on both vehicles.

2. The connect the car battery booster cables in the following order:

a) Connect (+) positive red cable to the (+) positive terminal on the dead battery

b) Connect the other end of the (+) positive red cable to the (+) positive terminal on the working car battery.

c) Connect (-) negative black cable to (-) negative terminal on the working car.

d) Connect the other end of the (-) negative cable to the (-) negative terminal on the dead battery.

3. You are now ready to start the working car’s engine. Turnoff all the electrical equipment on the working car engine ( heater, lights, radio etc) so all the battery power is being used to jump start the dead battery. Let the working car run for a minute or so before you try to start the dead one. Revving the engine on the working car will produce more power and help to jump start the dead battery.

4. Now try to start the car with the dead battery by turning the ignition. If the car starts to fire but will not quite start, then rev the working car for a little longer before trying the car with the dead battery.

5. When the car with the dead battery has started and is running, remove the jump leads. And do this in reverse order.

a) Disconnect (-) negative black cable from the terminal on the dead battery.

b) Disconnect (-) negative black cable from the (-) negative terminal on the working car.

c) Disconnect (+) positive red cable from the (+) positive terminal on the working car.

d) Disconnect (+) positive red cable from the (+) positive on the dead battery.

Helpful tips to jump start your car

1. It is important to let the car that had the flat (dead) battery run for quite a while. If you were to turn the ignition off shortly after starting it then it may not have built up enough power in the battery then re-start the car. It might be worth talking the car for a drive or alternatively connect the battery to a battery charger overnight.


2. For safety reasons ensure when you are connecting and removing jump leads, that they do not touch each other and do not come into contact with any moving parts on the engine.

3. Should the car not start after this procedure then it may be time to consider purchasing a new battery.

About the author

Dean Richardson

Dean is a Regional Director for Protyre who is also responsible for the running of our Protech Academy. The Protech Academy is a centre of excellence where the Protyre team learn the latest mechanical knowledge and skills, gain qualifications and develop their expertise to share with our customers at their local garage. The Academy is also designed to help us stay ahead of the ever changing automotive market by ensuring we have the best skills available to deal with advanced driver assist systems, hybrid/ electric vehicles in addition to all the new technology finding their way into our vehicles. During Dean's career he has worked for some of the biggest names in the fast-fit and mechanical aftermarket and as the man responsible for developing our people and their mechanical skills he is ideally suited to help provide advice in the latest in car technology and ongoing maintenance of your vehicle no matter how new or old it maybe.

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