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How to Jump Start a Car

12th March 2021

Experiencing a flat car battery can happen to the best of us - and usually at inconvenient times, such as if you are late for an appointment or work. However, knowing how to jump start a car could save you a lot of stress in the future, especially when you do not have time to recharge your battery. Follow our handy guide to get your car going again.

How to start a car with jump leads

What do I need?

  • Jump leads – one black (negative) and one red (positive)
  • A car with a charged battery with the same voltage as yours (usually 12 volts)

What do I do?

Step 1 – Line up the cars

  • Park the cars next to each other so your bonnets are in line or facing each other. You want to make sure you can connect the batteries using the jump leads.
  • Make sure the handbrakes for both cars are on and the ignition is off.

Step 2 – Attach the red jump lead

  • Attach the red lead to the positive battery terminal on the working car. To find this, look for the ‘+’ symbol on the battery. Then attach the other end of the red jump lead to the positive battery terminal of the flat battery.
  • For extra safety here, put on goggles and gloves.

Step 3 – Attach the black jump lead

  • Attach the black lead to the negative battery terminal on the working car.
  • Do not attach the other end of the black jump lead to the flat battery – attach it to an earthing point, a piece of unpainted metal away from the battery and fuel system.
  • Some cars have a specific earthing point – if you’re not sure where this is located, check your vehicle manual.

Step 4 – Start the working car

  • Keep both engines off for 5 minutes.
  • Start the working car and let it run for 1 minute.

Step 5 – Start your car

  • Start your car after the working car has been running for 1 minute.
  • Let both cars run for approximately 10 minutes.

Step 6 – Remove the wires

  • Turn off both car engines and remove the leads.
  • Remove the leads in reverse order – start with the black lead attached to the earthing point in your car and end with the red lead attached to the working car battery.
  • Make sure the leads do not touch each other, or either car, when they are removed.

Step 7 – Restart your car

  • Restart your car and drive off!

How to start a car by pushing

However, of course there are often situations which can arise where there are no jump leads available. In these circumstances, you will need to start your car by pushing.

Step 1 – Find volunteers

  • To jumpstart a car through pushing, you must have one person in the drivers seat and at least one person pushing.
  • Gather 2-3 volunteers to help you push your car.

Step 2 – Position your car

  • Push in your car clutch and put the car in second gear. Do not remove your foot from the clutch.
  • Turn on the ignition and ask your volunteers to push your car.

Step 3 – Let the car go

  • Once your car is moving at a walking pace, bring up the clutch and the engine will start.
  • Once the car starts let the engine run while it recharges.

Car batteries from Merityre Specialists

Hopefully, you are now able to start your car when your car battery has gone flat. If you find that your battery dies often, with no obvious reason, this could be symptomatic of a serious problem. If this is the case, you may need to have your battery replaced.

Here at Merityre Specialists, we provide a comprehensive battery check - as well as stocking a wide range of car batteries for all popular car fitments. For more information, visit our car batteries page to book a free battery check, or contact us and visit us at one of our local garages.