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Car Battery, Jump Starting

Updated on June 21, 2014

Necessity or luxury

A car is not considered an investment. The depreciation once it is driven off a car lot is about $3000.00 on average.

The resale value plummets with every year, every accident - dent or otherwise and keeps you locked in at a monthly payment that can go on for years even though the car is no longer even worth what it was when it was purchased.

Yet, it is a necessary item in most of our lives especially if we don't live on a bus line, can't ride to work or school and have lives where that one car can not be shared.

Therefore most of us consider a vehicle a necessity. Despite the rising cost of gas and upkeep, we feel we need to find ways in which to fit a car payment or the maintenance of one in our budget.

While other's consider it a luxury and still more consider they can have both because of the amount of time they spend driving, for work or pleasure, makes the price worth it.

The luxury of a vehicle takes on a whole new meaning when one starts assessing what luxury is?

Luxury factors

  • Brand
  • Gadgets
  • leather
  • heated seats
  • self start ignition
  • sunroof
  • convertible
  • paint job, color
  • extras
  • other electrical innovations

Saving money

Trying to save money? Pay off some debts? Stretch out the use of an old hand me down car that has proven to be reliable until now?

Choose to drive an older car? A clunker? A lemon?

You know the type, that first car you get as a teenager or desperate person, that has been passed around in the family because it really has no re sale value worth speaking of, but can still take you from point A to point B.


Yet at least it can. So you are grateful, even though it can be frustrating.


  • When is it time to say enough is enough though?
  • When your safety is at risk?
  • When you start investing more money in that jalopy just to keep it running, at least more than it is worth on a regular basis?
  • When it is more of a hassle than it is worth?
  • When you can no longer really trust in it's reliability?
  • When you start having to invest in expensive gadgets to keep it going, in the hopes that it will get you safely from point A to point B.

After you get the answers, do the negative outweigh the positive, saving money? If not it is time to reevaluate the benefits, the pros and cons of what you are doing and make a decision based on all those new factors.

Alternative concessions - things to consider...

  • Maintenance expenses
  • Insurance
  • Gas prices

other transportation options

  • bus
  • carpooling
  • train o rail

Older cars

Older cars can be both a luxury and a necessity with little or no hassles.

If they are well maintained in their previous lives. With their previous owners.

Beyond just wear and tear that comes along with age, many of the older vehicles most of us either inherit or purchase have been abused.

  • Not maintained
  • battered accessories
  • old batteries
  • old spark plugs
  • oil changes neglected
  • brakes not replaced

These haven't been changed or taken care of especially when you are dealing with people who aren't real car care givers. You know the type.

  • washing
  • waxing
  • changing oil
  • changing spark plugs
  • careful drivers, bumps, scratches, dents and dings
  • alignment, hit curves

Those people deserve second or third hand vehicles, as long as they are safe!

Easy car care

Teaching a new driver as much as possible about the maintenance of a vehicle is just as important as teaching them how to drive the vehicle.

Beyond making them an educated car consumer with some savvy, protecting them from the rip off artists, known as mechanics, it also gives them a better sense of independence.


  • pumping gas
  • checking their oil and fluids
  • checking their tires, pressure
  • changing their tires, removing and replacing
  • listening for irregular sounds
  • replacing windshield wipers
  • washing and waxing the car
  • jump starting the battery

This also makes them more responsible. More careful.

Teaching the driver little things about a vehicle they are driving, makes them more self sufficient as well, especially when they have the tools to do it on their own.


The vehicle's power is generated from the battery.

Sometimes it needs a kick start as long as it's only the battery.

Sometimes it is something else, like the starter, loose wires or the alternator...

How to tell

  • sound,
  • that dreaded click, click, click
  • or others but no turning over of the engine
  • lights flicker

Jump starting a battery

Car to car

jumper cables

These are cables that have clamps at both ends of the wire that are attached to both vehicles

Plug in or portable battery starter

  • Plug in, can be attached in a cigarette lighter or a power outlet
  • Portable, is a battery charged up with two clamps, positive and negative

Charging a battery

  • this can be done by driving the vehicle
  • at a auto mechanics shop on a machine

Reasons for a jump

  • cold temperatures
  • left something on, run down battery
  • connections loose
  • not enough power getting to battery
  • alternator

How do you jump start your battery?

See results

Actual Car battery

The battery is the heart of the car.

Which pumps the necessary juice into the engine and the electrical system so that it runs or puts out the necessary power to move


  • Square shaped
  • black
  • Two poles, positive and negative, black and red.

On newer cars you may only have one pole. But no matter what type of vehicle you drive a battery is necessary to power it, if that battery fails for any reason so does the car.


  • coca cola
  • vinegar
  • baking soda and a tooth brush

Apply Petroleum jelly to slow down the corrosion.


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