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How to Jump Start a Car

Updated on May 28, 2012

This is a booster pack

Read how to jump start your car

So you get in your car, you turn the key....click click click click.........."DAMNIT" Thus is the story of you leaving something on in your car while you go to the Edmonsons for a late night cold water swim. So now you need to jump start your car and you aren't sure how to do it. Well there are 3 ways to actually do this. You can use jumper cables, a jumper box, or if you have a manual transmission car you can do the push and clutch pop technique. Lets go through them.

First you have your basic jumper cables. Jumper cables are two long conductive cables with red and black clamps on the end which you use to put on your battery post and send power from one car to another connected through these two cables. Before buying battery cables, make sure they are high quality. A lot of people buy battery cables that are really thin and really cheaply made clamps at the end. You want to have very very thick. I feel that anything other then 4 gauge wire or larger isn't worth it. If your cables are too thin then all the power going through them can heat them up too much and actually cause them to melt or catch fire. That is not a good thing at all so make sure they are nice and thick. The clamps should be very heavy duty. They should have good insulation around them, feel thick and not cheap. You want them to be heavy duty because they have a lot of current going through them. OK so now you know what to look for, lets get to jumping that baby.

I always connect the bad battery first. The black part of the cable goes to the negative post of the battery. To know this there should be a black cable going to it, BUT TH IS ISNT ALWAYS TRUE, keep that in mind. But there should be a negative symbol next to the battery post. The red cable goes to the positive battery post and there should be a "+" there telling you its the positive post. So hook that up and then get the other two clamps on the other battery in the other vehicle. When handling the cables never touch them together and never touch them to anything metal on the car. This can cause a spark and if you leave it there it will short out and cause a fire. So now that you have everything hooked up turn on the car with the good battery and leave it in park and give it some gas till about 1.5 to 2 RPMs on your tachometer. Ok so now you got the first car running and warmed up let the dead car soak up some voltage for a minute or two then just start it up. If it is a good battery and hasn't been sitting for a few days or week then it should start up no problem. After it's started up let it sit for a bit so that you can get both cars up to proper voltage. Jumping a car can damage the diodes in the alternator but its very unlikely just a little FYI. Disconnect everything very carefully and you're good to go.

Next we have the jumper box or booster pack if you wish. Basically its a little portable battery that pumps out a lot of voltage to get your car running. If you buy one it should have good long heavy duty cables and good clamps just like the jumper cables. The nice thing about jumper packs is that they are portable, rechargeable and you only need yourself to use them. Now lets learn how to use it. Well basically all you do is hook it up like the cables to the proper post and you're good to go. Just hook it up making sure not to let them touch or touch any metal and then you start the car. Once the car gets running let the jumper set to recharge itself. Then take it off and off you are driving into the sunset.

Lastly probably the most funny way of starting a car. First you'll need a manual transmission car, someone to push, and someone to drive. Sometimes you can do it by yourself but it gets kinda tricky but it makes for a great story. First you need to put your car in neutral and start pushing. Once you get going about 5 mph or so run, jump in your car and push in the clutch and put it into 1st gear and then let off the clutch real fast and the car should start up with a little bucking. What your car is doing is catching the gear and turning the flywheel which makes your car start. Its basically what your starter does when the battery is working. By doing this you're just using mechanical energy to start it, rather then electricity. So all you do is push, jump in the car, put it in first and let go of the clutch, once you do that give it some gas so it doesn't die. This is probably one o the funniest things to watch so if you see someone doing it, i recommend stopping and watching.

So now you know how to jump start your car. I hope you find this useful and be sure to check out my other automotive hubs. leave a comment if you need any more info.

Check out this video on jump starting a car

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