Driving Smart: How to jump-start your car

Cars.com's Matt Schmitz provides a quick rundown on how to jump-start a car.

Winter is coming — and we’re not talking about the ominous refrain from “Game of Thrones.”

We are, however, talking about the season of sore throats, frozen pipes...and dead car batteries.

If you do find yourself turning the key to no avail, here’s a quick rundown on jump-starting your car.

• Park the assisting car nose-to-nose with yours, about 18 inches apart. Make sure that both vehicles are in Park, and that their emergency brakes are on and their engines are off.
• Clamp one end of the red cable to the dead battery’s positive terminal and the other end of the red cable to the functioning car’s positive terminal.
• Attach the end of the black cable to the working battery’s negative terminal, and the other end to a metal section such as a bracket or bolt away from any moving parts to ground it in the dead car.
• Turn the ignition and start the working car, and let it run for one to two minutes, revving the engine slightly.
• Now give your car a try. It may take a couple tries, but don’t try to start it more than three or four times in a row, as this could damage your car’s electrical system.
• Once the dead car is running, disconnect the cables in the reverse order you connected them. DON’T let the clamps touch.
• Now take a quick drive to let your battery charge to full capacity so it will start it again next time.
• If your car refuses to start after a few jump attempts, it may be due to battery corrosion or a problem with your fuses, generator, ignition switch or starter connection.
 


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