Unless you took driver's ed in high school or grew up with a parent that knew about regular car maintenance, you may not know how to jumpstart your car if you have a dead battery. This is an especially important skill to have when living in Sioux Falls, as you don't want to be stranded on the side of the road with a dead car battery in mid-January. If you don't know how to jumpstart your vehicle Vern Eide Motorcars is here with some helpful tips.
Nothing can jumpstart a car faster than a set of jumper cables. These cables are inexpensive (around $20), easy to use, and with a little help from another vehicle, they can get you back on the road quickly. First thing's first, call a family member or friend or ask a fellow motorist if they will help you jumpstart your car. Second, follow the steps below to get back on the road quickly:
1. Depending on the length of your jumper cables, have the donor car (healthy battery) park as close to your vehicle as possible.
2. Open the hood of each vehicle.
3. Put both cars in Park or Neutral and shut off the ignition of both vehicles.
4. Attach the red alligator clip to the positive (+) terminal of the dead battery.
5. Attach the other red alligator clip to the positive (+) terminal of the healthy battery.
6. Attach the black alligator clip to the negative (-) terminal of the healthy battery.
7. Attach the other black alligator clip to an unpainted metal piece of the car with the dead battery. You may also use the negative (-) terminal of the dead battery.
8. Start the donor car with the healthy battery and let the engine run for a few minutes.
9. Try to start your car.
If/when your car starts don't shut off the engine. Remove the alligator clips from both vehicles and let your car run for 10 to 20 minutes.
If you need to jumpstart a car in the rain it's perfectly safe and you shouldn't worry about being shocked or electrocuted. Although the wetness of rain and snow can seem intimidating during a jumpstart, your vehicle's electrical system doesn't have enough voltage to cause electrocution and the water between your battery clamps and terminals will not cause a short circuit. Connecting your jumper cables in the rain is safe, as long as you follow the same guidelines as you would during dry conditions.
The Internet has plenty of tips for jumpstarting your car using household items, including stringing AA batteries together and using the battery from your power drill. We don't recommend either of these methods, but one household item could be a temporary solution when the problem is related to battery corrosion. If you have a can of Coke, pouring the soda over the battery terminals can break down any corrosion, rust, and tarnish that has built up between the battery clamps and terminals. Remember, this is just a short-term fix and you should address any car battery issues as soon as possible.
Jumpstarting a dead car battery can get you back on the road quickly, but when it comes time for a battery replacement or you would like to get your car battery tested, schedule an appointment with any Vern Eide service department and we'll take care of you.