How to Jump-start a Car: Using and Removing Jump Leads

STEP 1: First, you’ll need to park the car with the fully-charged battery so that it’s facing the car with the flat one. Leave enough space between the two so that you can open both bonnets and connect your jump leads to each battery.

STEP 2: Once you’re in position, put your gloves and goggles on and attach the red ‘positive’ lead to the positive battery terminal on the working car. Look out for a ‘+’ symbol next to the terminal. Then, connect the other end of the red lead to the positive terminal on the flat battery.

STEP 3: Once the red cable is connected, grab the black ‘negative’ one and connect one end to the negative terminal on the charged battery (the one with the ‘-‘ next to it).However, do not attach the other end to the negative terminal on the dead battery. Instead, clip the clamp onto a piece of solid metal away from the fuel system and battery. Some cars will have a specific area known as an earthing rod, so check your owner’s manual to see if your car has one of these.

STEP 4: Now that you have all four ends of the jump lead cables attached, wait five minutes. After you’ve done this, start the engine of the car with the charged battery and let it run for a minute. Leave it running, and then try and start the car with the flat battery. If it doesn’t start within five minutes, wait another couple of minutes and try again.

STEP 5: Once the car with the flat battery is running, leave both car engines on for 10 minutes. Then, remove the cables in reverse order (shown below). Just make sure you don’t allow the clamps to touch any metal or each other as you take them off:

Black lead attached to car with flat battery off
Black lead attached to car with charged battery off
Red lead attached to both cars off
All leads fully detached from the car, taking care not to touch other metal components when removing.

STEP 6: Leave the car with the newly charged battery running for 20 minutes or so, then take it for a 30-minute drive before parking it up again. Your battery should now be fully charged and the engine will hopefully start up first time the next time you want to drive!

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