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How to Jump Start a Car

Just last weekend I was camping when my family, we were having a terrific time (despite all of the flies) until it came time to head home. We had spent hours that morning folding things up into the smallest bags imaginable (how on Earth do sleeping bags actually fit back in the bags that they came with?) and wedging everything carefully into the car. It’s exhausting, packing up a campsite!

Now, I don’t know if this happened when we first arrived or as we were placing everything back inside the car, but as my husband turned the key of the car we heard that awful “click” that only means one thing: the battery is dead. I wanted to panic, (really, I did!) as we were in the middle of nowhere and our closest neighbors were just visible up on top of a remote hill.  However, I kept my cool and we turned the event into a teaching lesson: How to Jump Start A Car 101.

**For story’s sake, we ended up walking to the neighbor up the hill and they came and gave us a jump!


Here’s What You’ll Need:

-Jumper cables

-A running car or a power source of some kind.

Step One:

After you’ve found a pair of jumper cables, you will want to put each car into park, with both parking brakes engaged. Turn off the ignition on both cars.

Step Two:

 Attach a red clip to the positive terminal (it will be red or have a + or a “pos” on it) of your battery. Next, attach the other red clip to the positive side of the car assisting you.

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Step Three:

Now, you will want to attach the black clip (the negative terminal) to the negative side of the car assisting you. Once attached, you will want to place the black clip on an unpainted piece of metal, on your car NOT attached to the battery. Many will put it on the metal poles that hold the car hood open.

Step Four:

Start the car that is giving you the jump. Let it run for a moment or two before starting your own engine. If your car does not start, you will want to keep the other car running for five minutes before trying again.

Step Five:

Drive around for at least fifteen minutes after receiving the charge so the alternator is able to fully charge the car battery.

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