More and more cars are starting not to have the battery in the engine bay, so how on Earth do you jump start it if you have to?
A jump start is a method of starting a car that has a discharged or dead battery. A temporary connection through jumper cables is made from a healthy battery to a bad one where the healthy battery supplies electrical charges to the bad one and provides enough power to crank the engine.
Knowing how to jump-start a car should be part and parcel of being a motorist because you never know when you might need to help someone who has a dead battery, or even yourself.
Jump starting a car is a straightforward process or it's supposed to be at least; that's if the battery is exposed. But with more and more modern vehicles hiding their batteries in locations where it is inaccessible, it can get a bit mind-boggling and tedious.
Before learning how to jump start a car that doesn't have an exposed battery, you must know the basic method first.
If the battery is exposed, it's pretty much a simple process. Be sure that both cars are off at the beginning of this process.
- Clamp one end of the positive (RED cable) jumper cable to the positive terminal on the bad battery.
- Clamp the other end of the positive cable (RED cable) to the healthy battery.
- Clamp one end of the negative (BLACK cable) jumper cable to the negative terminal of the good battery.
- Clamp the other negative (BLACK cable) cable to a clean unpainted metal surface in the engine bay of the other car with the bad battery. Some tend to clamp the end of the cable to the negative terminal, but it's best practice not to do so as it may ignite hydrogen gas directly over the battery.
- Start the car that has the healthy battery; run for 2 to 3 minutes before starting dead car.
- Remove the jumper cables in reverse order. Keep the jumped car running for at least 30 minutes to give battery sufficient time to recharge. Drive it around for about 30 minutes.
When vehicle manufacturers decide to stuff the car's battery in inaccessible places, they did come up with a backup plan. They are usually in the form of an auxiliary battery terminal in the engine bay. The process is the same as the one mentioned above but instead, you will be doing this through the auxiliary terminal.
An auxiliary battery terminal should be in the engine bay and would look like something in the picture above. They are often not coloured red so lookout for a positive symbol. Remove the cap or plastic piece and clamp the positive cable there. The rest of the process is similar to the exposed battery method. Just make sure you find a naked part (paintless) of the engine bay for the negative terminal. Sometimes a bolt can also be used.