How To Boost A Dead Battery

We've done Parking Lot Mechanic before, and that was both great and great fun. But I am no certified mechanic, nor do I have a parking lot, so why not kick back, relax, and watch some movies?

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Boosting a dead battery is another one of those basics that all drivers should know. In the course of the life of a car, it's almost a certainty that you would need to give the battery a bit of a jump to get you going again.

It used to be that the number one cause of battery death was that you left your headlights on overnight. That's less of a threat these days, with many cars turning their headlights off automatically, but it still happens. A battery will eventually die if a car is not driven for a sufficient amount of time as well, and boosting the battery would be your first step in getting it back on the road.

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Not to worry, though, as it's actually pretty easy if you have jumper cables. Just remember to be safe, put the clamps in the proper place, and try to avoid zapping yourself.

Last time we did this we learned how to change a tire. Of course, if this kind of thing is too easy we'll be getting up to the tougher stuff pretty soon. Remember, we all have to start somewhere.

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DISCUSSION

This dude obviously does not know how to safely jump a car,
DO NOT FOLLOW HIS INSTRUCTIONS because you NEVER EVER WANT TO TRY TO START A CAR THAT IS CONNECTED BY JUMPER CABLES TO A RUNNING CAR!
( This may cause one of the alternators to feed back which can fry the electrical system of both cars, and yes I have seen a friend do this after telling me that I was full of s###, both cars needed to be towed and my friends needed part of the electrical harness and alternator replaced. )

The safe way to jump a car is:
0. With the working car running:
1. Connect the red cable to the dead cars positive terminal on the battery.
2. Connect the other end of the red cable to the working cars positive terminal on the battery.
3. Connect the black cable to the dead cars negative terminal on the battery.
4. Connect the other end of the black cable to the working cars negative terminal on the battery.
5. Check to see that dead car now has good power without attempting to start it.
6. Wait 20 minutes while the running car charges the dead car's battery.
7. Turn the working car off.
8. Attempt to start the dead car.
9. If does not start, go back to step #5.
10. Remove the black cable to the formerly dead cars negative terminal on the battery.
11. Remove the other end of the black cable to the working cars negative terminal on the battery.
12. Remove the red cable to the formerly cars positive terminal on the battery.
13. Remove the other end of the red cable to the working cars positive terminal on the battery.