Anyone with a new driver in the family wants to be sure that they're doing everything possible to stay safe in the road. And, as the weather gets colder, there is so much more to cover: how to winter-proof your car, how to drive cautiously in ice and snow, and how to trouble-shoot cold-weather problems. For example, if the key turns and the car doesn't start, it's likely the battery that's the problem.
Jump-starting your car's dead battery is easy and safe. You can do this. Car won't start because of a dead battery?
What now? It might seem like your battery is dead, but if the lights and electrical systems are still running, your battery might just need a jump start. Follow these steps to give your battery a boost and get back on the road.
You're running late for an important meeting, party, date, event—you name it. You jump into your trusty ride, twist the key, and click-click-click-click. You're not going anywhere. It's the sickening sound of a dead battery, exactly when you don't need it.
It should tell you where the battery is and how to access it. To hook up jumper cables, park the donor vehicle next to the vehicle with the dead battery, turn both vehicles off, and set the parking brakes. Next, clamp one of the red clamps onto the positive terminal of the dead battery, then secure the other red clamp to the positive terminal on the donor battery.
When your car doesn't start, you most likely have a dead battery and the fastest way to get back on the road is a quick jumpstart. This simple trick takes less than five minutes and only requires a set of jumper cables and another vehicle that is running. If you've never got around to learning the particulars of jumpstarting a car, or the ins-and-outs of doing it safely, we've got you covered.
Anyone who has been driving for a reasonable length of time will have almost certainly experienced the sinking feeling that comes with finding out that your vehicle has a flat battery. An automobile battery should have an average life of somewhere between five to seven years if correctly maintained. Further down the line you will have to find out why this has happened, what has caused the battery to fail, is it just flat or is it dead?
Being stranded with a lifeless car is never fun, but getting back on the road is relatively easy. Thankfully, all you need to get moving again is a set of jumper cables, a second vehicle with a good battery, and a few minutes to work. There are basic precautions to take, such as making sure you hook up the two batteries in the correct order, but learning this skill will almost certainly save you time and money sooner or later.
What could be worse than walking out to your car after a long day of work only to have a dead battery. Maybe you left an interior light on or your battery has simply reached the end of its life. Either way, car batteries don't typically give you signs of trouble until it's too late, and then your car just won't start.
There is a persistent rumor that circulates regularly about how it isn't safe to jump-start a car, or that it isn't safe to use a jump box. While there is a grain of truth in this rumor, in that you can do a whole lot of damage to your car, or to yourself, if you hook things up wrong, using a jump box is perfectly safe in most circumstances. If you connect everything the right way, and you take all the necessary precautions, there is very little to worry about. There are three major sources of danger when you jump-start a car, and they both apply whether you use another car or a jump box as the source of power.