Starting your car and a great little tips

It’s inevitable. You’re leaving work, more excited than usual because you have big plans for the night and your car betrays you. Turn the key and …nothing. The engine doesn’t turn over, the interior lights don’t come on, and absolutely nothing happens. It may be stating the obvious, but your battery is dead and is in serious need of a charge. Not to worry, a few necessary items will have the battery doing its thing in no time.

The process of jump starting a car is relatively simple and only requires a few tools. The first thing you will want to find is a friendly volunteer. This kind person is an absolute must. Without their permission to use their car’s battery, yours will remain dead in the water so to speak. The next tool you will is a good set of jumper cables. A quality set will be made with multiple strands of copper wire and the alligator clips should be copper as well. Jumper cables should be a part of every car’s emergency kit. You never know when you or someone else may need them. The last thing you may want to consider having on hand is a pair or two of protective glasses. At the very least, protect your eyes with sunglasses or prescription glasses just in case.

Now that the necessary tools are in place, park your car and the volunteer’s car as close together as possible. Front end to front end is the best bet if you can arrange it. Open the hoods of both cars and find the respective batteries. The next things to locate are the batteries’ terminals. Luckily it is fairly standard in the automotive industry for positive charges to be marked with a + and negative with a -.

All of the necessary parts have been located and it’s time to hook it up. The two car’s batteries need to be attached with the jumper cables with positive to positive and negative to negative, but most prefer negative (on car running to metal engine piece in car not running). This is all pretty self-explanatory so far right? Red jumper cable attaches to the positive charge on both batteries and the black goes with the negative. Once the cars are connected, the car with the operating battery should be started. Double check to be sure the cables aren’t interfering with any of the engine’s belts or pulleys. Leave the good battery car running for a few minutes to charge the dead battery. After a decent interval of time try to start the other car. If it doesn’t start right away, check the jumper cables for any corrosion or dirt that may be interfering with the charge. Also be sure the claps are attached tightly to the battery post. These steps should correct the problem and you are on your way to a fully charged battery.

To complete the charge let the recently charged battery idle for a few minutes to fully charge. Turn off both engines and remove the battery jumper cables. The newly charged battery should have no problem starting the car.

You’re off and running and your evening plans aren’t ruined after all. Jump-starting a car is usually a quick process and knowing how will make any driver’s life easier.

Also make sure to note your car batteries lifetime, because when 60-months comes around, be sure that your battery will start to fail in the near future, and this is one repair worth the $40-$80 battery upgrade before it fails a second time. A tow can cost BIG BUCKS and if you feel that $3 per gallon is expensive try paying $2.50 per MILE for the tow.