A User's Guide To Jump Starting Their Car

We've all been stuck somewhere with a dead battery, our car sputtering and clicking away in stationary failure. Whether it's a parking lot at the local library, the drop-off zone in front of the school, or even in the driveway, no place is a good place to have a dead car battery. So what do you do to get going again? The answer lies in a couple of cables you probably already have in the back of your trunk.

How To Jump Start a Car

Don't worry; you can get your car moving again without much trouble. If you have a jump box or another car that is ready to help, grab your jumper cables. Even if you've never jumped a car before, you'll be able to recharge your battery and eventually leave the spot you're stuck in without breaking a sweat. Take some deep breaths and relax. It's not very complicated, especially because we've broken the process down into a few simple steps.

How to Jump Start a Car Using Another Car

Once you've got your jumper cables and a helpful hand, you're ready to begin making your car moveable again.

  1. Park the helping vehicle at the head of the car with the dead battery if possible. Adjacent but close enough for the cables to clamp both batteries works as well.
  2. Before you go any further, activate the parking brake on the stationary and helping vehicles, and make sure both vehicles are off and no longer running.
  3. Firstly, find the positive and negative terminals on the car battery that's not holding a charge. Make sure they're free of debris and absent of corrosion, which should be easily visible.
  4. Begin by attaching a red clamp on the jumper cable to the red (positive) terminal on the car battery that is not running.
Make sure none of the four clamps touch each other at the same time they are connected to a powered-up battery.
  1. Uncoil the jumper cable and attach the remaining red clamp to the red terminal of the battery from the working car.
  2. Then, hook one of the black clamps of the jumper cable to the black (negative) terminal on the battery from the running car.
  3. The 4th and final clamp, your 2nd black/negative clamp, can be attached to the dead vehicle's negative terminal on the battery. If the distance is an issue, clamping that connector to another bolt in the engine compartment is acceptable. Make sure your "helper bolt" is free from rotating parts, pulleys, and belts.
  4. After starting the vehicle with the good battery, let it run for a couple of minutes before trying to start the car with the dead battery.
  5. If your vehicle was previously up and running within the last hour or so, starting may be effortless. If you go to start the dead vehicle and nothing happens, hold the accelerator pedal down on the good vehicle at approximately 2500rpms for about two minutes.
  6. With your helper continuing to hold the accelerator pedal on the good vehicle at 2500rpms, go ahead and give starting another try.
  7. If your vehicle has been depleted overnight, you may have to hold the accelerator pedal down on the good vehicle for close to 10 minutes before attempting to start up.
  8. With your vehicle finally started and running, unclamp the jumper cables from the batteries in the opposite sequence you put them on, starting with the grounded cable. Secondly, remove the other black clamp from the helping vehicle's black terminal. Then, take the red clamps off of the terminals, beginning with the helping car's battery. Remember, the ends of the jumper cables cannot touch until none of the clamps are connected to any battery!

Finally, let the freshly jump-started car run and charge up for more than 30 minutes before heading out. After charging up, you're free to take your car in for service or head home to schedule an appointment in a less frenzied environment.

Can you jump start a car on your own?

Jump starting your vehicle on its own is possible with a fresh jump box or car battery pack. You can attach your jumper cables on it just like you would on the battery of the running car in the traditional setup. To jump start a car with a battery charger, follow the previously mentioned steps with the battery charger acting as the other car. Ensure that your charge box is set from "Charge" to "Start/Boost (or equivalent)."

How can you start your car with a dead battery?

Jump start a car using another car as mentioned initially, or jump start a car with a battery charger. If your car battery doesn't hold a charge, you'll need to schedule service as soon as possible. Our vehicle technicians will be able to tell you if a Volvo battery replacement is necessary or if the root of the problem is in the starter, alternator, ignition circuit, or another part. If you need to order Volvo parts, we suggest taking a look through our inventory before you go anywhere else.

Where do you put the jumper cables?

After attaching the red clamp to the red (positive) terminal on the dead battery, pinch the red clamp around the red (positive) terminal of the already-working battery. When this is complete, connect the black jumper cable clamp to the black (negative) post on the battery of the operable car. Lastly, hook up the other black clamp to the negative terminal on the dead car's battery or a "helper bolt" if cable distance is an issue. Now you know how to jump start a car!

Who can you call for a jump start?

Roadside service may be able to help get you up and running again. Give them a call if you find yourself stranded with a dead battery. But, the best defense against a dead battery is one that is pre-emptive. You'll never have to ask how to jump a car again if your battery is maintained with proper planning. If you've recently seen the red battery warning light come on or have experienced a shimmer in your headlights at night, it's time to get ahead of an impending starting/charging issue. Those are the early warning signs. Easily schedule Volvo service online or by giving us a quick call. Consistently monitor the condition of your car under the hood, including corrosion or other wear on your battery. You can avoid jump starting your vehicle by having one of our vehicle technicians consistently make sure your car is up to date. Whether you're concerned about how your car is running right now or just want to avoid the stuck scenario we've dove into here, come visit Volvo battery services in Charlotte, NC.

We can't wait to see you out on the road!

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