How To Jump Start A Car?

How long does it take to jump a car? It will only take you a few minutes! Source: Cloud Front

Your battery is most likely dead if your car won’t start. In a situation like this, knowing how to jumpstart a vehicle can save you a lot of worry and get you back on the road, so you could go someplace where it’s safe to replace your car battery. In this guide, we will teach you the proper way to jump a car.

For a start, you need to have jumper cables. Ideal cable size is 4 to 6 gauge and 10-20 feet in length. You also need to have a functioning vehicle nearby but not touching your car with the dead battery. Make sure that both cars are turned off with keys removed before the jumper cable placement. Automatic transmission cars should be put to park while manual transmission vehicles should be set to neutral.

You may visit JC Whitney site for jumper cables:


  • Lay your jumper cables on the ground and make sure that the clamps do not touch each other.
  • Determine where the positive (+) and negative (-) posts of each car battery are. Aside from the plus (for positive) and minus (for negative) sign, the positive one is colored red while negative is black.
  • Get your jumper cables and, again, be very careful that the clamps don’t touch each other. Attach the red (positive) clamp of the other end to the positive post of the dead battery. Then connect the other red (positive) clamp to the positive post of the good battery.
  • Next, connect the black (negative) clamp to the negative terminal of the good battery. DO NOT connect the remaining black (negative) clamp to the dead battery but instead, attach it to an unpainted, metal part of the car. It could be an unpainted engine bolt or a bare piece of metal that is not attached to any electrical component under the disabled car’s hood.

Attache the negative clamp on a bare metal surface for a safe jump. Source: Art of Manliness


Once done placing the cables, start the engine of the functioning car first then proceed starting the dead car after 2-3 minutes. Revving the functioning car slightly while charging may help. Keep both the engines running while taking the jumper cables off.


Remove the jumper cables in reverse manner and do not let the clamps touch each other.

  • Disconnect the black (-) clamp from the metal followed by the black (-) clamp attached on the good battery.
  • Next, disconnect the red (+) clamp from the good battery and last, the red (+) clamp from the dead battery. Put the post protective covers back if applicable.

After removing the cables, keep your vehicle running for 20-30 minutes to have it sufficiently recharged.

If your car still won’t start, it might have another issue. It could be a bad starter or your battery needs to be replaced.

Author: JC Whitney

JC Whitney is the largest and oldest catalog and Internet direct-to-consumer auto parts and accessories retailer in America. Since 1915, JC Whitney has been filling the needs of customers by providing the right part at the best price. You can always shop with confidence at

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  1. Gosh, you’re driving down the road and the car suddenly stops running! What if, it happens while you are on your way to an interview, an important business meeting or a social function? Seldom do you have the time to get a family member or a friend to help at their convenience? You need jump start help immediately.

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    • Hi Jamaro! That’s a good point. Sometimes, there’s will be no available vehicle to help you jump start your car. Bringing a portable jump starter or a battery charger on the road may come in handy. You may check our portable jump starters here:

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