We’ve all been there (or dread being there): you get in your car, turn the key, and… nothing. You try again and STILL nothing. Of course, this usually happens when you are already running late.
Last week, we looked at what you need to do if you think you have a flat battery and when it is safe and appropriate to try to jumpstart your car. This week, we will take you through a step by step guide to jumpstarting. Read it, pass it on; you never know when this knowledge might come in handy!
As discussed last week, in order to jumpstart your car you will need another car (not a hybrid or e-vehicle) and a set of working jump leads.
- Position your cars so that they are not touching but the batteries are in easy reach of each other. (side by side is usually good). Make sure that both cars have their ignitions OFF and their handbrakes ON.
- Take the red jump lead and connect it from the positive (+) terminal of the working battery to the positive terminal of the flat one.
- Connect the black jump lead from the working battery’s negative (-) terminal to any earthing point that is well away from the battery and fuel system (e.g. unpainted metal on the chassis).
- Wait three minutes, then turn on the engine of the working car. Let it run for one minute.
- Turn on the engine of the car with the flat battery.
- Allow both engines to idle for ten minutes or so.
- Turn off the engines of both cars, carefully disconnect the jump leads in the opposite order to how they went on (black lead from your car, black lead on the negative of the working battery, followed by the red lead on your battery and finally the red lead on the working battery). Be careful that the leads don’t touch each other or either vehicle.
- Start your car. Your battery should now have enough power to start your engine. If it does start, take it for a good drive around, preferably without lights, aircon, heating or radio (unless you need lights or demister for visibility). If your car doesn’t start, you need a new battery – call a battery specialist, your local garage or a vehicle recovery service.
Once your battery has run down once, it is more likely to do so in the future. Speak to your local garage, who will be able to advise the best course of action for you based on the age and condition of your battery.