How to Jump-Start a Car

January 5th, 2024 by

Wondering how to jump-start a car? This is an essential skill for any Garfield Township-area driver to know when their vehicle won’t start. When that happens, it usually means that you need a jump-start, car battery service, or something similar. Learn the proper way to jump-start a car from the team at the Serra Volvo of Traverse City service center, and you won’t need to call a jump-start car service.

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How to Properly Jump-Start a Car

It’s easy for any Interlochen-area resident to learn the proper way to jump-start a car. All you need is a set of jumper cables and another vehicle. Ask a neighbor or friendly stranger for help if you only have one car. Otherwise, a jump-start car service like AAA can help. Then, follow these steps for how to properly jump-start a car: 

  1. Park the two cars so that they’re facing each other. Then, make sure they’re both off and have the parking brakes engaged.

  2. Find the batteries of each vehicle under their hoods. Some cars require that you remove a plastic hood to expose the battery terminals.

  3. Now, identify the positive and negative terminals and make sure they’re clean and free of any corrosion.

  4. Take your jumper cables and connect one of the red clamps to the positive terminal on the dead battery.

  5. Then, take the other red clamp and connect it to the positive terminal of the live battery.

  6. Connect the black clamp to the negative terminal of the live battery. 

  7. Connect the final clamp to an unpainted metal surface on your car’s frame. This is the “ground” and ensures electricity goes into the battery. Don’t connect it to the negative terminal; your car won’t jump-start.

  8. Now that everything is hooked up, stand clear and start the engine of the vehicle with the good battery. 

  9. Then, wait a minute and attempt to start the engine of the car with the dead battery. It may take a few tries, and if it doesn’t work right away, ask someone to rev the engine of the car with the live battery while you attempt to start the engine of the car with the dead battery again. 

  10. If the vehicle with the dead battery starts, leave it running. Without turning it off, carefully remove the jumper cables in the reverse order that you placed them on. Be careful not to touch the metal. 

  11. You can now shut off the car that helped you jump-start the dead car.

  12. Your engine recharges your battery, so keep it running for at least ten minutes. Otherwise, your weak battery may die again right away. Your owner’s manual will likely contain recommended waiting times.

What if My Car Won’t Jump-Start? 

It can be frustrating if your car won’t jump-start. It might mean that you need a battery replacement, but it could be a sign of something more serious. Here’s how you and other Kalkaska-area residents can check for themselves: 

  1. Listen when you try to start the car: If you only hear a clicking sound, you might have a malfunctioning starter. Schedule service at Serra Volvo of Traverse City and we can replace it for you.

  2. Check the electrical systems: Sometimes, the electrical systems of the car will turn on, but the engine will fail to turn over. This can be a sign of any number of issues including ones with the ignition switch, battery, starter, or a fuse. You’ll probably need a professional to check for you. 

  3. Make sure you leave the car running after the jump: Keeping your vehicle running after you jump-start it recharges your battery. If you turn off the car too soon, the battery may still be too drained. 

Serra Volvo of Traverse City Can Service Your Car

If your car won’t jump-start or you have questions about how to jump-start a car, contact our team in Traverse City. Our crew will be happy to help and our service specials can help you get a great deal on a car battery replacement!


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