How to jumpstart a car
Live Well for Less
Learn how to jumpstart your car with VCC's auto service technician program department head Jason Devisser.
What you'll need:
- Jumper cables
- Car with a working battery
- Park the car with the working battery nose to nose with the car with the dead battery. Turn off the engine of the working car. The cars should not be touching.
- Open each car's hood and locate the battery. If unsure of the location, check the car's manual.
- Identify the positive terminal (marked with a "+" sign) and the negative terminal (marked with a "-" sign).
- Inspect the batteries to make sure there are no cracks, leaks, etc. If both batteries look intact, proceed to step 5. If either battery is damaged, call a tow truck.
- Get the jumper cables out and ready, always making sure the red and black clamps don't touch once connected to the battery.
- Connect the jumper cables to the batteries in the following order:
- Connect one red clamp to the positive "+" terminal of the DEAD battery.
- Connect the other red clamp to the positive "+" terminal of the GOOD battery.
- Connect the black clamp to the negative "-" terminal of the GOOD battery.
- Connect the other black clamp to a piece of grounded metal on the dead car, such as the intake manifold.
- Start the working car and let it idle for a few minutes. Rev the engine lightly for 30-60 seconds.
- Try starting the car with the dead battery. If it doesn't work, allow another few minutes of charging before starting the car with the dead battery.
- Once the car starts, disconnect the jumper cables in the following order (reverse order from when they were attached):
- Remove the black clamp from the grounded metal on the car with the DEAD battery.
- Remove the black clamp from the GOOD battery.
- Remove the red clamp from the GOOD battery.
- Remove the red clamp from the DEAD battery.
- Keep the car running for at least 20 minutes before turning it off.
Don’t forget, VCC's auto body shop is available if you have any questions.
You can find more information about VCC's auto service programs at www.vcc.ca/auto