Car battery jumper cables are heavy duty wires that are used to jump start, or give a quick boost of energy to, the dead battery of a car. This will not recharge a car battery in full, but it will give it enough energy to start the engine, which can get the alternator running. The alternator is an electrical generator that uses the engine’s rotation to generate energy which is then used to recharge the battery of a car while it’s running. The following set of step-by-step instructions will give you all the information you need to jump start your car. To do this procedure, you will need another car, so if you are stuck on the side of the road you will have to either flag someone down or call a friend to come help you.
Once you have another car owner who is willing to help you, drive the car with the working battery so that is is in front of your car and facing it so that the hoods are pointed together. Open the hoods of both cars, and while both engines are off, attach the red positive cable to the positive terminal of the dead battery, then the positive terminal of the good battery. Next, connect the black negative cable to the negative terminal of the good battery, then connect the other end to a non painted metal surface of the engine or the frame of the car with the dead battery. The negative side of car batteries are grounded on the frame so that you can do this to prevent a spark from occurring near the battery, which could cause an explosion.
Start the engine of the working car and let it idle for 30 to 60 seconds. This is to allow time for the dead battery to charge.
With the working car still running, try to turn on your car. If it doesn’t start you may need to adjust the cables for a better connection or allow more time for the dead battery to charge.
Once you get your car running, you can remove the cables from both vehicles in the opposite order from that which you connected them in. If you aren’t going to move your car, you should keep your engine running for at least five minutes slightly revved up, and another 20 minutes in idle. Otherwise, if you are going to drive the car home the alternator will have time to fully recharge the battery.
It is extremely frustrating to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with a dead car battery, so to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you, it is a good idea to keep a set of jumper cables in your trunk at all times. Don’t be tempted to save money by buying the cheapest jumper cables available. Cheap, thin jumper cables will not conduct as much power as thicker ones, and jumper cables that are too thin may not carry enough energy to successfully jump start your car, especially if you drive a big truck or SUV.