The car uses a number of power sources like gas and the battery. Without the battery, there are so many things that you would not be able to do, like turning on the lights, using wiper blades, listening to the radio or even using the air conditioning in your car. As a matter of fact, when the battery is dead, you will not be able to start the car.
What Causes the Car Battery to Die?
There are a number of reasons why the car battery may die out. It is important to note that the battery will keep recharging when you are driving and as such, it cannot be drained. However, when you leave your keys in the ignition, not close doors or even play the radio for longer hours when the car is static, it may drain the battery. The other common cause for dead batteries for most car owners is leaving the lights on when the car is parked.
Fortunately, you can easily start the car using jumper cables, with the help of another car that is running. However, you should establish that the problem is actually the battery, before making any conclusions. If you have put your key in the ignition and the car cannot start and have also tried putting on the lights and they cannot come on, then, there is a very high likelihood that the battery is actually dead and will need to be boosted.
If you are not really sure, it is advisable to call in professional mechanics to handle the issue. For instance, you may get a cranking sound in the engine, which may not be caused the battery. There are also instances where you may get a clicking sound, which does not come from the engine. In such instances, you should be very careful and not attempt anything that you are not sure of.
How To Use Jumper Cable For Car?
As long as you have established that, actually, the battery is dead, you can resort to the use of jumper cables. You should start by ensuring that you have all the tools and equipment needed to jump start the car. The most important items being the jumper cables and a car that has a functional battery, which will be used for jump starting the engine.
You should examine the jumper cables so as to ensure that they are not broken and can be used to transfer power from one battery to another. If you can get gloves and safety glasses, it would also be ideal to enhance the safety. Here are the steps to follow if you want to start the car using jumper cables.
Step 1: Start by getting a car that will help you in the process of jump starting the car battery. Park both cars facing each other, with a distance of about a foot between them.
Step 2: Turn off all the electrical appliances and components that are in the car with the dead battery. This includes wipers, radio, lights, fan, air conditioning and any other that uses the battery as the power source.
Step 3: Pop the hood of both vehicles and ensure that the booster vehicle has its engine running, which keeps recharging the battery. You should be able to identify the battery with so much ease as it is conspicuous. Examine the batteries on both cars and the things to look out for are the positive and negative terminals. The positive terminal has a plus sign (+), while the negative terminal is marked with a minus (-) sign.
Step 4: The process of being able to figure out the cables is quite critical in jump starting. Usually, the jumper cables will be marked in different colors, which makes it easier to identify them. In most cases, the cables will be in two colors; red for positive and black for the negative side. You will also find the cables market with the + or – signs for easier identification.
Step 5: When you have identified and figured out the cables, the next step if the connection. You should be cautious with this step since there is a greater risk if the cables are not matched in the right manner. You should match the jumper cables in the correct manner, this means that you will take the clamp of the positive cable and place it on the positive terminal of the dead battery. The other end of the cable should be attached to the positive terminal of the booster car. The same should be done for the negative jumpers and ensure that they are well connected. These cables have current and as such, you should be very careful when handling them.
It is advisable to connect to the dead battery first so as to avoid any potential hazards. When everything checks out, you should connect to the dead battery. Be careful not to touch other components of the engine with the live wires.
Step 6: While the engine of the functional car is still running, let the jumper cables stay connected for a while. You can rev up the car for a few seconds, which will help in charging the dead battery. The engine should be running so that the active battery can maintain its charge. After a while start the engine of the dead battery and it may take a couple of starts to ignite. When it starts, you should let it run for a while so that it can charge up the dead battery.
Step 7: When the car has recharged, you should remove the jumper cables and be cautious so as to prevent the cables from touching each other. It is advisable to take the cables from the car that was jump starting the dead battery, first. If you are planning on driving, you can leave right away, but if you do not need to drive off, leave the car running for at least half an hour so that the battery can recharge fully and avoid problems later on.
These are the steps that will help you start your car successfully. If the next time you come back to the car you still need to jump start it, then it means that your battery or alternator is dying gradually and you should consider replacing them. Essentially, when it comes to using jumper cables to start the car, the most critical bit is knowing how to match and attach the cables.
The car battery has a high voltage, which may shock you and also cause serious damages if not handled properly. As mentioned earlier, it is important to establish what actually drained your battery so that you can prevent it in the future. However, if the battery keeps dying even when you have taken all precautions to avert this, then it means that the alternator in the car may not be working as required, or the battery needs replacement.
If you have connected the jumpers and the car does not start when you ignite the engine for more than 4 times, you should consider calling in a mechanic to diagnose the problem and give the right solution.