Dealing With a Dead Car Battery

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in Defensive Driving Online

You are ready to hit the road when you jump in your car, turn the key in the ignition and wait for the rumble of the engine, but instead you hear nothing. Silence. A dead car battery is an unfortunate, yet commonplace technical problem that most drivers have encountered at some point. Instead of letting a dead car battery ruin your plans, take matters into your own hands and follow these simple steps to jump starting your vehicle.

 

1.      Find a vehicle with a working battery and a set of jumper cables to perform the jump. Keep these cables in your trunk at all times, so you are prepared for this situation or in the event that you need to aid another driver.

 

2.     Park the running car near the front of your dead car so the cables can easily stretch and connect the batteries in both of the vehicles.

 

3.      Turn the ignition off in both vehicles before connecting the cables to prevent any unwanted surges that can damage the electrical system in either of the cars.

 

4.      Locate the positive (+) and negative (-) side of each battery in both vehicles. These should be clearly marked, but you may have to wipe off residue to clearly see the indicator if the battery is older and worn.

 

5.      Attach the red cable to the positive side of the good battery and its positive counterpart on the bad battery. Next, attach the black cable and the negative side of the good battery and the other clamp to any metal section in the dead car, such as an unpainted bolt. According to Auto Trader.com, you should avoiding connecting the clamp to the negative side of the dead battery is an important step to prevent sparks from flying in the vicinity of the explosive hydrogen gas that emits from the battery.

 

6.      Start the engine in the car with a good batter and allow it to run for a couple minutes to help build up a charge in the battery.

 

7.      Try to start the engine in the dead car. If you have done the process correctly, the engine should fire right up. If not, you may need to allow it to charge up for a few more minutes.

 

8.      Turn off the vehicles and carefully disconnect the jumper cables. Be sure you do not allow the black and red cables to touch at either end while they are still connected to the other battery.

 

According to the Car Care Council, extreme temperatures are a major contributing factor in shortened battery life, so amidst this summer heat, be sure to have your battery checked out if it is older than 3 years or if you are planning on taking a long trip.  

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