If you’ve been a driver for a while, you’ve likely seen how harsh winter weather can take a toll on your car battery. Maybe you were in a rush to get to work or had returned to your car after a long day to find your battery dead and your engine unable to start. Situations like these can occur to anyone at any time, and knowing how to boost your car can help you get back on the road faster than waiting for CAA to arrive.
Vehicle battery maintenance is essential to your car’s overall health. Functioning to both store and provide energy to many electrical components during start-up including the ignition and fuel systems, a healthy battery is key. Regular vehicle battery maintenance or a vehicle battery replacement from Jiffy Lube® prolongs your vehicle’s battery life, keeping all the components it runs clicking, blinking, honking and shining even during the harshest Canadian winters. Visit our battery maintenance and replacement services page or check out our blog on how to get your vehicle battery winter ready to learn more.
To successfully boost your car, you’ll need a few items – jump cables, a friendly stranger, and a donor car. Finding a kind individual to help you boost your car is much easier to find than jumper cables in the middle of an emergency, so make sure to keep these in your trunk at all times. You never know when you may need them!
The dead car is the one that needs the jump. When you hear ‘donor car’ that’s referencing the car that will be doing the jumping. Booster cables are the most important item as it allows the transferring of the battery power from one vehicle to another. Finally, the post is the point on the battery that the cable clamps will connect to.
An important safety tip before you begin the jumping process: Always make sure that both vehicles are in park and the vehicle contributing to the revival of the battery is shut off. Most importantly, never let the clamp heads touch each other at any point during this process.
Consider the red colour of your booster cables a ‘positive’ quality. Always connect the red clamps of your cables to the positive post on the battery of both the dead and donor car. Additionally you should find you have a cable with a black clamp. The black clamp is always connected to the negative battery post of the donor car and bare metal on the dead vehicle. A helpful tip – write out this information and store it with the jumper cables in your car so you don’t forget!
Before you connect those cables and try to start your vehicle pay attention to a few extremely important safety issues:
Even a seemingly dead car battery will maintain some charge. This means the “donor” vehicle will have plenty of power, and there is a potential for a shortage or sparking if the cables are mishandled. It is also recommended to have a pair of safety glasses in your car at all times. This will allow for the protection of your eyes in case sparks go flying in the air.
Connecting cables incorrectly can not only be dangerous, but can destroy some very expensive electronics, so pay close attention and take your time.
Car batteries rely on a corrosive combination of acid and water to store electric energy. Be extremely careful of any transfer of material from the battery to your hands or clothes, especially that powder-like white or light green residue around the terminals where you will be connecting the cables.
Now with a clear understanding of the function your cables, jump cables in hand, and a friendly person ready to help, follow the process below and begin to carefully to jump start your car:
- Connect red to dead +
- Connect red to donor +
- Connect black to donor –
- Connect black to dead, bare metal
- Start donor vehicle
- Start dead vehicle
- Disconnect in reverse (steps 4,3,2,1)
Here at Jiffy Lube we stress the importance of preventive maintenance. Before you get stranded curb-side or are late for an office meeting because your car won’t start, drive into your local Jiffy Lube and have your battery put to the test.
Drive In. Drive On.