When your car runs out of juice and you find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere, this is of course one of the most distressing and upsetting things that many of us experience. It of course means we’ll be late wherever we’re going and it’s not exactly fun to sit stranded in the car and probably the cold and the dark. At the same time it can actually be quite dangerous if it’s late or if you have been forced to pull over on the motorway, so it’s imperative you get started again.
There are many reasons that your car battery may have run out. It can be a result of your leaving a light on for instance while you were parked which will then drain the battery. At the same time it can be a result of your alternator stopping working properly which causes the battery to stop charging. Or if it’s cold and the battery itself is old then it can simply drain on its own.
Whatever the reason though, your priority is of course to get home and this means getting just enough power to help you do that. To this end you will want to jump start the car, which will give you power from someone else’s vehicle, which will then be enough to let your car charge itself more as it drives as long as your alternator is working. Here’s how to jump start your vehicle.
First of all you are going to need a pair of jump cables. If you’re smart and have experienced this problem in the past, then you should keep jump cables with you in the car. However if you don’t have a jump cable, then you can instead wait on the side of the road in the hope of flagging down someone who does.
Next you need to turn off your car and open the hood. You should know how to do this, but in case you don’t it’s normally a matter of first releasing it using a button on the inside of the car, and then unhooking it underneath at the front. More detailed instructions will be in your manual.
You will then want to prop the hood open using the hook that is attached on the inside, and then do the same with the working car.
Now taking the jump cables you want to use the metal clips to attach to each battery. These can be found inside the hood normally toward the front and may have a little lightning sign on them. Usually there will be two bolts on each battery and these will be marked as positive and negative or possibly red and blue (red being positive in this instance). You then want to connect like to like so that ‘+’ is connected to ‘+’ and vice versa.
Again if you have any trouble finding where to connect your batteries, you can look inside the instruction manuals for each car.
Now you want to start the working car running first and give it a couple of moments before attempting to start the car you want to jump. You should have just enough power to start the ignition and get driving and from here your aim is to keep driving for a good while so that you can give the car back some charge again.
Todd Ramos has been using a portable garage for his various automobiles and finds them very effective for protecting them in all types of conditions.