Dos and Don'ts of Jumper Cable Use

Properly connected jumper cables

Properly connected jumper cables

Should you find that you've left the lights on overnight or you’ve tried to start your vehicle and it won’t crank, you probably have a dead battery. A simple jump-start may be all that you need to get the vehicle restarted.

Here’s a couple quick tips to follow should you find yourself in need of a jump.

Do: Do make sure the jumper cables you have are in good condition. Check for frays, tears or anything that looks suspicious. If you’re even slightly concerned, use another set.

The Dos and Don'ts of Jumper Cable Use

The Dos and Don’ts of Jumper Cable Use

Don’t: Do let the cables dangle from your car. If they are connected, they have a charge. If that charge hits a puddle, you could be electrocuted. If the cable drops down toward your fender, it could cause a spark or fuse to it.

Do: Do make sure to attach the cables to the proper terminals. Connect the red (+) positive clamp to the red (+) positive post of the dead battery and donor car battery. Connect the black (-) negative battery clamp to the donor car’s black (-) negative battery and the other to a large, unpainted metallic part of the dead car’s engine block. Connecting the second clamp to the (-) negative post could lead to sparking, which could cause the hydrogen gas from the battery to ignite and possibly explode.

Don’t: Don’t keep attempting to start your car once it’s been jumped. There could be a much bigger underlying issue, and you should contact an automotive professional.

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