Alberta & BC Rockies Battery & Electrical System Maintenance - Using Jumper Cables

When your car won't start and you've determined you need a "boost" to get the engine turned over. Here are the basic steps.

  1. Park the vehicles so that they are close enough for booster cable.
  2. Examine the batteries and systems in both vehicles. THEY MUST be the same voltage (either 6 volt or 12 volt)
  3. Review jump-starting procedures in Vehicles Owner manual. If manual is missing or no procedure is specified, then follow these instructions. If the Owner's Manual says something different, FOLLOW THE MANUAL.
  4. Don't jump-start a damaged battery.
  5. Vent caps are on tight and level.
  6. Place damp cloth over vent caps on both batteries.
  7. Be sure vehicles do not touch and ignitions are off.
  8. Turn off all accessories on both cars. This means headlights, radios, flashers, or any other items running from the battery.
  9. Set the emergency brakes in both cars.
  10. Place one red clamp of the booster cables on the positive post of the dead battery. Remember this post will be marked "plus" (+) for positive.
  11. Place the red clamp on other end of the cable on the "plus" (+) post of the good battery.
  12. Connect one of the black clamps of the booster cables on the "negative" (-) post of the good battery.
  13. Connect the remaining black clamp to the engine or some metallic surface of the stalled car. This is the "ground." It is important that the clamp be as far away from the battery as possible and none of the cables are in the way of any moving engine parts.
  14. Start the engine of the car from which you are getting a boost. Rev the engine slightly for a few seconds
  15. Start your engine. If the vehicle does not start after cranking for thirty seconds, stop the procedure. Some mechanical adjustments need to be tried before retrying (time to call a tow truck!)
  16. Remove the clamps in the reverse order they were applied. Start by removing the black negative clamp on the engine of your car, then remove the black negative clamp from the booster car. After that remove the red clamp from the booster car and then lastly remove the red clamp from your car.

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