A man standing over the engine area of a vehicle with his hands placed on the ends of two jumper cables as he attaches it to the terminals on a car battery.

First, Let’s Assess the Situation

You just hopped in your car, went to crank the engine, and had no luck. Maybe you’ve known your battery was due for an upgrade or you pulled the classic “left the overhead light on overnight.” Regardless, you have some great prospects whenever it comes to troubleshooting this situation. 

Almost all automotive stores will help you pick out and install a battery for free. This is a convenient option to consider once your car has had a jump start and is back to being operational. Before you can work on a long-lasting solution, you’ll have to navigate how to jumpstart the battery. Luckily, your pals at Pop-A-Lock have created a handy guide to refer to if you find yourself stranded with a dead battery.

Step One: You’ll Need Jumper Cables

A pair of jumper cables is the smartest thing you could carry with you in your vehicle. Jumper cables are thick, have proper insulation, and clean clamps for prime effectiveness. They usually also come with a practical guide on how to use them – if not, here’s a printable PDF to keep with your set of cables.

Step Two: Let’s See What We’re Working With

It’s time to open the hood of your vehicle. If you open it but aren’t immediately struck with the awareness of where the battery is, don’t panic. The car’s owner’s manual will have a description of where you can find it. Once located, familiarize yourself with which terminal is the positive one and which is negative.

Step Three: Find Some Help

Jump starting your battery requires assistance from someone willing to let you use their battery for help. Once you’ve found a person happy to help, get them to park their car next to yours so you can ensure the cables reach between the two car batteries. Depending on the situation, you may need to turn on the car’s hazards for safety. Afterwards, turn both of the vehicles off to continue.

Step Four: The Technical Part

This next step requires some precision. First, you want to take one positive (red) jumper cable end and clamp it to the dead battery’s positive terminal. Clamp the other end of this red cable to the positive end of the car giving the dead battery a boost. Connect the negative (black) end to the negative battery terminal on the booster car. Next, attach the other end to any unpainted metal surface on the engine with the dead battery – this could be a nearby bolt, bracket, or even the other negative terminal.

A photo of two sets of jumper cables, colors red and black, attached to the negative and positive terminals of a car battery.

A few essential tips to consider: 

Make sure the negative cable end is not touching any metal surfaces – only the negative battery terminal.

Double-check all signs on the cables and terminals are giving and receiving the proper signs. 

If the battery is corroded, twist the clamps enough to penetrate the corrosion and touch the metal beneath.

Step Five: Time To Test It Out

Once you’ve double-checked that all the jumper cable ends are connected to the correct terminals, start the booster vehicle. Let the car idle for a few minutes to charge the dead battery – revving the engine of the booster car can sometimes speed up the charging process. Once you believe the battery is charged enough, start the vehicle receiving the charge to see if it worked.

Step Six: Final Steps

Now that your car’s battery has a charge, the last step is to carefully remove the negative jumper cable attached to the formerly dead battery’s negative terminal first. Not doing this step could cause damage. Experts suggest driving the car around for at least 15 minutes after being jump-started to complete the charging process. You’ll need to bring your vehicle to a nearby auto shop for a professional to test it and determine if you need a new battery.

How Can Pop-A-Lock Help?

Our company offers its services 24 hours a day, 365 days out of the year – which means if you are ever without help after your car battery dies, our team will happily give you a jump start. We even carry heavy-duty cables for larger trucks and hard-to-start vehicles. Visit our website to get in contact with us!