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Main Street Mechanic, Established 2005

How to Jump Start Your Car In Winter

two people working on engine in the snow

Jump starting is often the best way to start a car with a dead battery. It doesn’t fix the problem with the battery, but it should allow you to drive your vehicle to World Class Auto Repair to be diagnosed and repaired. This sounds easy enough, but have you ever learned the proper and safe way to jump start your car? We’re going to cover the essentials in this post. 

To be able to jump start your vehicle you’ll need a pair of jumper cables, and we encourage you to always keep a pair of jumper cables in your vehicle in case of emergencies.  Standard size jumper cables are 6 gauge, and you can pick up a pair at most stores that sell car parts. You’ll also need a functioning vehicle to use for the jump-start. 

The most important part of any car maintenance is safety. Make sure that small children and pets are a safe distance away from the engine compartment. Read through the owner’s manual for your vehicle to make sure extra steps aren’t required. And always keep in the mind when you’re jumping your car, the idea is to send an electrical current from one car to the other using the cables, so care must be taken once the clamps have been connected to the terminals. 

Park the vehicles next to each other with both vehicles off. Open the hood of each car and locate the battery terminals (they’re usually covered in red or black, and/or have a + or – sign).

Attach one red clamp of the jumper-cables to the positive terminal of the dead battery. The positive terminal is usually covered in red and/or marked with a + sign. Make sure you have a solid connection with the terminal. 

Attach the other red clamp to the positive terminal of the working vehicle. Again, the positive terminal is usually covered in red and/or marked with a + sign. Make sure you have a solid connection with the terminal.

Attach the black clamp onto the negative terminal of the working battery. The negative terminal is usually covered in black and/or marked with a – sign. Make sure you have a solid connection with the terminal. 

Attach the last remaining black clamp to a clean nut or bolt on the engine block of the vehicle with the dead battery. The ideal placement would be an unpainted metal part of the car. This helps to ensure a safe jump. 

Start the working vehicle and let it run for a few minutes. 

Start the dead vehicle. If it doesn’t start right away, allow the running vehicle to charge the dead battery for a few more minutes and try again. If that still doesn’t work, try slightly revving the engine. This can increase the amount of current flowing through the jumper-cables. 

Once the car is started, disconnect the black jumper cables first. Do not let the clamps touch each other or any other part of the car. 

Drive the car that has been jumped started. The battery in your car needs time to be recharged by the alternator, so at the very least take the car around the block a few times. 

Bring your car in to World Class Auto Repair. There are many reasons a car needs to be jump-started, and the issue will need to be resolved so you’re not having to continue to rely on jumper cables to start your vehicle. We have the tools and expertise to diagnose the issue and get it fixed right the first time. 

If you have any problems jump-starting your car, give us a call. We can help you figure out the best options for getting you back on the road again.

Box CarMain Street Mechanic




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337 West Main Street
American Fork, UT 84003