Jump Starting a Battery
Unfortunately, a battery can give out at the worst possible time
That’s why it’s important to have a good working knowledge of how they function, and how to get them going again so you’re not left stranded with a car that won’t run.
WHAT TO DO
If you car won’t start, turn off the lights, the air conditioner or heater, and all other electronics before attempting to jump start the car. Remove the terminal cover and any corrosion before attaching the red/positive cable to the corresponding terminal on the dead battery, and then repeating this action on the assisting battery. Pay close attention to the order of these connections, since that’s the most common cause of unsuccessful battery jump starts. Make sure the clamps are in firm contact.
Attach the black/negative cable to the assisting battery and the other end to an exposed metal portion of the disabled vehicle’s engine compartment, away from the battery. Be especially careful not to attach it near the carburetor. Start the assisting vehicle, and then the disabled vehicle. Let both of them idle for three minutes, then disconnect. The jump-started vehicle should run for about a half hour in order to fully recharge the battery. If the battery dies again after jump starting, it likely needs to be replaced entirely.
Batteries may contain sulfuric acid, or produce oxygen and hydrogen gases that could explode on contact with a spark. The National Safety Council confirms that eye injuries are the most common issue with batteries mishaps, due to escaping acid or battery fragments. Thousands of people become injured, and some are even blinded, according to the
Sight and Hearing Association. That’s why your car’s emergency kit should include some sort of eye protection, for those times when you need to check, jump start, clean or replace your battery.
Other common injuries include burns, painful skin irritation and even scarring. The lung’s mucous membranes may be damaged when fumes are inhaled, and ingested acids can result in death because of injury to internal organs. Check your car battery regularly for any damage or wear. Buy and carry jumper cables that are color coded, at least 12-feet long and approved and tested by the Society of Automotive Engineers. Along with safety glasses, pack along a flashlight and, if needed, a handy guide for jump-starting a battery.