Almost all drivers know that a car with a dead battery can be started by jumping it from a car with a charged battery. Automotive batteries are designed to produce the high electrical current required to start the engine. This routine procedure can become dangerous if the jumper cables are connected improperly -- if the positive terminal on each battery is mistakenly connected to the negative terminal on the other battery. Damage will result from very high current flow, and possibly from incorrect polarity on the "dead battery" vehicle. Connecting the positive terminal of each battery to the negative terminal of the other battery will result in a huge surge of electrical current between the two batteries. This will cause the batteries to heat very quickly, and in lead-acid type batteries -- the most common type -- it will result in the generation of a large amount of hydrogen gas within the charged battery.
A battery may fail for a number of reasons, some of which could present a hazard to anyone who tries to jump-start the battery. Here are four quick checks professional technicians and car lovers alike should do before trying to jump-start a battery. Check your safety. Work in a well-ventilated area away from smoke, sparks or flames. Remove jewelry or accessories, including watches, rings and necklaces. Put on appropriate hand and eye protection.
How to Use Jumper Cables and Jump Start a Car the Right Way
It is inevitable that a dead battery can happen to anyone. Nothing is worse than being stranded with a dead battery and having to wait on someone to come help you. Jumper cables can be a life-saver and you can do the saving by following a few simple steps. Open both cars hoods and locate the batteries within both of them.
When your car doesn't start, you most likely have a dead battery and the fastest way to get back on the road is a quick jumpstart. This simple trick takes less than five minutes and only requires a set of jumper cables and another vehicle that is running. If you've never got around to learning the particulars of jumpstarting a car, or the ins-and-outs of doing it safely, we've got you covered.