With cold weather comes the risk of a dead battery, especially if you’ve been driving around with one over 5 years old or there’s been other issues with the electrical system. Because of that, it’s important to know what to do in the event of a dead battery so you can jump start your car.

First of all, you’ll need jumper cables and an additional source of energy. While most people think of using another vehicle for this, it can be done with a portable jump battery if you have one. If you’re using another car, make sure they have a matching voltage battery type for best results, typically 12V or 6V, and then line the cars up side-by-side or front-to-front. They need to be close enough for the cables to reach. Then, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the ignition in both cars.
  • Get the cables ready. Attach one of the cables to the positive side of the dead battery and make sure the same color is attached to the other’s car’s positive side.
  • On the helper car, attach the other negative cable to the negative side of the battery.
  • On the car with the dead battery, attach the last cable to a stabilizing area like the engine block or a different metal surface that’s not the battery.
  • Have the helper car turn on their engine and let it go for a few minutes to charge up the dead battery.
  • After those couple minutes, have the car with the dead battery try to start. If it does start, then let the car run for a couple minutes itself to continue charging the battery.
  • Unhook the cables in the reverse order that you attached them. Once that’s done, and the car is drivable, then the task should be done.
  • If the car does not start, recheck that the cables are correctly attached. Even if the cables are correctly set up, there’s a change the car might not start if the battery is completely shot. In that case, a local car repair shop will need to be called so they can tow your car into the shop for a battery replacement.

After you’ve dealt with a dead battery, it’s essential to get the charge checked. It’s most likely got a low charge that could cause another dead battery issue in the near future. To avoid that, it’s time to call a local service center for a replacement battery.

Give us a call at Superior Service Center if you’re dealing with a battery that won’t restart or you suspect the charge is low. We’re located in Eagan, MN and Apple Valley, MN, and have been serving the area since 1982.