If you drive a car, you should know how to jump that car and get back on the road safely. The sad thing is, plenty of people don’t know how to do it, even though they drive. It’s an important life skill; sure, there are mechanics and such, but you should be self-sufficient too!
So that’s why we’ve put together a handy guide for you. Plus, you’ll need a few gadgets to finish the job, and we’ve got recommendations. To be safe, you should have some essentials in your car at all times! Take a look and find out just what it’ll take to jump your car and get it back in the road.
You will love our editor’s curated product picks! FYI: We are an Amazon affiliate partner and may get a share of the sale of your purchase (at no cost to you).
Position a healthy battery near your car (not touching). Make sure you’ve read the users’ manual for both. Then you’ll want to turn off your car’s ignition and set the parking brakes; place automatic transmissions in “park” and standard transmissions in neutral.
You should have some safety glasses.
These DEWALT safety glasses have a full frame with larger lenses so your eyes have more than enough coverage while you work. Plus, the rubber nosepiece means you can wear them longer and in more comfort.
You should also have safety gloves.
These DEX FIT gloves are totally cut-resistant, lightweight, and durable. They’ve got a snug fit and they’ll protect your hands no matter what you’re doing – including while you’re applying jumper cables to your car battery.
You’ll need to clamp one end of the positive (+) booster cable to the positive (+) post of the dead battery. Then, clamp that same cable’s other end to the identically marked post (+) of the booster battery.
Connect the negative (-) booster cable to the other post of the booster battery. Finally, connect the other end of that negative (-) booster cable to the engine block of the stalled vehicle, make sure it’s away from the battery.
To do that, you’ll need a portable external battery.
And the good news is, a powerful portable battery is totally affordable on Amazon! This one can jump start most 12 volt vehicles on the road, including cars, motorcycles, watercrafts, ATVs, UTVs, SUVs, lawn mowers, yachts, boats, and more. It comes with jumper cables, and even has USB ports to charge your devices too!
Getting just the jumper cables is super easy, too.
You can score these 16 foot-long Energizer jumper cables (complete with a neat carrying bag for organization in your car) for just $16. These cables are specifically designed to be functional and reliable even at extreme temperatures as low as -40°C, so you know they’ll never give out on you!
You might also need a good flashlight.
Whether it’s dark out, or you just need to make sure you’re seeing everything right underneath the hood of your car, it’s best to have a good flashlight on hand too. Take this Gearlight LED tactical flashlight: it’s ultra-bright and long-lasting, perfect for working with.
Then it’s time to turn on the booster battery. Once it’s turned on, let it run for a few minutes and charge up your car’s engine. After a little time passes, you can try restarting the disabled vehicle.
Once everything is all set, you can remove the cables in the reverse order of connection – and be extremely careful not to let the cable clamps touch each other or come in contact with car parts.
With that done, you will have successfully jump-started your car!