If the battery of your car suddenly dies and you can’t start your car, the easiest way to get your car back up and running is through jump-starting your car. But do you really know how to do it?

What is jump-starting?

The starter of your car uses the car’s battery as a power source to start the engine. Then when the engine is running, it recharges the battery of your car back to its maximum capacity.

But when your battery is empty or low on voltage, there may not be enough power to successfully start your engine, so an external power source is needed to help start your car’s engine. This may be caused by forgetting to turn off the electronics of your vehicle while the engine is not running (e.g. forgetting to turn off the lights). But after jump-starting your car it will slowly recharge your battery if it is still in good condition.

How to jump-start a car?

An essential tool needed to jump-start a vehicle is jumper cables, two wires, usually one red and one black with alligator clips on both ends of the cables, to connect the external power circuit to the car.

First find an external power source, which could be another battery from a running car or an external power supply, and be careful not to connect the jumper cables wrongly or it will short the circuit and might cause a fire.


  1. Connect the red jumper cable to the positive terminals of your car’s battery, then the positive terminal of the external power source.
  2. Connect the black jumper cable to the negative terminal of the external power source, and to a bare metal part of your car as ground.
  3. Start the external power source, then try to start your car’s engine. If it doesn’t start, try again after a while.
  4. After starting, keep your engine running and disconnect the jumper cables in reverse order, from removing the black jumper cable from your car and the external power source, then the red jumper cable from your car and the external power source.

Once you get your car started, if the battery is in good condition, keep it running or drive it around for a while to get the battery recharged, or you will need to jump-start it again when you turn off the engine.

If your battery is dead, once you get your car running it can still operate until you turn off the engine, where you will then need to jump-start it again. So take this time to return to a safe place or find a workshop that can help you replace your battery.

How the jumper cables should be connected

Things to take note of

Most car batteries operate at 12 Volts, which is incompatible with 24 Volts or 6 Volts batteries and power supplies, so keep this in mind if you are trying to jump start your car with a big vehicle or an external power supply.

If you’re unsure of how to jump-start a car, take your time and find out how or ask for help, as batteries have enough power to shock you if done incorrectly, something you do not want to encounter.

There are services that deliver and help swap your dead batteries, so this is another viable option if you are in need of help, and depending on the situation might be a better option.