How to Safely Jump Start a Vehicle

There is nothing worse than coming outside to your vehicle, turning the key and hearing nothing but a click. A dead battery can be a big hassle and indicative of a larger issue with your vehicle. If that is the case, it is best to have your dealer examine the vehicle to make sure there are no issues with your battery or electrical system. But if you simply left your lights on and the battery drained, a simple jump start should have you back on the road in no time.

It is important to make sure you are safely and correctly jump starting a vehicle so that you do not cause damage to either vehicle or more importantly, harm to yourself. Follow these steps to get your car up and running again.

1. Get Set Up
You will need to park the live vehicle as close as possible to the dead vehicle so that the jumper cables will reach the two batteries. Raise the hoods and access the batteries on each car. Make sure that the battery terminals are clean and properly fastened before attaching the cables. Otherwise you may not be able to jump start the vehicle.

boosting a battery

2. Hook up the Cables
Two important things to remember while hooking up the cables. Make sure both vehicles are turned off (the engine of the live vehicle and the ignition of the dead vehicle) and that the positive and negative clamps of the jumper cables NEVER touch. It is best to hook up the cables as follows:
Red(+) post on dead vehicle
Red(+) post on the live vehicle
Black(-) post on the live vehicle
Grounded metal or Black(-) post on dead vehicle

3. Start the Live Vehicle
Once everything is securely and properly connected, you can start the live vehicle, allowing the engine to idle for a few minutes. You can slightly rev the engine for 30 to 60 seconds to help get a charge into the dead vehicle, but do not excessively rev the engine. The cables may not be able to handle the current going through them.

4. Start the Dead Vehicle
Attempt to start the dead vehicle. If it starts, you can then remove the cables in the reverse order to how you attached them, again making sure to never let the ends of the cable touch. You should allow the dead vehicle to run for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the battery to charge again.

5. Troubleshoot
If the dead vehicle does not start, you need to check to make sure all of the cables are connected properly. Turn the ignition of the dead car off and the engine of the live car. Carefully check to make sure all 4 cables are connected properly. Once checking the connection, you can restart the live vehicle and allow the vehicle to run for a while, to charge the dead vehicle.

If after all of this, the vehicle does not start, there is likely a larger issue with the vehicle. You may need a new battery, have an electrical problem or need to clean the terminals. If you do not feel comfortable doing any of this, make sure to contact your dealer to have them inspect and fix the problem.

Contact the Eagle Ridge GM Service Department at (604) 461-4949 or