Jumping a battery is always the fastest option for getting your car running again. However, you’ll need another car and person to help as the job requires linking two cars with jump leads.
If you have a friend or family member you can call to help, give that a try if you know what you are doing. If no one is available to help, you can use WhoCanFixMyCar.com to find quotes from mechanics in your area to fit a new battery for you.
What to do when you car battery is dead?
How to jump start a car with a dead battery
If you really are stuck and can’t get hold of a mechanic to jump your car for you, here are the steps you need to take to get moving again. Remember, you need to be extremely careful when carrying out the following steps as you’re dealing with high voltages.
If you see that the battery is cracked and is leaking acid, DO NOT ATTEMPT to jump-start the car as you will be putting yourself in serious danger.
- Park the car with the dead battery nose-to-nose or parallel to the another car and open the bonnet of each vehicle.
- Take the red positive jump lead, connect one end to the positive terminal on the dead battery (as shown below) and the other end to the positive node on the live battery on the other car.
- Do exactly the same using the black cable, attaching each end to the negative nodes.
- Start the engine of the rescue car and allow it to run for roughly 10 minutes. This will charge the dead battery of the other car.
While the rescue car is still running, attempt to start the car. If it won’t ignite, leave the car for a few more minutes and try again. If this does not yield results in 30 minutes, there will likely be another problem preventing your car from starting.
Warning: Be careful around your battery
Do not hold both ends of the cables and attach to the battery, you’ll get the entire voltage of the car battery hitting you and that will be game over!
Don’t touch any of the metal terminals either, you’ll be French fried in no time…
What causes a car battery to die?
There are a number of reasons a battery could die, the most common are;
- Leaving your headlights, interior lights or radio running for prolonged periods while your car is stationary.
- If you don’t use your car for a long time, the battery will die as it won’t get charged by the engine.
- The failure of the diode bridge or voltage regulator in the alternator. This is down to the fact that the alternator is responsible for charging the battery when the car is running so if it is malfunctioning, the battery will die.
- If the temperature drops well below zero degrees, the battery could freeze!
Find a mechanic to diagnose or fit you battery
It goes without saying, but make sure not to leave any of your electrics running for an extended amount of time when the car isn’t running, as this is the easiest thing you can do to avoid your car battery dying.
Remember, the easiest way to get you car moving again is to enlist the help of a professional.