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Jump Starting A Car: Push-Start + Start Box + Leads

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If your battery is dead, you need to jump start your car. Here are the best methods, from push starting, to start boxes, to doing it with and without leads.

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  • Jump Starting A Car: Push-Start + Start Box + Leads

If your car battery has died, then your vehicle won't start. This can leave you stranded at the worst times, forcing you to rely on the help of passers-by or calling mobile battery fitting services. If you can jump-start your car, however, then you can allow the battery to naturally recharge itself and safely drive to a garage, should you need extra help.

The most common way to jump-start a car is with leads. But what if you don't have those in your vehicle? Let's explore all the ways you can jump start a car, including methods such as:

  • Push starting
  • Using a jump-start box
  • Jumping with leads

How To Jump-Start Your Car With Jump Leads

To jump-start your car the "traditional" way, you need a second car. This may include a friend's, neighbour's, or helpful stranger's car. You will also need leads, either your own or those provided by the helper.

  • Make sure your vehicle and theirs are close enough for the leads to reach.
  • The cars should not be touching.
  • For safety purposes, turn off the ignition and electrical equipment in both cars.
  • Ensure the gearstick is in neutral and the handbrake is on.
  • Open up both bonnets and use the hood strut to keep them open.

Now for the complicated part.

  • Take the red jump lead and connect one end of it to the positive terminal on the flat battery.
  • The other end should be connected to the positive terminal on the "boosting" battery (the battery giving your car some help).
  • Next, take the black jump lead and connect one end to the negative terminal of the boosting battery.
  • The other end of the black jump lead should be connected to either a metal bolt or a bracket on the engine block of the car that needs to be restarted.
  • Make sure that the lead is a good distance away from the battery itself.

Warning : This can be a dangerous process. It is essential that the lead running between does not touch any vehicle metal or any moving parts in either engine. If you aren't confident in navigating the different parts of a car battery, contact your local Autofusion for help.

  • After waiting three minutes for the voltages on both batteries to equalise, the engine of the booster vehicle can be started.
  • Once started, let the engine run at a fast idle speed.
  • In the meantime, start the engine of the flat-battery car and check that everything is running properly.
  • If the engine on the flat-battery car appears to be running fine, then switch the engine of the boosting vehicle off.

At this point, you should check that your newly jump-started vehicle is capable of running on its own. Switch on the:

  • Air con
  • Heater
  • Lights
  • Heated rear window
  • Any other electrical parts

If they work fine, then your jump start has been successful. You can now dismantle the connection.

  • Disconnect your jump leads in reverse order to how they were connected — essentially reversing the steps.
    • That means you take off the black and then the red, one end at a time.
  • After the leads are successfully detached and the bonnets are down, you should be able to drive away.
  • It will take a while for the alternator to fully charge up the battery now that it has been jump-started. As such, keep your engine running by going for a drive and trying not to stall.

How To Start Your Car Without Jump-Start Leads

There are two ways to jump-start your car if you don't have leads. Let's explore how to perform these techniques in detail:

How To Push-Start Your Car

Push-starting - also known as "bump-starting" or "pop-starting" - is a way of starting your car by pushing it. Instead of using a battery-powered starter motor or gaining power from a booster vehicle, the engine is bumped to life by force.

To perform this method, you will need:

  • A short distance on a flat surface
  • One or two helpers, depending on the weight of your vehicle

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Instruct your helper to stand at the rear of the car and get ready to push when needed.
  • You should get into the driver's seat and start the ignition.
  • Leave the handbrake on and push the clutch in.
  • Next, quickly shift to second gear, press the brake, and release the handbrake.
  • Bring your foot off the brake and have your trusty helpers start to push.
  • When you reach 5 mph, release the clutch sharply.
    • Don't worry, the engine may splutter and the car might "jump," but this is a good sign; it shows the engine is engaging.
  • If you're lucky, the engine will start.
  • If not, repeat the steps above at a slightly higher speed.

How To Use A Jump-Start Box

Jump-start boxes are miniature, portable batteries with their own jump leads attached. Jump-start boxes are much safer than jump leads themselves. That's because they have built-in safeguards to prevent harmful voltage spikes from occurring. To use one, you should:

  • Make sure your jump-start box is fully-charged itself. If it isn't, you must wait until it has topped up.
  • Check whether your jump-start box comes with integrated cables. Most do, but if not, attach the cables to the correct posts — positive and negative.
  • Similar to actual jump leads, connect the red lead clamp to the positive post of your dead battery.
    • This will be indicated by either a "+" symbol or a red cover.
  • Then, connect the black lead clamp to a grounded, unpainted, metal surface on the frame of your car.
  • With everything properly connected, switch on the jump-starter box.
  • After a couple of minutes, start your vehicle.
  • The car should start straight away, but if it doesn't, then wait a few more minutes so the battery has time to charge.
  • Once the car has started, you're good to go.
  • Turn off the jump-start box and remove the leads in reverse order

Recommendation : Be sure to charge your jump-start box after use to avoid being caught short in the future.

Get Help From Skilled Professionals

If your battery consistently fails to hold charge, you may have a more serious problem. In this case, be sure to schedule a free battery health check with the experts at Autofusion. Our experts are happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have about your car's battery,