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How to Jumpstart Your Car

When you find that your car isn’t starting, then chances are high that the battery is dead. This could be because it is old and has simply run its natural course, or maybe you accidentally left the lights on. Luckily, replacing the battery is easy as there are numerous sellers in the Philippines of mufflers, batteries and other car parts. Before making any replacements though, it’s best practice to be certain of which part is the problem and checking if it can still work.


Make Sure It’s The Battery

Before anything else, you have to make sure that a dead battery is the culprit. This is highly likely if you can’t start the car, or if the car starts but has a hard time moving if at all. Turn on the headlights to its brightest setting – dim lights can also indicate a dead battery.

Lastly, when you put the key in the ignition, the dashboard and radio should light up. These only consume a minute amount of battery power and should still work even with a dead battery. If they don’t light up, then you might not have a battery problem; it may be a problem with the ignition switch.


The Jumpstart Process

Once you’re certain that the battery is indeed the problem, then you may proceed with jumpstarting the car. In order to do this, you need to follow these steps precisely:

  1. Pop open the hood and check to see if the battery has leaks or crack in which case you should not push through with the jumpstart and call a towing service instead. Otherwise, locate the positive and negative terminals of the battery. Usually the positive is marked in red (with a red cable and/or post cover) and the negative in black.
  2. Get a working car and park it face-to-face with the dead car. Make sure these do not touch as it will be dangerous when the jumpstart begins. Turn off both cars.
  3. Wear safety gear – such as gloves and googles – if they are available to you. This is playing it safe as you may have to remove the battery cables to clean out any rust in the connection. You will also need this when removing any post covers on the terminals.
  4. Attach the cables that can handle a current of 100 amps. Note that you must not connect the clamps of one end if the other end is already attached to a working battery – doing so is hazardous. With that being said, make the following connections in this exact order:
    • Connect red clamp A to the positive terminal to the dead battery.
    • Connect red clamp B to the positive terminal of the good battery.
    • Connect black clamp B to the negative terminal of the good battery.
    • Connect black clamp A to a piece of grounded metal on the dead car
  5. Start the working car and let it sit for a few minutes. Do not race the engine but rev it a little after 30-60 seconds. This will charge the dead battery.
  6. Try to start the dead car. If everything was done well, then it should start. If it does not, then turn the engine back off. Remove black clamp A and wiggle the rest of the clamps to get a better connection. Put black clamp A back securely and restart the working car; this time leaving it idle for 5 minutes before trying to start the dead car again.


One of two things can happen: the dead car starts or it doesn’t. Here’s what you do for both situations:

Success: Remove the cables in the reverse order of which you placed it (starting with black clamp A first). Then keep the engine of the previously-dead car running until you get to a safe place. Before turning it off, rev it slightly for 5 minutes then let it be idle for 20 minutes afterwards. This will ensure that you have enough juice in the battery to start it again. If it doesn’t, then the battery is either dead or there is an alternator problem. Get it checked out to be sure.

Failure: Call a towing service.


It is important that you have this knowledge as well as the proper tools ready any time an emergency happens. Whether you manage to get it started or not, don’t forget to have your car looked at by your nearest car shop!


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