Car Care Essentials: Jump-Starting Your Car

There are a few basics that you need to know as a driver, and how to properly jump-start your vehicle ranks near the top. Nobody ever expects their battery to die, but extreme temperatures can do a real number on your battery, and Arlington certainly sees its fair share of extremes. Here's what to do if you should find your car unresponsive:

  • Park the car that's helping you pointed nose-to-nose with your vehicle, about 18 inches away. Put both vehicles in park, set their emergency brakes and turn the "good" car's engine off.
  • Connect the jumper cables, starting with the red cable. Attach one end to the dead battery's positive terminal, then the other to the assisting car's positive terminal. Connect one end of the black cable to the negative terminal on the working battery, then ground the other end by clamping it to a metal section in the car that has the dead battery.
  • Start the working car, and slightly gun the engine as you let it run for a one or two minutes. When you attempt to start your vehicle, don't try to start it more than three or four times in a row – otherwise you might damage the electrical system.
  • Once your vehicle is running, disconnect the cables. Remove them in the reverse order of how you connected them, taking care not to let the clamps touch.

Finally, take a short drive and let the battery recharge to full capacity. To ensure that your battery is in proper working order, schedule an appointment to let the expert technicians at our Service Center take a look.

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