Best Practices for a Safe, Successful Battery Jump Start

Sometimes even the best battery needs a jump start. Maybe it was because an accessory was inadvertently left on or the equipment hadn’t been started in a while. While a dead battery is undoubtedly an annoyance and a delay, the good news is it’s usually a quick fix. All that’s needed is another fully charged battery nearby, jumper cables, and a little know-how. To ensure a successful jump start without hurting the good battery, the dead battery, or yourself, follow these jump starting steps exactly and in order. Before you get started, though, first familiarize yourself with these battery safety tips, then prepare to jump start.

How to Jump Start a Dead Battery

  • Confirm that batteries on both machines are the same voltage — never mix voltages.
  • Ensure any vent caps are tight and level. Place a damp rag over the vent caps of both batteries.
  • Make sure the two machines do not touch, and that the assisting machine is turned off.
  • Connect one end of the positive (red) booster cable to the positive terminal of the discharged battery.
  • Connect the other end of the positive booster cable to the positive terminal of the assisting (charged) battery.
  • Connect one end of the negative (black) booster cable to the negative terminal of the assisting battery.
  • Complete the hook-up by connecting the other negative booster cable end to the stalled machine’s engine block or any unpainted metal surface on the machine. Make the connection as far away from the battery as possible, and away from fuel lines and the fan, belts, and other moving parts.
  • Start both machines and remove the cables in the reverse order of connection. Discard the rags.

If the machine still won’t start after you’ve tried a jump start, or if you need more advice on selecting, installing, storing, or charging batteries, expert help is just a phone call, email, or in-person visit away at your local Carter Machinery store.