How to Jump-Start a Car

Car Battery with Tools

Ideally, all of us drivers in the Federal Way area will never have to deal with a dead car battery. But the reality is that mistakes happen, and you might just find yourself — or another driver — stuck in a parking lot with a car that needs a jump-start. Learning how to jump-start a car is very easy, and you never know when the knowledge will come in handy! In the guide below, your service team at Sunset Kia of Auburn explains how to properly jump-start a car, as well as some troubleshooting tips if your car won’t jump-start.

This is the Proper Way to Jump-Start a Car

There’s peace of mind in knowing you can always call a jump-start car service to come to your location in Sumner. However, sometimes it’s easier and cheaper to jump-start a car battery yourself. With a clean set of jumper cables and a friend, family member, or helpful stranger by your side, here’s how to properly jump-start a car:

  1. Have the operating vehicle park hood-to-hood if possible, or at the very least, directly next to the non-operating vehicle. Before proceeding, turn both vehicles completely off and engage their parking brakes. 
  2. Pop the hood of both vehicles and access the batteries. 
  3. Locate the positive and negative battery terminals and do a visual inspection to check that they’re clean and there’s no corrosion. 
  4. Get your battery cables ready, keeping the red ends separate from the black ends. Don’t let the different ends touch because they might spark. 
  5. Connect the first red clamp to the positive terminal post on the dead battery. 
  6. Connect the other red clamp to the positive terminal of the helper car’s good battery. 
  7. Now, connect the first black clamp to the negative terminal post of the helper car’s good battery. 
  8. Finally, connect the other black clamp to a grounded, unpainted metal surface on the frame of the car with the dead battery. 
  9. Once you get the cables properly connected, start the engine of the helper vehicle with the good battery. Allow it to run for a minute or two before attempting to jump-start the car battery on the dead car. 
  10. When you’re ready, start the engine on the car with the dead battery. 
  11. Once the vehicle is working again, you can remove the jumper cables in the reverse order of how you attached them. 
  12.  Wait about 10 minutes before driving away to make sure the battery doesn’t die again. Your owner’s manual may have a more specific wait time after jump-starting. 

Troubleshooting Tips When a Car Won’t Jump-Start 

So your car won’t jump-start? When jump-starting doesn’t work, it may be a separate issue: 

  • If there’s a clicking sound when attempting to start the car, it could be due to a malfunctioning starter. 
  • If the electrical systems work but the engine won’t turn over, it could be a bad ignition switch, bad starter, or even a bad fuse. You should have your vehicle towed to a service center for further inspection. 

Learn More Car Service Tips! 

We’re here to help you get back on the roads of Puyallup. Schedule service if you’d like us to inspect your vehicle, and feel free to contact us for additional information. Or, you can explore more service tips right here on our website! 


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