Whether you leave your dome light on or it’s been below zero for the past few days, there are a number of reasons why your car battery could die.  And that’s why knowing how to jump-start your car battery is an important skill for any driver. But when the time comes, it can be hard to remember the correct steps. Is it positive to negative, or negative to positive? What does the red and black mean? Do you start with the dead battery or the booster car? Don’t worry, we’re here for you with 10 easy steps to safely and properly jump-starting your car battery.



10 steps to a safe jump-start

1. Never let the cable ends (or vehicles) touch. 

2. Turn both vehicles off and set the parking brakes. 

3. Locate each car’s battery — you’ll recognize it by the positive and negative terminals. Can’t find it right away? Many batteries may have a cover. 

4. Always start with the dead battery. Clamp the positive (red) cable to the positive terminal on the dead battery. 

5. Attach the other end of the positive cable to the booster car’s positive terminal. 

6. Staying with the booster car, connect the negative (black) cable to the booster battery’s negative terminal. 

7. Moving to the dead car, connect the negative cable to any unpainted metal surface within a foot of the dead battery. 

8. Make sure both areas under the hood are clear of people, and start the booster car. 

9. Wait two minutes for the dead battery to charge, then start the dead car. 

10. Anytime you jump-start a battery, drive the car for 15 to 20 minutes to let the alternator fully recharge the battery. 


From dead batteries to low tire pressure, winter can be hard on your car. No matter what, your local Cenex store is always here to help keep you safe on the road. 
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