Whether you've left your dome light on or the temperature’s been below zero for a few days, there are a number of reasons why your car battery could die. That’s why knowing how to jump a car safely is an important skill for any driver. But when the time comes, it can be hard to remember the correct steps. Should you connect positive to negative, or negative to positive? What do the red and black cables mean? Do you start with the dead battery or the booster battery?

Don’t worry, Cenex® is here for you with 10 easy steps for jumping a car safely.

  1. First and foremost, never let the jumper cables or vehicles touch.
  2. Turn both vehicles off and set the emergency brakes. 
  3. Pop the hoods and locate each car’s battery. Many batteries have a cover, but you’ll recognize them by the positive and negative terminals. 
  4. Always start by connecting the positive red clamp to the positive terminal on the dead battery. 
  5. Attach the other end of the positive red cable to the booster battery’s positive terminal.
  6. Staying with the booster car, connect the negative black clamp to the booster battery’s negative terminal.
  7. Moving to the dead car, connect the negative black cable to any unpainted metal surface within 1 foot of the dead battery. 
  8. Make sure the area under the hoods of both cars are clear of people and start the booster car. 
  9. Wait two minutes for the dead battery to charge, then start the dead car. When safely removing the cables, first remove the negative cable from the dead car, then the negative and positive cables from the other car.
  10. Anytime you jump-start a dead battery, drive the car for 15 to 20 minutes to let the alternator fully recharge the battery before turning the car off again.

Whether you’re dealing with a dead battery, low tire pressure or anything in between, find the help you need at your local CENEX STORE.

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