How to Safely Jump-Start a Vehicle

Jump-Starting Vehicle

Jump-start a vehicle is something every driver has to do at some point. It can be dangerous if you don’t do it properly, though. So before you jump your car, make sure you memorize these helpful safety tips.

1. Check for corrosion and solid connections.

Corroded battery terminals can make a jump dangerous, so check to make sure there isn’t corrosion on the battery of either car. Do this before you connect any wires. While you’re at it, make sure the wires are tight and that all the connections are solid too.

Jump-Start a Vehicle

2. Attach terminals to the dead car first, running car second.

Start with the dead car. Attach the + to the + and the – to the – and leave them attached. Then repeat the same process on the running vehicle, using the other end of jumper cables. Sometimes it gets confusing when and how to connect which wire to which and when to do it. Memorizing a series of steps will make the whole process easier and safer. Plus, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’re doing it right every single time.

3. If you’re having trouble starting the dead car, don’t assume you put the connectors on incorrectly.

Sometimes cars don’t respond right away to a jump. That doesn’t mean you connected the cables wrong and should “change them up!” If cables are attached correctly, that’s it. Changing them up by attaching positives to negatives or vice versa is not going to do anything except endanger you!


Do not touch the jumper cables clips together! There is a high chance you could get electrocuted or burned! Jumper cables, when connected to a any car, should be consider “live” and hazardous. Make sure all the cables are off of all the cars before you wrap up and store the cables. As long as they are still attached to a battery, they are considered “live” wires and hazardous. A good way to ensure you’re not accidentally doing this is to disconnect a clip and then throw it on the ground.