How do you start the car with jump leads?

If your car needs start-up assistance from another car, you can read here and see which steps you need to follow. It is very important that you check the car’s instruction manual and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for starting assistance for your particular car.

There are some car models where the instructions below can not be used. In those cases, or if you are in doubt, you should contact your workshop or roadside assistance for help and guidance.

If your car troubling you with starting you might need to consider battery replacement to get rid of the issue for good.

Give the car starting aid with starting cables

Cold and humidity can be a bad cocktail for the car’s battery, especially if it’s not brand new. Here you can see how to provide start-up assistance using another car.

For most cars on the Australian market, you can follow the instructions below:

1: Start with the red cable

You start with the red cable to be used between the red plus (+) pole of a live battery and the red plus (+) pole of the current-receiving battery (the car with the flat battery). It is important that you do not switch between the red plus (+) and the black minus (-), as you then risk making a short circuit. 

2: Next, install the black cable

Then mount the black cable on the power supply car black minus (-) pole on the battery. On the power-receiving car, the black cable is mounted on a specially designed ground point, if the car has it. Otherwise, connect the cable to a good ground connection on the motor or directly to the black minus (-) terminal of the battery. Remember to ensure that the engine can rotate freely without pinching the jump leads.

3: Start engines in this order

First, start the engine of the powered car. Wait under a minute and start the power receiving car.

4: Remove cables in this order

Once the car has started, first remove the black cable from the receiving car, then from the battery of the powered car. Repeat the maneuver with the red cable.

5: How long do you have to drive now

Preferably take a trip of at least half an hour to recharge the battery and preferably longer. Otherwise, there is a high probability that you will need start-up assistance again the next time you want to start the car.

Then it is a good idea to fully charge the battery with a battery charger.

Note that if the car generally has starting difficulties, then it may be because it is about time to change the battery. It can also be due to the car’s generator not charging properly or the cabin and boot lights being on.

How do you choose the right jump lead?

There are three things you should look for when choosing jump leads:

  • The jump leads should be at least three meters long.
  • They should have a fuse box / voltage protector.
  • They must have a good quality.

The first two things are relatively easy to ascertain, and the quality depends primarily on the battery pole grips. They must be solidly built and they must be easy to mount in both vertical and horizontal positions.

Rather give a little extra for a starter cable set with a thickness of 25 mm² and good battery pole grips. A proper starter cable set lasts pretty much forever. Diesel car owners, in particular, should choose a large cable thickness, as they run the risk that a thin 16 mm cable may not transmit enough power. It is a good idea to read the operating instructions that come with the jump leads.