How Do You Hook up Jumper Cables?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 24, 2020 5:43:39 PM ET

Connect jumper cables by parking the cars close to one another without touching, ensuring the keys to both vehicles are in the off position, connecting the positive cable and then attaching the negative cable. Start the booster car's engine before attempting the start to dead vehicle.

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  1. Position the vehicles

    Park the cars so they are close without touching. Make sure the jumper cables are long enough to reach between the two batteries.

  2. Check the keys

    Before attaching the cables, turn the keys to both vehicles to the off position.

  3. Connect the positive cable

    Connect the red lead to the positive post of the dead battery. Test the connection to ensure you have attached the lead firmly to the post. Connect the opposite end of the red jumper to the positive post of the assisting battery.

  4. Connect the negative cable

    Connect the black lead to the negative post of the assisting battery. Connect the other end of this lead to a bare metal piece on the vehicle with the dead battery. A bolt or screw is often a good choice for this connection.

  5. Start the assisting car

    Start the car with the good battery and allow it to idle for a few minutes. Attempt to start the car with the dead battery. If it starts, remove the jumper cables in the reverse order of their attachment.