5 Common Mistakes Drivers Make With Jumper Cables

One of the most important things you can learn to do as a driver (other than putting on a spare tire) is how to jump-start your vehicle. Jumper cables can be dangerous if you don't know how to use them properly. Misusage is a leading cause of several auto-related issues. Here are some common mistakes you should try to avoid when jump-starting a car:

  1. Storing them improperly - Jumper cables work great if they're in good condition. However, when they start to corrode, you should throw them out. To ensure these cables stay in good shape, store them in a dry and closed environment.
  2. Failing to make the right connections - Making the wrong connections can lead to fires and explosions, leading to further damage to your vehicle. To ensure you jump start a car safely, follow these steps:
    1. Red to dead
    2. Red to donor
    3. Black to donor
    4. Black to bare metal
  3. Boosting a frozen battery - Attempting to jump-start a frozen battery could lead to an outburst. A frozen battery needs to be thawed and inspected for damages before continuing with the process.
  4. Smoking while charging - Similarly to how you should never smoke at the gas pump, you shouldn't do it next to a charging car either. The hydrogen gas is highly flammable, so please eliminate any sources of fire (ex., cigarettes, lighters, etc.) in its vicinity to prevent an incident.
  5. Leaning over a charging battery - Last but not least, you should stay at a safe distance away from the battery while it is charging. There is a lot of heat, pressure, and acid at play, so don't lean over the battery.

Jump-starting a vehicle battery is not that difficult, as long as you refrain from doing the big no-nos above. If your battery needs to be tested or replaced, we invite you to bring your car to The Auto Doc.