Things to Know About Jump Starting a Vehicle - Service Research at Carr Chevrolet

When your car's battery dies while you're out shopping, visiting friends or commuting home from work, you'll be in need of a jump start to get where you're going. Luckily, this process is quick and easy with just a little bit of know-how.

What you should do when jump starting your Chevrolet 

Having said that, there's a lot of electricity, flammable liquids and harmful fumes to be found under the hood of your car. They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and we want to prevent any potential mishaps the next time you're in need of a jump start. Avoid these four mistakes and you'll be able to jump start your car the best way -- the right way.

Mistake #4: Forgetting to Take Proper Safety Measures

Remember, you'll be working with live electricity, and there are real risks involved. If you don't feel comfortable jumping your own car, check to see if your insurance provider offers roadside assistance, or give our service center a call to arrange for a tow.

Schedule service for battery repairs in Beaverton, OR 

However, with the help of guides like this one, jump starting a car properly is easily doable. First, it's a good idea to visually inspect both batteries briefly for leaks or cracks. Dangerous battery contents could be leaking out of a damaged battery which could explode when attempting a jump start, so don't jump start a vehicle with a damaged battery.

Mistake #3: Connecting Both Batteries Directly

So, there's a positive and negative terminal on each battery, and two sets of positive and negative battery clamps on your jumper cables -- seems easy enough, right? Well, don't go hooking up the battery cables on intuition alone. Connecting all four battery terminals to the jumper cables directly is much more dangerous, and it could even cause the battery to explode.

What steps need to be taken when jump starting your Chevrolet 

Check your owner's manual to see if your car is equipped with jumpstart lugs -- many new cars today have designated points under the hood to which the jumper cables should be attached, instead. If not, instead of connecting to the negative battery terminal on the dead battery, attach that clamp to any piece of stationary, unpainted metal on your car. This grounds the circuit and all but eliminates the risk of a catastrophic explosion.

Mistake #2: Connecting the Batteries in an Unsafe Order

Not only do you have to pay attention to where you hook up the jumper cables, the order in which you attach them matters, too. We recommend connecting the positive battery cable to the positive terminal on the dead battery first. Then, connect the other positive lead to the positive terminal on the donor battery. Next, connect the negative lead to the negative post on the donor battery. Then, finally, secure the other negative lead to the piece of metal you've selected to ground the signal on the dead car. Doing it in this order is safest as it reduces the risk of a spark, which could ignite flammable battery fumes and lead to an explosion.

Mistake #1: Attempting a Jump Start in Wet or Cold Conditions

Our final tip is this: Remember that water is an excellent conductor of electricity, and there's a lot of electricity at play when jump starting a car. While the chance of injury is still low, we don't recommend performing a jumpstart in the rain, or when either vehicle is significantly wet. What's more, water that gets on the batteries themselves can cause corrosion that interrupts the electrical connection, and could keep your car from starting up some time later.

And if it gets extremely cold outside, the fluid inside your car's battery could freeze. Do not attempt to jump or charge a frozen battery, or an explosion could result. You'll want to let the battery thaw out before attempting a jump start.

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    15005 SW Tualatin Valley Highway
    Beaverton, OR 97006

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