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How to boost your car with cables

Dead battery? Learn the steps to boost your vehicle safely and quickly with booster cables 

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Check the owner’s manual

Take a quick look at your owner’s manual to see if there is anything specific to your vehicle you need to be aware of.

Put on protective goggles and gloves to protect yourself from fumes and sparks.


Position the vehicles

Make sure you’re in a well ventilated area.

If you’re using cables, park close enough so the booster cables can easily reach between batteries. 


Attach the clamps

  • Check that the battery isn’t damaged or frozen. 
  • Never attempt to boost a damaged or frozen battery. 
  • Never lean over the battery.
  • Connect the positive or red clamp to the positive terminal of the discharged battery. 
  • Wiggle the clamp on the terminal so it bites and makes a good connection.
  • Never allow any clamps to come in contact with each other or any other metal.
  • Connect the other end of the positive cable to the positive terminal of the assisting battery
  • Connect the negative, black clamp to the negative terminal of that battery.
  • Connect the other end of the negative cable to an unpainted metal part of the stalled car’s engine


Start your engines

Start the assisting vehicle’s engine first. Then start the stalled vehicle.

If the car doesn’t start, try leaving the booster cables connected for a minute or two to allow the dead battery to charge a bit. Then try again.


Remove the cables

After the stalled vehicle starts, remove the cables in the reverse order:

  • Negative cable on stalled vehicle
  • Negative cable on assisting vehicle
  • Positive cable on assisting vehicle
  • Positive cable on stalled vehicle