7. If you don’t have a hill, get some of your buddies to give you a push and follow the steps above.

2. Connect one end of the red (positive) jumper cable to the positive terminal on the stalled battery.

It has probably happened to you before.You go to turn your ignition, and nothing happens. Maybe you hear a few clicks. Another dead car battery? You need to fix this and get your vehicle back on the road - fast. If you are prepared, you already have a good set of jumper cables in your car. Now all you need to do is to learn how to jump start a car battery.

I always got mixed up on which one gets the ground and which order to place the others. I appreciated this explanation, rather than trying to remember all 4 positions, I just have to remember “Start on the positive side of the dead car” then work in a horseshoe shape to the good car then back around to the dead car which also gets the bare metal ground. Dead=buried=ground.

What about turning on the headlights to avoid burning out diodes when disconnecting? My mother-in-law said someone told her this would have saved her a few hundred bucks in electrical diagnosis and repair if she had done it when she gave someone a jump one time. It made sense to me but I always wonder if it really helps. Any experts on this?

4. Take your foot off the brake and start rolling down the hill, leaving the clutch fully depressed.

Other mechanical problems, such as a failed starter motor or deeper problems with the engine itself, will not be solved by jump-starting. So as a first resort, it makes sense to try, but it won’t necessarily cure the problem.

First, locate the battery on both cars. Most will be under the bonnet on the passenger side, but some will have it on the driver’s side, while others will store it in the boot.

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Once the car is up to a certain speed, the driver releases the clutch pedal, which causes the engine to rotate and starts the car.

You have no clue how to jump start a car.

There are two main ways to jump start your car - with or without jump leads, or jumper cables. Read on for our handy guide on both of these methods. There are concise quick guides, and further down the page there's detailed explanations.

8. Keep jumped car running for at least 30 minutes to give battery sufficient time to recharge.

But no one wants to be on the receiving end of a zap, no matter how mild. So come up with some sort of device to help you remember which color goes where. I personally think: red = blood = life = positive; black = death = negative.

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Once both cars have been left running for ten minutes, you can remove the leads, but you should turn off both engines first to reduce the risk of damage to either cars’ electronics. Disconnect the leads in the reverse order of the way you attached them, and keep the clips away from each other and the bodywork.

If it isn’t done properly, jump-starting a car can be dangerous. If the battery is connected the wrong way, it could overheat and catch fire, or explode. Or if there are sparks as you connect the final lead up, that could cause an explosion of the hydrogen gas within or around the battery.

Jump-starting a car will only work when the cause of the car’s failure to start is a flat battery, and when the battery is in good enough condition that it will still take a charge.

3. Connect one end of the black jump lead to the negative terminal - marked with a minus (-) symbol - on Car 2's battery.

Once you’ve picked a place, clip the free end of the black jump lead on to it. There may be a small spark when you do this; don’t worry. Just make sure your hands are clear of the metal parts of the clip, and that the clip is secure.

Once Car 1 is running , the clips can be removed. Make sure you don't touch any electrical components and only handle the insulated parts of the jump leads. Remove the leads in he opposite order to before: Earthed end of black lead, then the black clip on Car 2, then the red clip on Car 1, and finally the red clip on Car 2.

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The hardest part of the job is simply remembering where to put each cable. Many a man has broken out in a sweat wondering if he is about to make a wrong move and toast himself to a crisp. Here’s the good news: It’s probably impossible to electrocute yourself from jump starting a car. The battery might give you a big shock, but the voltage is too low to penetrate your skin and put you down for the count.

But if done right, a jump start is a safe and quick way to get a car with a flat battery moving again. And it can save you the time – and potentially the cost – of calling out a breakdown recovery company.

Note: You should always carry jumper cables in your car with you (along with a number of other things!). You never know when you’re going to need them.

You could also buy a handy portable power pack to deal with this issue.

Dead battery? Check out this step by step guide to jump starting your car.

This is great, 1 thing I found to help was having a solid jumper in the car that doesn’t require a second vehicle or person such as http://thepocketjumper.com/

If a car’s battery has been completely depleted, or if it is old and worn out, it might not respond to jump-starting, in which case a new battery will be required.

And you’re done. Give yourself a pat on the back for a manly job well done.

1. Safety always comes first when dealing with electricity. Make sure that there are no metal objects nearby, like tools or even jewellery, that could come into contact with the batteries or cables - and take off any clothing that could get caught inside the engine bay.

Bump-starting is one way of starting your car if you haven’t got jump leads to hand. It involves someone sitting behind the wheel holding the clutch pedal down, with the car in second gear, while one or two people push the car along.

5. You will need to drive Car 1 or keep it running for at least 15 minutes to charge the battery up, but once it is running normally it can be driven as normal - just don't turn it off before the 15 minutes are up or you risk having to repeat the whole process!

How to jumpstart a car

Once you know where the battery terminals are, park the working car close enough to the one with the flat battery that the leads will reach from one set of battery terminals to the other.

4. Now start Car 2 and let the engine run for a little while. After about 5 minutes you should be able to start Car 1. If it doesn't start, then turn Car 2 off, gently adjust the clamps to ensure a good connection and then try again. If this doesn't work you may need a new battery or other essential parts to be repaired.

With a set of jump leads, you’ll also need another car with a good battery and a running engine. Alternatively, you can buy a booster pack, which is a box containing a battery with jump leads already attached to it that you can charge up from a socket in your house, then connect to a flat battery to give it a boost.

Only now can you try and start the car with the flat battery. It should fire up pretty quickly - if it doesn't, your battery might be too old or too flat to take a charge. Once it's running, you should then leave both cars running for around ten minutes, allowing the flat battery to charge up. Keep an eye on the jump leads at this point – if they get hot, you should switch off both engines immediately and allow them to cool down before removing them.

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Some cars will store the battery out of sight, and will instead have dummy terminals specially marked under the bonnet which will serve the same purpose as the real battery terminals. Check your car’s owners’ manual first to make sure you know where the battery is, or how to use the dummy terminals.