How to Jump a Car Battery

One of the most important parts of your car’s performance system is its electrical power source: the battery. The battery controls the vehicle’s electric systems, which allow you to listen to your favorite music, warm your seats, or open and close your windows with a touch of a button. It’s also the main catalyst for starting your engine.

The expert service team at Honda of Bay County understand the importance your car battery holds, so we provided some tips for drivers throughout the Panama City, Springfield, and Callaway areas to assist when battery trouble strikes.

Find a Good Samaritan


Trying to turn on your engine with no luck is a heartbreaking feeling. Hopefully, you’re in a place where a friendly person or neighbor could assist you with jumping your car battery. Once you found someone willing to help, make sure they park their car, so your battery and their battery are as close as possible-but not touching-to avoid stretching the cables.

Prep for the Jump

Once the cars are parked in a convenient fashion, you’ll want to follow these steps:

  • First, make sure both cars are off and in park with the parking brake engaged, and the keys are out of the ignitions.
  • Then, open the hood off both cars, locate the batteries, and identify their terminals (usually, the terminals are colored red or black with a + or – sign to signify their differences).
  • Double-check to make sure you successfully determined which terminal is positive and which is negative-this is a crucial part of the process.

Ready for the Cables

  • Grab both red, positive cable clamps and attach them to the positive (+) terminals. Start with your car’s dead battery before clamping to the working vehicle’s battery.
  • Next, grab the black, negative cable clamps and attach one to the properly functioning car battery’s negative (-) terminal first.
  • Lastly, grab the other black, negative clamp and connect it to any piece of unpainted metal under your car’s hood. DO NOT attach the negative clamp to the battery’s negative (-) terminal.

Fire Up the Engine

Push State Button

  • Ask your kind friend or neighbor to start their vehicle first, and have it run for about two minutes to charge your dead battery a bit.
  • Then, try starting your dead vehicle. If no ignition occurs, continue to let the properly functioning vehicle run and charge your dead battery for a few extra minutes or rev the engine.
  • After your car starts back up, disconnect the jumper cables, starting with the black, negative clamps first. It’s important not to touch the clamps to each other while any other part of the cables is attached to a car.
  • Finally, take your vehicle out for a short drive. By driving around, the car’s alternator recharges the battery, so your vehicle won’t die again once you turn off its engine.

Routine Battery Checks Are Key

If the steps above failed to start your engine or you’re experiencing frequent battery troubles, you may consider calling our service department in order to schedule a service check in which our automotive technicians here can inspect your battery for any malfunctions.

Our team of dedicated professionals at Honda of Bay County are capable of handling any and all of your vehicle repairs, especially when it comes to your battery, so you can continue traveling around the event-filled Panama City, Springfield, and Callaway areas. Contact us today!