The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Fleet Safety Tip of the Week: Jumpstarting a Vehicle’s Dead Battery

April 01, 2013

Jumper cables are a must-have in any fleet vehicle’s emergency kit. But because drivers use them infrequently, it’s easy to forget all the precautions and steps in the jumpstarting process – and their exact order – when the need for a jumpstart suddenly arises.

So here’s a list of steps, offered by Ford, which you can pass along to your drivers as a friendly reminder.

  • Do not disconnect the disabled battery – this could damage the vehicle’s electrical system.
  • Do not let the assisting (booster) vehicle and the disabled vehicle touch. Park the boosting vehicle next to the vehicle with the dead battery.
  • Turn off the ignition of both vehicles, set their parking brakes on and set them in P (Park).
  • Turn off all lights, electronic devices and any other items that can drain power (it’s a good idea to remove any portable items plugged into your cigarette lighter/outlets as well).
  • Remove any terminal covers and excessive corrosion from the battery terminals before connecting the cables.
  • Clamp the red positive (+) cable onto the disabled vehicle’s red positive (+) battery terminal.
  • Next, connect the other end of the red positive cable to the booster vehicle's red positive battery terminal.
  • Now connect the black negative clamp to the booster vehicle's black negative (-) terminal.
  • Connect the other end of the black negative cable to a large, unpainted metal surface within the engine area of the dead vehicle, away from the battery and the carburetor/fuel injection system. Make sure cables are clear of any possible moving parts.
  • After a final check, start the booster vehicle. Then start the disabled vehicle. Allow them both to run connected for about three minutes.
  • Without turning off the jumpstarted vehicle’s engine, disconnect the cables in the reverse order that they were attached and close the hoods.
  • Allow the jumpstarted vehicle’s engine to run for several minutes.

 For a demonstration, watch this video produced by Advance Auto Parts.

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  1. 1. john [ April 04, 2013 @ 12:11PM ]

    if they werent driving fords they would have to jumpstart their cars

  2. 2. Mary Miraglia [ April 07, 2013 @ 06:58AM ]

    Okay, that is not jump-starting. That's using jumper cables to get power from an external source. Jump-starting is when you force the engine to turn over by putting the manual transmission in first gear, holding down the clutch, and then getting forward momentum going by either a push or a hill. When the wheels are turning you pop the clutch, and the engine will normally start.
    When it engages, the car usually makes a little hop or "jump" Thus, jump-start. Not giving it a jump.

  3. 3. Bruce Ottogalli [ April 11, 2013 @ 04:47AM ]

    Sorry Mary, but that is how you jump start a vehicle. Working in the industry for over 30 yrs, 25 as a ASE certified master technician, what was shown in the video was the correct way to Jump start a vehicle. What you are discribing is known by the automotive repair industry as push starting. The technique shown in the video and discribed by Ford is the proper and most safe way for the average driver who knows very little about how a vehicle works, to start a vehicle with a dead battery.

  4. 4. Peter Afful [ May 14, 2013 @ 03:11PM ]

    Mary, Bruce is right, to jump start is to jump power from one vehicle to boost the one with a weaker battery to start. Your explanation is to push start.


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