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.