Can You Jump A Car With A Battery?

Every car owner goes through some trouble with their vehicle at one point. You probably left the lights on, and your battery’s now dead, rendering you stuck.

The main question is what next. The next step is figuring out how to jump your car battery to bring it back to life. With this, most motorists wonder if you can jump your car with a battery.

Yes, you can. You can either use a jump-start battery or a pair of jumper cables and a battery from another vehicle.

As a well-prepared motorist, you should always have an emergency equipment kit in your car trunk, including jumper cables.

You are now equipped and ready to begin the process of reviving your battery. Unfortunately, you only know jumper cables and jump starters bring your dead battery back to life, but you don’t know how to use the equipment.

Even though jump-starting a car is not common to everyone, you must learn how to use the jumper cables and jump-start batteries, as you never know when you will need this knowledge.

How to use the jumper cables and jump-start batteries


Jump-starting a car only needs two basic items:


A battery acts as a power source to channel a powerful surge of electrical energy to kick-start the dead battery. You can either use a battery from the portable jump battery or another vehicle’s battery.

Jumper cables

The charging and dead batteries need to connect between them where the transfer of power takes place. Jumper cables are well suited for this task.

They are long, thick insulated wires with tooth-like clips on both ends called the alligator clips. The two clips are in red and black to differentiate the positive and negative poles.

Special jump cables

Portable jump batteries do not need another vehicle to start the dead car battery. They have special jump cables that connect the jump battery directly to the dead battery.

Jumping a vehicle with car batteries 

Car batteries consist of two large nubs, referred to as terminals, the positive and negative terminal. Both the terminals ought to have clear labeling to avoid confusion.

The positive terminal is usually the larger between the two and written as POS or +. On the other hand, the negative terminal has a label of NEG or -.

Proper connection of the cables completes the circuit, hence powering the dead battery. The positive terminal connects to the positive red clip on the jumper cable, while the negative terminal connects to the black negative clip.

How to jump a car with another car battery

As stated, you can start your car by jumping the dead battery using another car battery. You will need jumper cables to connect the two car batteries.


  1. Have the cars parked close together to either align side to side or nose to nose.
  2. Ensure the cars have a good distance between them for the jumper cables to reach both the batteries.
  3. Offer protection to the donor battery by;
  • Matching the voltage system of both the donor and dead battery. For instance, avoid using a 6V and a 12V.
  • Ensure the correct alignment of the alligator clips.
  • Ensure the donor battery is not low by checking if the car’s headlights are bright and steady when started.
  • Test for the donor battery voltage.
  • Put both cars on either park or neutral.
  1. Connect one of the red clips to the dead battery the other to the donor. One of the black clips to the dead and the other to metal.
  2. Start the donor car for the battery to supply power to the dead battery.
  3. Let it run for a few minutes before testing the recipient car with the interior lights. If the lights go on, it is an indication there may be adequate power.
  4. Start the car with the initial dead battery.
  5. After jump-starting the car, unclip the clips in reverse order from how you connected them. Begin with the black clasp on the unpainted metal and the other similar clip from the negative terminal. Take out the red clip from the donor’s car and the left red clip from the recipient’s car.
  6. Let the car run for a minimum of about 10-20 minutes.

If the dead car does not start after powering for some minutes, check your connections accurately and repeat the process with the donor car running.

Try starting the dead battery car again. If it still doesn’t work, the battery may be too damaged for a jump-start. Consider a replacement.

How to jump a car with portable batteries 

  • Get rid of any corrosion before attaching the cables.
  • Identify the positive and negative clamps on the portable battery; the positive is red while the negative is black.
  • Ensure the jump starter is off before you try to connect the jumper clamps to the car’s battery.
  • Do not connect opposite terminals, that is, the positive and negative.
  • Attach the cables to the appropriate terminals while both the jump-start battery and the car are off.
  • Attach the red clip to the positive end of the battery and the black clamp to the unpainted metal.
  • With the jumper cables firmly in place, turn on the portable jump-start battery.
  • Try to turn on the car by cranking the engine for not more than 5 seconds.
  • If the engine does not start, retry after 2 minutes, and if it still fails after several attempts, it is time to get a new battery.
  • After the engine starts, remove the clamps beginning with the negative followed by the positive.
  • Let the car remain Idle for several minutes before resuming your journey.
  • Remember to charge the portable battery once home.

Important jump-starting tips to note 

  1. Always refer to the manual before beginning the process.
  2. Do not jump batteries that are leaking, corroded, damaged, or cracked.
  3. Not all cars are suitable for a jump-start. Some cars are not recommendable for the jump-starting process because of their sensitive circuitry.
  4. Do not jump-start dry batteries.
  5. Do not jump-start frozen batteries.
  6. Do not let the clips touch.


A battery plays a significant role in the car jumping process. However, you must be cautious in this process to prevent damage to the good battery or even further destroy the dead battery.

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