How to Jump-Start a Car

A helpful guide for a stressful situation.

How to Jump-Start a Car in Mobile, AL

Dealing with a dead car battery can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you’re in a hurry. Some of the most common causes of battery failure include leaving headlights on, exposure to extreme outdoor temperatures and undetected vehicle problems. Getting stuck on the side of the road or your driveway can be stressful — that’s why the team at Lexus of Mobile has compiled a list of steps on how to jump-start your car. To begin, you just need jumper cables and a dose of practical knowledge. Even if it’s your first time jump-starting your car, you’ll be back on the road in no time once you follow our step-by-step instructions below.

What to Do Before You Jump-Start Your Car

Before you give your car a boost, make sure you check:

  • Your battery.Jump-starting a damaged, leaking, frozen or corroded battery is a huge safety hazard. If you suspect that your battery has been compromised, call a professional (like one of our experts at our service department).
  • For metal objects and open flames. Remove all tools, phones, watches, jewelry or cigarettes in the vicinity, especially any that are sitting on or near the battery. Keep the sparks confined to the engine, not outside.
  • Your key. Take it out of the ignition and tuck it away safely.
  • Your owner’s manual. Before you begin, read through the section on how to jump-start your battery. Always refer to the specific guidelines in your manual to ensure a safe jump-start.
  • The battery voltage. Make sure that both cars have a battery with the same voltage. While most vehicles have 12-volt batteries, some use a six-volt battery. You never want to jump-start a vehicle by connecting to a car with higher battery voltage.

What to Do Next

Once you’re ready to jump-start your car, follow these tips:

  1. Park the donor car next to yours and put both cars in park or neutral. Ensure the vehicles are turned off and put on the parking brake.
  2. Get out your jumper cables. These cables have four alligator clips, two on each end. The red clips are positive and the black clips are negative. Here’s the order in which you should connect the clips to the cars:
  3. a.RED to DEAD: Connect one of the red clips to the positive (+) terminal on your dead battery.

    b.RED to DONOR: Connect the other red clip to the positive (+) terminal on the donor vehicle’s battery.

    c.BLACK to DONOR: On the SAME CAR (donor vehicle), connect one of the black clips to the negative (-) terminal on the donor vehicle’s battery.

    d.BLACK to METAL: Now, back to the dead battery. Connect the other black clip to bare metal that is not next to the battery. This can be an unpainted metal bolt or bracket.

  4. Start the donor car and let it run for one to two minutes.
  5. Try to start the car with the dead battery.
  6. a. If it turns on, let it run for one to two minutes. As power travels along the jumper cables and into your battery, this allows it to recharge.

    b. If it won’t start, you may need to wait a bit longer to let the battery continue to charge. After multiple tries, if the car still won’t start, you may have a bigger issue that warrants professional repair. Schedule an appointment with one of our expert technicians today.

  7. Without turning your car off, remove the clips in reverse order from how you put them on. Do not let the clips touch.
  8. Keep your vehicle running for at least 30 minutes. This will help the battery retain the charge so it can start up properly next time.

If your car needs a jump on a regular basis, it might be best to replace your battery. Book a service appointment at our dealership or place an order for a new battery on our website. Our highly skilled technicians can help you install a new battery and dispose of the old one properly. We look forward to serving you soon.

If you have any questions about jump-starting a car, which battery is right for your Lexus or anything else, we’ll be happy to help. Contact us online or stop by Lexus of Mobile at 3024 Government Blvd, Mobile, AL 36606. We’re located near the Gulf Coast, Daphne and Spanish Fort.