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How To Boost A Car Battery

Here are step-by-step instructions for how to boost a “dead” vehicle, feel free to print them out, put in a plastic sleeve and tuck into your car’s glove compartment.


Admin Edit – Correction Made From the comments area below:

Connecting the black (ground) jumper cable (of dead negative grounded vehicles) to the sheet metal of the vehicle rather than the negative terminal is a very important safety feature.

Batteries can and do emit gas and if you get a spark while connecting the cable to the negative terminal the close proximity to the gas can result in a battery exploding in your face. Generally, you only make this mistake once.


Very Important: Make sure to NEVER let the clamps of the cables on the loose end touch each other or you will have flurry of sparks.

Important: Make sure to attach the red positive clamp first, then the black negative clamp.

Important: First remove the black negative clamp, then the red positive clamp.


*Note changes made, the negative clamp on the dead battery should be on grounded metal instead of on the negative post.

Looking from behind, here is a picture with the posts on the side, the positive post has a red cap that first needs to be lifted off. You see the negative (black) post on the right, no cap, and looks just like a nut and bolt. That bolt is where you clamp the cables to:

Image 1

Here is a view looking from the front of the hood, you’ll notice the top of the red cap hanging off and the clamps from the cable are attached to each post:

Image 2

Here is a picture of an older model, the posts are on top, uncapped and quite a bit larger to work with (instead of just a nut/bolt). You would clamp the cable onto each circle of the metal post. You can see the post on the right is tagged red (positive) and is a little larger than the negative post on the left:

Image 3