driving while using a cellphone

Everything You Need To Know About Boosting A Car

Meta: When a car’s battery dies, you may need to recharge the battery by boosting the car. Read on to learn everything you need to know about boosting a car.

Everything You Need To Know About Boosting A Car

When a car’s battery runs out of juice, it may need a boost. There may be times when you are away from home, and need to rely on a stranger to help you out. During these times, it is good to provide the jumper cables yourself and know how to boost the car to expedite the process.

While boosting a car is something that most people should know how to do, not many people do. Unfortunately, it is more common to know someone who does not have a pair of jumper cables in their car compared to someone who does have a set.

Jumper cables are easy to acquire at auto stores and can be stored in the trunk of a car without a problem. They do not take up a significant amount of space, nor are they clunky, large, or awkward to use.

Learning how to boost a car is also a simple new skill. It does not take long to do and is very easy to learn. It is similar to riding a bike – once you learn how to do it, you will most likely remember how to do it forever, no matter how long in between.

If you are still wondering why you should learn how to boost a car, the answer is simple: taking a short period to learn how to boost a car can help you with your vehicle, but also with other people’s cars. Helping someone in need is a great thing to do.

featuring front side of black lambo

image via Pexels

What You Need To Boost a Car

To boost a car, you will need a few things to start the process. Be sure to have everything you need to recharge a car’s battery before beginning, so the process doesn’t take too long.

In order to boost car, you will need someone to else who has a vehicle with a running battery to accompany you. This person’s car will serve as a power source for your car. The second vehicle will need to be viable and able to turn on to properly give your car a boost.

The second item you will need to boost a car is a pair of jumper cables. It is recommended to keep jumper cables in your vehicle, preferably in the trunk. Being prepared with jumper cables can be the difference between becoming stranded and having a moving vehicle.

Fortunately, boosting a car does not require a lot of tools or skill. Any person can learn how to boost a car battery and is capable of keeping the required items in their vehicle at all times.

Being confident in your car boosting abilities is to become self-sufficient. Not everyone is knowledgeable about cars and knows how to recharge a battery. You can become a valuable resource in your friend and family circle.


It is important to note that you must utilize a car that has at least the same amount of voltage as your vehicle. A car that has less voltage will not have the power to recharge, or boost, your car’s battery. Unfortunately, not all cars will work properly for this method.

Fortunately, though, the amount of voltage is the only thing you need to be concerned about when boosting your car. As long as you, or the person helping you, attaches the required jumper cables properly, you do not need to worry about anything else.

Each car is different and has varied make-up. Some cars have generators while others have alternators, and some cars have positive ground while others have a negative ground. If every step is taken to ensure the cables are connected correctly, none of these other factors will matter.

When you are boosting a car, there is a set of instructions you need to follow. After you have collected the running vehicle and pair of jumper cables, you are ready to begin charging the car’s battery.

Step 1

The first step is to pull the running vehicle as close to the dead battery car as possible. The cars can be hood-to-hood or side-to-side, as long as they are close enough for the jumper cables to reach both vehicles.

Be sure to consider your surroundings. There may be times that you are parallel parked on the side of the street and the helping vehicle must temporarily block traffic. Take caution and be courteous to the cars that you are blocking while you boost your car.

The best possible scenario for a car that needs to be jumped with another car’s help is within a larger parking lot. This gives an abundance of space and will cause less of an issue, if any, for the vehicle’s attempting to pass.

You cannot choose where your car runs out of juice and requires a boost from a good samaritan or helping hand, but whichever situation you find yourself in, don’t fret. Performing the act of boosting a car battery will become less stressful if you can do so quickly and efficiently.

If you have a pair of jumper cables, it will be a lot easier for you to perform a brief car boost. If you do not have a pair of cables handy in your trunk, you now need to rely on whoever is helping you boost the car also to have jumper cables.

man trying to repair a car

image via Pexels

Step 2

Once both vehicles are parked close enough to each other to be connected by jumper cables, place both cars in either park or neutral, engage the breaks, and turn off the ignition. Turning off the engines creates a safer environment for jumper cables and users.

Now that the cars are in place and turned off, you will begin by looking at the battery in the dead vehicle. Find the positive terminal on the battery. The positive terminal will be represented by the plus (+) symbol, or spelled out POS, and will be larger than the negative terminal.

When you have located the positive terminal, attach the first red clip from the jumper cables. It does not matter which clip is used for the dead vehicle; it only matters that it is the red jumper cable clip. Now attach the other red clip to the positive terminal in the opposing vehicle.

Step 3

Now that the red cables are accounted for find the negative terminal on the other person’s car. This will be shown as a negative symbol (-) or spelled out as NEG. Attach one of the black cables to the negative terminal on the opposing car.

Using the last black clip on the jumper cables, find an unpainted metal surface on your vehicle that is not near the battery. Attach the black jumper cable to this metal surface. You can use the metal struts that are used to hold the hood of the car open.

Note that your car battery will have only one clip attached to it, and their car battery will have two clips attached. The other jumper cable will be attached to the unpainted metal surface in your car.

Step 4

Once the jumper cables have been securely attached, start the engine of the vehicle with the working battery and let it run for a few minutes. This does not take a long period – anywhere from three to five minutes will do.

After the engine of the opposing car has been running for a few minutes, try to start the engine of the car that was in need of help and if it starts, great! You have successfully boosted a car.

If the engine still does not start, turn off all engines and double check that the jumper cables are connected properly. Then start the process once again. If your vehicle still will not start after a couple of attempts, there is a good chance that your car battery requires more help than a standard jump. You may need to purchase a new battery and start fresh.

If the process has been successful, do not turn of the vehicle’s engine. Drive around for about 15 minutes to allow your car’s battery to recharge. If your battery does not start the next time you start it, the battery is not holding a charge and needs to be replaced.

adult driving a car

image via Pexels

Precautions To Take

While it is important to know how to boost a car battery and keep jumper cables handy, it does not come without precautions. Read on to learn about the precautions to take when you are jumping a car or helping someone else boost their vehicle.

The most obvious risk associated with working internally within a motorized vehicle is the possibility of sparks. If you are able to, consider wearing goggles, thick gloves, and clothing that will prevent injury.

When you are moving the vehicles close together to share a pair of jumper cables, make sure they are not touching. Car frames are made up of metal, and with an electric charge being produced, they should not have the opportunity to act as conductors.

When you are hooking up the jumper cables to both cars, it is crucial that the clips are attached securely and tightly. More importantly, it is important that the cables are attached to the correct charging terminals on the batteries.

If a mistake is made and the cables are attached incorrectly, more damage than good can be done. Modern vehicles are more complex than previous generations and require additional care. Cars are more computerized than ever before, and experienced technicians are accustomed to working with them.

If you do not have experience in boosting cars, perform thorough research before attempting to boost the first car. If done improperly, you could become seriously injured and could cause irreparable damage to the vehicle.


Knowing how to boost a car is an important skill to learn, but doing it properly is even more important. Follow the steps provided above and become aware of the risks involved before boosting a vehicle.