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Ask the Car Chicks: How do you start a car that dies?

Posted at 1:17 PM, Feb 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 15:17:47-05

Batteries have a life cycle, typically they last 5 years. So, if you know you are getting close to the 5 year mark with your battery, you may want to replace it.
There are a few different reasons your battery may have died:
1 – Most commonly, you leave the lights on and come back to a car that wont start. In that case, your battery just needs to be charged, not replaced.
2 – You run your battery down until there is not enough chemical reaction to occur to give your vehicle electrical power. Jumping your car would solve this, but you would eventually want to look into a getting a new battery.
And finally 3 – you have a battery that is dead and needs to be replaced and unfortunately, jumping the battery wont do anything in this case.

Steps to do BEFORE you jump your car.
• Make sure headlights and other electronics are off - remove the key from the ignition.
• Keep metal objects away from the battery. If they cause a spark it could be dangerous.
• If you see that your battery is damaged, leaking or corroded, call in a pro. Do no attempt to jump start. We can also check your battery for you!

Steps to jumping a car.
• Park both cars next to each other so that they're close but not touching. Make sure they are both off.
• Connect the first end of the RED positive lead to the positive terminal on the working battery. Do the same for the other end of the lead for the flat battery.
• Then repeat for the black - negative lead to the negative terminal on the working battery and then the dead battery.
• Turn on the car with the good battery and let it run for at least a minute. This is charging the dead battery.
• After about a minute, try starting the car with the dead battery. If it doesn't work, leave it a little longer, but switch off the engine if the leads get hot.
• Once you have your car running, leave the engine on for a couple of minutes to charge the battery.
• Remove the jump leads in reverse to the way you attached them. Make sure they don’t touch together or any metal surfaces. You should then drive for at least 30 minutes or leave the engine running.

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