What are jumper cables?
Car mechanics and people who are familiar with engines may be familiar with them, but an average driver may wonder what a jumper cable is and how to use the jumper cables!
However, it is a useful piece of knowledge to have, should your car fail to start because of a dead battery? No. Jumper cables are thick electric cables which have a clip at each end. They are used to recharge a dead car battery by connecting to another car whose battery is charged.
It is deeply frustrating to come out of work or to the end of a shopping trip and to find out that you can’t start your car because the battery is flat. Even worse if you are by the side of the road and it is raining.
The most important consideration is how to get it started as quickly and cheaply as possible. If you know how to use a jumper cable, you will have a great advantage in such cases.
Thankfully, if you have a set of jumper cables, this is a relatively easy process. Just you have to earn a little knowledge about what to do.
Obviously, you need another driver with a charged car to help in the process. But once they are with you, the process is quick and relatively easy. After reading this articles you will be much acquainted with the answer to the question of how to use a jumper cable.
Which color jumper cable is positive?
One of the most frequently asked questions is which one is the positive and negative clip of the jumper cable? Is red positive on jumper cables?
For this you have to recognize the positive and negative battery cables and their particular uses. On the cable, two of the clips are positive and two are negatives. The red one is the positive and the negative one is marked with black tape.
The name "jumper cable" derives from the fact that the power in the charged battery 'jumps’ over to the dead battery. They are a useful piece of kit to store in the trunk of your car.
You never know when they may be needed, and it could be hugely inconvenient to be stranded without any of them. Even if you manage to flag down a driver that is willing to help you, if neither party has any jumper cable, you are going nowhere.
When you are buying jumper cables there is a wide variety on the market. There are extra long cables, those with very thick casings and some that have the cable as well as the clamps colored for ease of use. It is worth investing in a decent set of jumper cables.
Make sure that the clips are robust and clamped securely. The jumper cables may make a huge difference to a journey in the future and they will save you time and money. If you must call out roadside assistance to assist you in recharging a battery, it will take much longer to get your car started.
If you are not a member of a roadside assistance association, this could also cost you money.
How to use jumper cables?
So, if you find yourself in a situation where you have a dead battery, you need to know how to use jumper cables. Without putting it up properly, you won't be able to use the jumper cables.
Firstly, the cars need to be parked close together in order to connect the jumper cables. Jumper cables are often over ten feet long. So this gives plenty of room to connect from one car to another.
Some mechanics suggest that you purchase cables that are twenty feet long to give you maximum flexibility when connecting. A thick, durable coating on the cables is preferable as they will last longer.
Once you have retrieved the cables, you need to open the battery if it is covered. And then locate the battery posts underneath. Then the alligator clips on each end of the cable need to be securely fastened to the battery posts on each car.
The way the jumper cables connect is important. To start off, take the positive ends of the cable. The positive end should be attached to the positive battery post on the car with charge. Then the other positive end of the cable should be attached to the battery post on the car with the dead battery.
Then the negative clamp needs to be attached to the battery post of the charged car and as there should only be one available battery post left, the negative clamp on the remaining cable end should be attached to the negative battery post on the car with a dead battery.
The functioning car should then be started and the power from the engine will be transmitted to the car that is not working. This process will be charging its battery. The alternator in the good car and the battery will send or jump the power to the dead car which should produce a fully working battery.
It might take some time, several minutes at least, for the dead battery to recharge.
After a few minutes, the driver of the car that needs charging can attempt to start the engine. If the car starts, the alternator in the car will recharge the battery. But if the car does not start then the battery needs further charging before the ignition will turn over.
Make sure that the red and black, or positive and negative ends of each cable do not touch each other during the handling of the cables. It could cause damage to the cables or, even worse, to the cars.
How to remove or disconnect jumper cables?
Once the dead battery has been recharged, it is important to know exactly how to remove/disconnect the jumper cables successfully and safely. The cables need to be removed in reverse order to be safe and successful.
So, the negative clamp on the car that has just been charged needs to be removed first. Then the negative clamp on the good car can be removed. Then the positive clamp from the good car is taken off, followed by the positive clamp on the newly recharged car.
It is a good idea to keep the newly recharged car running for a while to ensure that the battery is fully charged. If the engine is turned off too quickly, it might be hard to restart the car, so it is safer to keep the car running until you get to where you are headed, or at least to a garage if you have concerns about driving for a long distance.
So, that's it for today! If you have something more to share with us please leave it in the comment box. We would appreciate it.