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No one dreams of getting stranded with a dead car battery and, let's be honest, there's a good chance it's going to happen to you sometime in your life. Luckily, it's pretty easy to jump your battery and bring it back to life with a few materials and a little basic know-how. Watch the video below and keep reading to find out how to take your car battery from juiceless to powered up in no time.
We're going to learn the proper way to jump-start a car and how to do it safely. Almost every driver has the experience of their car not starting. So this is an emergency task that everyone should know. Want more car maintenance video tutorials from Patrice? Find her in our teen drivers ed courses!
More vehicle Maintenance Tips Car Battery Care and Maintenance Brake Fluid How to Check or Change Your Vehicle’s Oil Flat Tires How to Measure Tire Tread Vehicle Warning Lights How to Check and Change Your Engine Coolant (Antifreeze) When to Change Your Transmission Fluid
There are three major things to remember about car battery care:
Let's look at these tips more in depth:
Pop open the hood (or trunk, it depends on the type of car). Don’t be shy! Your battery is the rectangular box that’s about the size and shape of a toaster. Ideally, it should be nice and clean, but don’t freak out if you see some white or greenish gunk around the terminals. This is just a little corrosion. Simply clean it off using a mixture of baking soda and water if necessary.
Your battery will be a small box under the hood of your car
There are at least two kinds of terminals in this world: the ones in which you take naps at the airport, and the ones on your car battery. The terminal connects are the little knobs that stick out of the top of your battery. There is a battery negative (-) terminal and a battery positive (+) terminal. This is also where you'll attach the jumper cables if you find yourself with a dead car. Give the terminals a little wiggle. If they’re loose, tighten them with a wrench. In case this doesn’t go without saying, we’ll say it: Make sure the vehicle is OFF while you’re doing this.
This is a battery terminal
Replacing a dead auto battery isn’t as easy as popping a couple fresh AA’s into the TV remote, so you don’t want this to sneak up on you. Every time you get your vehicle serviced, have the mechanic test your battery performance. If it’s time for a replacement, your mechanic can put in a new battery and dispose of the old one properly. Depending on if you live in a cold weather region or warm weather region, they can select the best vehicle battery for your car and location.
If only cars could change their own batteries...
Need your license before you get to learning about car maintenance? We've got you covered there too.