How To Boost A Car

Car Battery Dead (Drained)?

All drivers have likely seen how cold winter weather can take a toll on your car battery. Maybe you were in a hurry to get to work or had returned to your car after a long day to find your battery dead and your engine not starting. Situations like these (flat or drained car battery) can occur at any time, but knowing how to boost (jump start) your car can help you get back in the fast lane faster than waiting for a tow truck to arrive. Keep reading to see how to safely boost your car.

How To Boost A Car - What You Need

To successfully boost your car, you’ll need a few items – jump-start cables, a friendly driver, and his/her car. Finding a kind individual to help you boost your car is much easier to find than jumper cables in the middle of dead car battery emergency, therefore make sure to keep these in your trunk at all times. You never know when you may need them!

The disabled car is the one that needs the jump. When you hear ‘donor car’ this is referencing to the vehicle that will be doing the jumping. Booster cables are the most important item as it allows the transferring of the battery power from one vehicle to another, and the "post" is the point on the battery that the cable clamps will connect to.

Jumper Cables for Boosting Cars

Consider the red colour of your booster cables a ‘positive’ connection. Always connect the red clamps of your cables to the positive post on the battery of both the dead and donor car. Additionally, you should find you have a cable with a black clamp. The black clamp is always connected to the negative battery post of the donor car and bare metal on the dead vehicle. Keep in mind that in order for the process to work and the type of your vehicle, you might need high-quality booster cables, as some cars' engines require a high CCA.

Very important!

If the car boost process using jump-start cables and a donor vehicle doesn't work, call a professional car jumpstart service and have a professional car battery technician boost your car!

Safety Tips When Boosting Your Car

An important safety tip before you begin the jumping process: Always make sure that both vehicles are in parking mode and the vehicle contributing to the revival of the battery is shut off. Most importantly, never let the clamp heads touch each other at any point during this process. Before you connect those cables and try to start your vehicle pay attention to a few extremely important safety issues:


Dead car batteries will maintain some charge. This means the “donor” vehicle will have plenty of power, and there is a potential for a shortage or sparking if the cables are mishandled. Have a pair of safety glasses in your car at all times. This will allow for the protection of your eyes in case sparks go flying in the air.

Electrical System, Car Computers Damage

Connecting cables incorrectly can be not only be dangerous, but can also destroy some very expensive electronics, so please pay close attention and take your time. Always refer to your vehicle's owner's manual for exact the exact procedure of connecting/disconnecting jumper cables!


Car batteries rely on a corrosive combination of acid and water to store electric energy. Be extremely careful of any transfer of material from the battery to your hands or clothes, especially that powder-like white or light green residue around the terminals where you will be connecting the cables.

Steps to Jump a Car Battery

  • Step 1: Connect red to disabled vehicle's "+" (positive battery terminal)
  • Step 2: Connect red to donor  vehicle's "+" (positive battery terminal)
  • Step 3: Connect black to donor vehicle's "–" (negative battery terminal)
  • Step 4: Connect black to dead, bare metal (or emergency jumpstart negative post) 
  • Step 5: Start donor vehicle
  • Step 6: Start disabled vehicle
  • Step 7: Disconnect in reverse (steps 4,3,2,1)

How to Prolong your Vehicle’s Battery

Vehicle battery maintenance is essential to your car’s overall health. Functioning to both store and provide energy to many electrical components during start-up including the ignition and fuel systems, a healthy battery is of key importance. Regular vehicle battery maintenance or a vehicle battery replacement with Sparky Express prolongs your vehicle’s battery life, keeping all the components it runs clicking, blinking, honking and shining even during the harshest Canadian winters. Thank you for reading our How To Boost A Car article!