Jumper cables are widely used in automotive to heavy industrial machinery applications. But knowing and researching where they are manufactured can take a bit of time to figure out. (Below) After doing some research, I’ve put together a helpful list with pictures of jumper cables made in USA and are conveniently available online. In addition, I also provide some practical and detailed tips on how to start your vehicle with jumper cables effectively.
Jump-Starting Your Vehicle with Jumper Cables (4 Things to Consider)
We’ve all experienced a weak or even completely drained battery, especially when commuting to work. Consider the following four factors for better results when jump-starting your vehicle with jumper cables.
1. Avoid Using a Smaller Car to Jump Start Your Vehicle
Avoid using a smaller car or at least a vehicle with a much smaller battery with lower cranking amps than your vehicle. For example, a four-cylinder vehicle that usually has a smaller battery with fewer cranking amps isn’t necessarily going to be able to start a car with a big V8 engine. It may be possible to start your truck or larger engine with a smaller engine or smaller battery only if you leave the dome light on and go into the store and then come back out, and the battery drains a little to jump-start.
Now, if you go ahead and try to turn the key and you don’t hear a click and the starting noise and nothing happens, the lights don’t come on or anything. Then most likely, using a smaller car to be able to start a giant truck is going to be a problem. And pretty much it all comes down to the cold cranking amps of the battery itself. So a smaller battery will generally have fewer cold cranking amps than a more powerful battery.
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2. Do Not Exceed 2000 RPM
Many car owners like to rev up the good/running car when trying to start another vehicle. That may be fine if you get to about 2000 RPMs, but anything above that is unnecessary. For example, suppose you step on the accelerator up to the rev limit. In that case, that’s not going to do much more than if you go up to about 2000 RPMs. And here’s why.
Inside your alternator, you’re also going to have a voltage regulator. Essentially, what it’s going to do is the maximum voltage that the alternator is going to be able to push is about 13.5 to 14.5 volts in general. So, it doesn’t matter whether you go up to 3000, 4000, or even higher RPMs. The only difference will be the noise coming from under the car’s hood.
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3. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Now, where is the ideal place to try to jump-start your car? You can’t choose where your battery will drain and where you’re going to be able to jump-start it. But what you can do is be aware of your surroundings.
Suppose you’re at a gas station or somewhere that seems unsafe to jump-start a vehicle due to sparks. In that case, the next thing to do is pick up the key, put it in the ignition position, and with the gear selector, put it in neutral. The next thing to do is have a couple of people behind your vehicle and carefully push it to safety. At this point, it’s going to be safe for you to go ahead and try to jump-start your vehicle now.
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4. Turn Off All Your Accessories
Now, once you have your jumper cables adequately connected (below), I will cover how to jump-start your vehicle using jumper cables in more detail.
You need to make sure you turn off all the accessories. Suppose you leave the headlights on automatic mode. In that case, they will turn on automatically, so go ahead and turn them off manually before starting your vehicle. Next, maybe it was raining, and you have the wiper blades on, make sure they’re off. And, of course, if the radio wants to turn on automatically, you need to make sure you turn it off manually. Anything that causes an extra drain on the battery while starting it up will cause more trouble. Once you have checked four steps, you are ready to connect the jumper cables on both vehicles to start your car.
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How to Jump-Start Your Vehicle with Jumper Cables
As I mentioned earlier, It’s happened to all of us; you leave the headlights on or the keys in the ignition open. Then your battery drains for some reason, and now you need to jump it. (Below) I will cover five easy steps to jump-start your car with jumper cables adequately.
1. Get a Car That Runs
The first step is to get a good running car and bring it close to the car you need to jump-start with so that the jumper cables can reach both batteries. It would be best to make sure that both cars are a short distance apart and not touching each other when you do this.
2. Remove the Ignition Key
You should also make sure to remove the keys from the ignition of both vehicles.
3. Locate the Battery
You must find the battery for both cars and know where the positive and negative cables are. The battery has only two posts; the red positive and the black negative. Once you identify the battery cables, you can start connecting the jumper cables.
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4. Connect the Jumper Cables
Take the jumper cables and spread them out, take one red and one black in each hand and untangle the cables. Keep the ends of the cables from coming in contact with metal and each other. Then connect the red cable to the positive of the bad battery first. The reason for connecting the red cable to the bad battery first is because the bad battery does not have substantial power as the good battery in the other car.
And ensure you get a good connection right at the battery post. For example, the copper clamps should make solid contact with the battery post, and you can move them around to make sure you get a good connection. Do not connect the black cable yet and place it on top of any plastic sheathing to avoid contact with any metal. Then take the other red and black jumper cables in each hand and avoid touching them together.
Next, go to the good battery on the other car, take the red jumper cable, which is positive, and connect it to the battery’s positive post, which is also red. Now, on the same good battery, connect the black jumper cable to the battery’s negative post, which is also black. And now you have the red and black jumper cables connected to the good battery.
Now back to the bad battery; this is the last black negative cable you need to connect. You will not connect it to the bad battery’s negative post because batteries can create hydrogen gas, especially when depleted, and do not work correctly.
So, to play it safe, look for another grounding point. For example, some cars have a grounding point away from the battery specifically for jumping the car, so check your owner’s manual to find out where it is located. If not, find a bare piece of metal for good ground that is not a moving part and is not attached to an electrical component. A good ground point to look for is on the engine as a separate bolt head that is not holding fuel lines. Another good ground point to connect the negative jumper cable to is at the strut tower bolts.
So with the jumper cables all ready, one last thing you want to do before starting the engine is on both cars. You want to inspect to ensure the jumper cables are not near the cooling fans or engine belts. After your car has started, disconnect the jumper cables.
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5. Disconnect the Jumper Cables
Disconnect the negative cable first on the car with the bad battery, avoid metal contact when disconnection, then remove the positive cable. Place them in a dry place and avoid touching each other or making contact with metal. And finally, on the car with the good battery, remove the red and black jumper cables.
Your Vehicle Will Not Start with the Jumper Cables? (Here’s What to Do)
If your vehicle still does not want to start with the jumper cables, follow (below) the three steps to troubleshoot your jumper cables for better results.
1. Let the Good Car Run for Five Minutes
Let’s give a scenario where you go to jump-start with jumper cables, and the engine slowly cranks up, but it fails to start the car. If this happens, take the key out of the ignition. As I mentioned earlier, make sure you turn off the radio, air conditioning, headlights, and accessories. And let the good car run for another five minutes to let the alternator charge your bad battery. After five minutes, try to start it again.
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2. Rev the Engine at 2000 RPMs
If you’re very close to getting your car started but need more energy. Have the person in the car with the good battery rev the engine to about 2,000 rpm and hold it there while you try to start the vehicle with the bad battery. This will make the alternator spin faster so that you have more power to start the car with the bad battery.
3. Ensure Good Connection of the Jumper Cables
If you only get one click after all attempts and cannot start the engine, your battery could be permanently bad. There could be a bad cell or an internal short. But before you give up, make sure you have a good connection to both the positive and negative posts. Be sure to check the connections on both the bad and good batteries. Another thing you can do is try connecting to another better ground point. Many times switching to another better ground point will get the car running.
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