Top 9 common mistakes to avoid when jump starting your car

Updated Jan 14, 2020 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips

If you are attempting to jump start your car, make sure to avoid these mistake so as not to damage any electrical components under the hood.

Starting the car again when it is stuck with the dead battery is relatively easy to do in most cases. Drivers just need the basic car maintenance skills to jump start it. However, sometimes the motorists do not follow the instructions and make some mistakes. And the wrong process can cause potential danger to your car.

So be sure to check out the common mistakes when jump starting your car discussed by in this article to fix your car correctly and in a safe way. Let's check out!

1.  Smoking 

This shouldn’t be done near the engine or anywhere the car! The engine emits fumes and has fluids that are flammable too. Working while smoking and not concentrating on the task of jumpstarting is not compatible. Cigarette ash might ignite fumes in the hood and cause a fire that can damage plastic components.

Smoking when jump start a car

Smoking ash may ignite fumes into the hood and cause a fire

2. No gloves or protection for the eyes 

Working on any part of the car it’s important to use protection while doing it. Both gloves and eye goggles will keep chemicals away from these important body parts. Batteries emit acid that can cause mild discomfort, but our eyes may not fare as well!

Another thing is that work gloves minimize contact with the skin and improve gripping tools better. The gloves will provide non-conductive protection against electrical shorts that can burn mildly.

Use gloves when fixing car

Gloves can prevent the chemical and acid from contacting your skin

3. Never try to jumpstart should there be cracks and the battery leaks

It pays to know when to exert effort to get a car jumpstarted! Never bother with a battery that has cracked sections with battery water leaking out because it won’t charge anymore and will leak harmful gases from it. It’s better to push the car where it cannot be towed on the street.

Call AAP should you be a member, so they can tow your car safely without damaging it. Can a battery delivery service send a new one to where the car is parked? It’s important to change the battery or have the alternator checked. If either is dead then just tow it and don’t bother attempting to jumpstart it!

>>> Read more: 10 reasons of a weak car battery

4. The shifter should be put in "P"

An ECU equipped car draws power from the electrical system to all accessories. When jumpstarting the fused can heat up and burn due to a power spike or surge.

Put in “park” keeping the power steady until the ECU system will be normal again! Many of these new cars are sensitive compared to older cars. Protecting the electrical components is important especially for AT cars.

gear shift put in P

Put the gear selector in P to keep the power steady 

5. Cables should not hang or make contact with any metal

Electricity runs through the cables that can electrocute if it touches any water nearby. Making contact with metal will cause it to spark which isn’t safe for the one jumpstarting the car. Make sure the jumper cable is placed securely and does not hang or swing carelessly when used!

6. Using jumper cables with a low ampere may not be enough for jumpstarting a car

Jumpstarting any car should have jumper cable that can handle higher amperes of electricity to recharge the failing battery. If the end connecting the clamps are not well connected, it should be cover with electric tape. Doing this will deliver a better and faster charge to jumpstart the car. Replace a worn-out jumper cable with a newer one if needed!

How to use jumper cables

>>> Also check: No worries! Step-by-step on how to jumpstart a car

7. Don't do it yourself if there are some doubts

Let a mechanic or pro do it if at any point there will be doubts whether you’ll be able to do it. Not all drivers will know how to jumpstart a dead battery or do the process themselves. It’s better to ask someone who’s done it before or look for a mechanic nearly!

Fixing and trouble-shooting cars are complicated for most driver and getting help is the easiest way to get it done. Look for taxi-drivers or jeepney drivers who are expert DIYers when it comes to jumpstarting basics.

Mechanics fix car

Have your car checked with a certified mechanics if you are not confident

8. Attempting to jumpstart with a dead battery is a waste of time!

Check if the battery is totally dead or see if the problem is the alternator. A busted alternator will not charge a car battery. It is done by pulling off the right terminal connector. Should it die with the power cable taken off, the alternator is the problem. Call a tow to save you the trouble because alternators can’t be repaired or replaced on the spot!

9. Never attach the wrong cable to the wrong battery post

The positive and negative cable should be reconnected to the right battery post! Make a mistake with the battery that will get damaged. The plates cannot be replaced!

Not to be alarmist though it’s better to be safe than sorry if the task gets botched up! Most of the time when doing this, it does get off without a hitch with that rare occasion but not always. Just always remember that automatic transmission cars and manual transmission cars are jumpstarted differently.

When there are problems with the electrical or a dead battery it won’t work. It’s better to call for a car battery delivery or have it towed if the car doesn’t start!

Norjan Ismail Abbas

Norjan Ismail Abbas


Norjan enjoys writing about various topics, and car is among them. Don't ever ask him which his most favorite car is since he has none. He believes each car is beautiful in its own way.

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