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Oh No, My Battery is Dead! Do You Know How to Use Booster Cables?

Published Dec 26th 2016, 8:00am by Kaeli Gardner in Featured Articles Articles Blog

Click Click Click...oh no, my battery is dead!

Did you know that the average life of a battery is three years?

When do you think most of the damage happens to your battery?  Summer? Winter? 

Many of you are probably thinking winter, but the answer is summer.  In many vehicles the battery is located under the hood and in the summer it gets very hot under there and this deteriorates the battery.  However, it is usually in the winter that our battery lets us down.  

Have you ever gone out to your vehicle on a super cold day and all you’ve gotten is click-click-click?  Oh no!  Now you are going to be late for work, or maybe you won’t even make it, because you don’t have a set of booster cables.  Or, even if you do you don’t know how to use them, or don’t have another vehicle.  Either way , it is going to take roadside assistance three hours to get to your house.  Maybe instead of work you are going to miss, it’s an important medical appointment.  More often than not this could’ve been avoided by having your battery checked in the fall as part of preventive maintenance. 

In my own personal experience, I had borrowed a friend’s vehicle and I was travelling for work.  The day I went to the airport, I was running late which was very unusual, and it was raining (of course), so I had my headlights on.  No automatic headlights on this vehicle.  So, when I arrived home at 11:30pm and took the shuttle to my vehicle and noticed my key fob wasn’t unlocking my vehicle it dawned on me that I had a dead battery.  Well, I had no booster cables, since it wasn’t my vehicle, and no one would help me.  So I called roadside assistance, and an hour and half later I was on the road home.  Not fun when you’ve travelled all day to come home and find out your battery is dead!

Just in case you find yourself in this position here are the exact instructions of how to boost a battery.  Many people do not realize that the black cable must be grounded on something metal in the dead vehicle.  This will eliminate the risk of blowing your vehicle’s computer.

First, make sure everything is turned off!
  1. Connect the positive cable (red)(+) to the positive post (+) of the dead battery.

  2. Connect the other end of the positive cable to the good battery.

  3. Connect the negative cable (black)(-) to the negative post of the good battery.

  4. Connect the negative cable to a metal part of the dead vehicle’s engine.  DO NOT attach the negative cable to the negative post.

  5. Get in your vehicle and start it up!  Once it’s started, let them run for a few minutes and then disconnect the cables in the reverse order.

Tip… You should always back into your parking spot.  Not only is it safer to pull out rather than back out, but if for some reason you have a dead battery it will be easier to get at!


Kelly_Williams_with_tireRace car driver, educator, safety advocate, TV personality, Kelly Williams started racing cars at 17 years old and continued to race for 15 years. Now she works in the automotive industry, teaching women about taking care of their vehicles. She also teaches performance driver training with BMW as well as other manufacturers, keeps busy as a spokesperson for Be Car Care Aware, hosts ladies' Car Care clinics across Canada, and has recently launched a new consumer website

#KellyWilliams #AskPatty #Canada

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