More than one year into lockdown, we’re still doing a lot less driving. As a result, you may receive more enquiries from clients who need to jumpstart their cars – but, if they’re not following the right procedure, they can cause serious damage to their electrical systems and computer.
Here’s some advice to ensure cars remain fully functioning:
- Get the basics right. Flat car batteries can be prevented by starting the car and driving forwards and backwards, just a little, every day. It is also important to keep the battery clean and free from corrosion – any corrosion around the battery terminals must be cleaned off with water and bicarbonate of soda, or sandpaper. Drivers should be familiar with the directions in the owner’s manual in case there are special instructions.
- Now, set up the car. First, move the donor car as close to the ‘dead’ car as possible, without touching. Make sure that in both cars, the handbrakes are up and the gear selector is in neutral. Both ignitions must be off.
- Identify the positive and negative terminals of both car batteries. This should be relatively easy, as terminals are usually marked. Now, connect the positive end of the jumper cable to the positive terminal on the dead car’s battery, and the other positive end of the jumper cable to the donor car’s battery. Do the same with one negative end of the jumper cable, but attach the other negative end to a shiny nut or bolt on the engine of the flat battery. It is important to connect the dead battery last, or the battery may explode.
- Wait a few minutes before starting the flat vehicle. The vehicles should remain connected even after the battery has been successfully jumpstarted, and the driver should wait a further minute or two before switching on the headlights and interior fan to stabilise the electrical system.
- Remove the cables in the reverse order – negative cables first, then positive cables.