Almost everyone has had their car fail to start at a time when they needed to be on the move. If you left your lights on then you obviously know the culprit is a dead battery. Unfortunately, the extreme heat in UAE usually reduces battery shelf life and car owners are more likely to experience a dead battery at least once. Wecashanycar has come up with a few tips to ensure that you never get stuck because of a dead battery.
How do I know if my battery is dead?
If you are unsure whether your car problems are due to a dead battery you can confirm by conducting the following checks.
- Your car cranks up but won’t start
- Your car produces a clicking sound but fails to start
- The engine of your car starts but dies
- Your vehicle headlights are dimmer than normal or will not turn on at all
The first move for those who don’t know the basics of car maintenance would be to call for roadside assistance. However, you only need a running car and jumper cables to start your car so it’s easy enough to get you back up and running (or driving!)
Choosing the right jumper cables
It is much easier to ask for help jumpstarting your car if you have your own jumpers. Keep a pair of top quality functional jumpers in your car. When buying jumper cables you should opt for the lower gauge cables as these tend to be thicker and stronger. Gauge 4 cables are more powerful and ideal if you have a truck, while 6 are suitable for normal cars. Additionally, you should choose cables that are at least 10-20 ft long. Even though longer jumper cables might seem convenient, they take longer to transfer power to your car and are more likely to lose power. Once you
Maintain safety while jumpstarting your car
Like any other DIY car maintenance procedure, jumpstarting your car can be risky. You can damage your car and injure yourself if you don’t take the necessary precautions. Before jumpstarting your car, check your manual for the correct procedure and connections.
It is important to make sure that the environment around you is safe. If you have small children, you will want to take them to a safe area before you start the process of jumpstarting your battery.
You must take care to avoid any electric shocks since jump starting a car involves the transfer of electric current from one vehicle to the other. You should connect the metal clamps to the targeted vehicle parts only and avoid touching them directly once you establish a connection. In some cases, you will need to wear protective eyewear to avoid flying sparks
Steps to jumpstarting your car
After getting all the necessary things and ensuring that your environment is safe, you can proceed to jumpstart your car battery using the following steps:-
- Park the working vehicle next to your car. Ideally, the cars should be parked facing each other and about 20 inches apart without touching each other. You must put the vehicle in “park” mode if it is an automatic car or “neutral” mode if it is a manual vehicle. Ensure that you put on the parking brakes to avoid any unexpected movements.
- Locate the batteries and terminals. Once you have parked the vehicles, you will open the hoods of both cars and look for the batteries and the battery terminals. The battery terminals are usually covered with a red, blue or black case with a positive (+) or negative (-) sign inscribed on it. In some cases, the terminals might be dirty and will need a little cleaning before you connect your cables. Clean off any residue using a damp rag or a wire brush with baking soda and water mixture.
- Connect the jumper cables.
- Connect the clamp of the red jumper cable to the positive terminal of the dead battery. You will then attach the other end of the same red cable to the positive terminal of the working battery.
- Attach the clamp of the black jumper cable to the negative terminal of the working battery.
- Attach the other end of the black jumper cable to an unpainted metal part of your dead car. This part should be farthest from your dead battery as possible. Clamping this end near the battery could cause an explosion.
- Check the connections and verify that they are correct. It is crucial that the jumper cables are connected in the proper manner. Otherwise, the connection will not work and you risk causing an explosion. Make sure that the black jumper cable is properly fixed to an unpainted metallic surface and the negative terminal as this can cause sparks. You should also make sure that none of the cables touch any of the engine parts.
- Start the engine of the working car. Once you have established a proper and safe connection, you can turn on the engine of the working car and leave it idling for five to ten minutes. This will charge your dead battery.
- Start your car. After ten minutes of charging, you can start your car and leave the engine running for at least ten minutes. If you feel confident enough, you can start your car while the jumper cables are still connected to the functional battery. However, the safer way to do this is to turn off the engine of the working vehicle and remove the cables before turning on your car. When unclamping the cables, always start with the black one then the red one. You should also make sure that none of the clamps of the cables touch each other.
- Drive your car. Once you have unplugged the cables, you should not switch off your engine. Instead, you should drive your car around for twenty minutes to warm it up and ensure it is fully charged.
What if my car fails to start?
In some cases, your car may fail to start after several attempts of jumpstarting. In other instances it might start but die again after a few minutes. These are indicators of underlying issues in your car. Battery replacement is one of the main vehicle maintenance procedures that most UAE drivers ignore. Even though most batteries can serve you for five years, the heat in the UAE reduces the shelf life to 2-3 years, after which you have to buy a new battery.
If your battery is still new, consider one of the following issues:-
- Faulty fuse
- Corroded battery
- Faulty alternator
- Problem with your starter
- Faulty ignition switch
Ultimately, if everything else is functioning well, the above instructions will enable you to get your car up and running in no time. You simply need to ensure that you use your jumper cables in the correct manner and prioritise safety throughout the process of jumpstarting your car battery. Where you are unsure, it is best to seek assistance from your mechanic in Dubai. Some mechanics offer free battery inspections and can help you diagnose any underlying mechanical problems. It is also important to have the number of at least two dial a battery companies just to be on the safe side in case your battery dies in the middle of the desert.
We also recommend that you follow the wecashanycar blog to get the best car maintenance advice. Learn all about how to take care of your vehicle. Remember: a well-maintained car gets you a better resale value and saves on expensive repair work.