Jump starting your car battery is one of the first things you should learn about for car emergencies. There are several examples of how your car battery can be drained of power. This includes your head light being left on, a door that wasn't completely closed leaving the interior light on, an alarm that draws a lot of power, and an alternator that can no longer fully charge your battery.
From science or electronics class, we learn that electrons travel from the positive to the negative terminals. We also learn that electricity can travel across conductive material such as metal and liquid. So with these in mind, you can also learn to be careful when you jump start your car. Be cautious when jump starting your car in rainy or very humid weather.
Jump start wires come with 4 alligator clamps. 2 red for positive and 2 black for negative.
When installing jump start wires, take one end holding the black and red alligator clamps while making sure the clamps on the other end are not touching one another.
To reduce your risk of getting shocked as electricity can travel from the positive terminal, through "you", through the metal body frame of the car, and to the negative terminal, don't attach the red (positive) alligator clamps first.
First, take the black clamp and attach it to the negative battery terminal. You can confirm the negative battery terminal by a (-) negative symbol near the battery terminal.
Second, take the red clamp and attach it to the positive battery terminal. You can confirm the positive battery terminal by a (+) positive symbol near the battery terminal.
Third, keep the other ends of the alligator clamps away from each other and attach the (-) negative clamp to the negative battery terminal on the other car.
Finally, attach the positive clamp to the (+) positive battery terminal on the other car.
Start the ignition for the car with the good battery, then start the ignition for the car with the drained battery.
If the car with the drained battery doesn't start, have the other car apply a little acceleration while on idle neutral (about 2500 RPM) and try restarting the ignition for the car with the drained battery. This causes the alternator to produce more current to help jump start the dead battery.
To reduce your risk of getting shocked as electricity can travel from the positive terminal, through "you", through the metal body frame of the car, and to the negative terminal, don't detach the black (negative) alligator clamps first.
After getting the car jump started, disconnect the jump start cables backwards: Red (positive) alligator clamps first, then black (negative) alligators last.