Things to Know About Jump Starting a Vehicle - Toyota Service Information To Know in Salem, OR

If your battery goes dead, your car might not start when you turn the key. But you may not need to call a tow-truck! If the engine and starter themselves are still in good shape, you can just borrow a charge from a donor car or a battery charging tool. After a brief charge, you'll be able to get going again. Find out how to safely jump-start your car below, then get a long-lasting fix at Capitol Toyota.

Attaching Jumper Cables

4. Need A Jump Start Often? Consider A Battery Tender

First, a primer on how the battery works in your car: It's designed to store quite a lot of power, which can be expended quickly to start the engine. Getting an engine started takes a lot of energy! Once the engine has started, the engine runs an alternator, which generates more electricity to recharge the battery. That means, if your car is sitting for long periods of time, or is only driven for very short distances, the battery may not be getting enough charge. If that's the case, a battery tender or trickle charger may be worth your investment. You simply leave this tool attached to your vehicle's battery. The trickle charger keeps it charged without overcharging, even when sitting for days or weeks at a time.

Jump Start Donor Car

3. Use A Battery Jumper Pack Instead Of A Donor Car

If your car needs a jump start, you might have to rely on the kindness of a stranger to lend you their car and a bit of their time as a donor car. This can be frustrating. However, battery jump packs are available from auto parts stores that can quickly recharge your battery enough to get going without a donor car. Keeping one of these in the trunk of your vehicle can give you peace of mind, especially if you find yourself needing a jump start more often these days.

2. Borrow A Charge From A Donor Car

If you do find yourself using a donor car to jump start your vehicle, take some common-sense precautions. Use gloves for protection and make sure your battery cables are in good shape and properly shielded. Rather than write out a step-by-step procedure here, we recommend looking up an authoritative video walkthrough on your phone, so that you hook up the cables in the right order and turn the engines on at the correct time. Otherwise, there is a risk of danger. Car batteries can vent explosive gasses which could react with an ill-timed spark to create an explosion or fire risk! If you need some help, don't hesitate to give our service center a call. We can walk you through a safe jump start and then help you get the repairs your vehicle needs to perform reliably in the future.

Battery Corrosion

1. Check The Charging System

Remember: the battery gets recharged as you drive, when your car is working properly. If your battery is new (most car batteries simply become too old to hold a charge after roughly 5 years) but it still keeps dying on you, the charging system on your car may be faulty. Check the battery terminals to ensure there isn't corrosion build-up degrading the battery connection. If the connection is solid, your alternator may need to be replaced.