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How to Jump-Start a Car in Cold Weather: A Guide by Hubbell's Auto Repair


How to start your car in the cold weather

Winter in Marion, Cedar Rapids, and surrounding communities can be harsh, and cold weather often means more car batteries needing a jump-start. At Hubbell's Auto Repair, we understand the challenges of winter car troubles. That's why we've put together this helpful guide on how to jump-start a car in cold weather. For a complete list of our services, visit us at Hubbell's Auto Repair or call to schedule a service at (319) 377-6614.


Step-by-Step Guide to Jump-Starting Your Car

  1. Prepare the Cars: Park the working car close to the one that needs a jump. Ensure both cars are turned off, with keys removed, and in park or neutral.

  2. Open the Hoods: Locate the batteries and battery terminals. Clear any snow or debris off the batteries.

  3. Identify Terminals: Identify the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals on both batteries. The positive terminal is usually marked with a red cover or a plus sign.

  4. Connect the Cables: Start by connecting one end of the red jumper cable to the positive terminal of the dead battery. Then, connect the other end of the red cable to the positive terminal of the working battery. Next, connect one end of the black jumper cable to the negative terminal of the working battery. Finally, connect the other end of the black cable to an unpainted metal surface on the dead car’s engine block.

  5. Start the Working Car: Start the engine of the working car and let it idle for a few minutes. The running engine will charge the dead battery.

  6. Attempt to Start Your Car: Try to start the car with the dead battery. If it doesn't start, let it sit for a few more minutes and try again.

  7. Remove the Cables: Once the car starts, remove the jumper cables in reverse order. First, remove the black cable from your car, then from the helper car. Next, remove the red cable from the helper car, and finally from your car.

  8. Keep Your Engine Running: Drive your car for at least 15-20 minutes to recharge the battery.

Tips for Cold Weather Jump-Starts

  • Battery Warm-Up: In extreme cold, batteries can freeze. If the battery is frozen, it must be thawed before jump-starting.

  • Quality Cables: Use good quality, thick-gauge jumper cables to ensure adequate power transfer.

  • Safety First: Never connect the negative cable to the negative terminal of the dead battery. This can cause sparking and potential battery explosion.

  • Wear Protective Gear: Wear gloves and eye protection during the process.


Need Help? Call Us!

If you’re not comfortable performing a jump-start or if your car still won’t start after a jump, call us at (319) 377-6614. At Hubbell's Auto Repair, we're here to help with all your winter car troubles. Our team of experts can diagnose and fix the issue quickly, ensuring you’re back on the road safely.


Remember, regular battery checks and vehicle maintenance at Hubbell's Auto Repair can help prevent unexpected breakdowns in cold weather. Stay safe this winter, and let us take care of your car's needs!

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