Check the vehicle handbook before using jump leads
Unless you know what you're doing, delving under the bonnet to check for or correct faults can be dangerous. We generally recommend that you seek professional assistance.
Check the vehicle handbook before using jump leads. All include general advice on jump starting but some include model specific procedures. If this is the case you must follow the manufacturer's procedure rather than the steps described below.
Jump starting a vehicle can be a safe procedure however and damage can be avoided if a few simple rules are followed:
Keep metal objects out of the way – rings, watch straps, hand tools, clips or stray wires just brushing a battery post can cause a spark, possibly exploding the battery and releasing the acid.
Don't attempt to jump-start a battery that is leaking or looks damaged – it could explode.
Avoid smoking or naked flames – batteries give off flammable gases so an explosion could result.
Keep hands well away and avoid loose fitting clothing, particularly scarves or neckties – with the engine running it's easy to get caught-up and seriously injured on moving parts like pulleys or belts.
Don't use jump leads if they're damaged – broken conductors or damaged clamps can overheat and may catch fire.
Before connecting any leads make sure the vehicles are the same voltage and that they're parked with their handbrakes on and ignition off. The vehicles must not touch as this can cause sparks or an explosion.
(31 October 2011)