Battery jump leads are a pair of cables that are used to recharge a flat car battery by connecting it to the battery in another car or a generator. Jump leads allow an engine in a critical situation to be restarted and are considered an essential item that should be kept in every car. Jump leads are commonly referred to by a few names, including 'Jump Boosters', 'Booster Cables', or 'Jumper Cables'.
How does jump starting work?
The process of jump starting is very easy. A user just needs to temporarily attach the flat battery from one car to the charged battery of another car. As well as being used between cars, jump leads can also be used with a battery charger. Heavy-duty jump leads are available for when it comes to starting big diesel or petrol engines, but in most situations a pair of regular cables are good enough.
How do I use jump leads?
No matter the make or model, jump leads have a consistent colour standard, with one red lead and one black lead. The red lead is the lead that is clipped to the positive terminal on the donor battery/power generator and the flat battery. The black lead is clipped to the negative terminal on the donor vehicle/power generator and then to a suitable earthing point (such as the chassis) on the vehicle with the flat battery.
The end of each jump lead is fitted with large, heavy-duty crocodile clamps/clips. Jump cable clips are usually made of copper or steel. This makes it safe to work with incredibly easy to make the necessary connections.
Jump leads a great way of temporarily recharging a dead battery in your car. Jump leads can be used by practically anyone, but you should always adhere to your vehicle handbook, product information guide and safety instructions. For example, you must never attempt to recharge a battery that is leaking, corroded or damaged in any way.
Both handbrakes and bonnet locks must also be applied while cables are connected.