How to Jump-Start an Automatic Car? [Expert Guide]

Jump-starting an automatic car isn't something you think about daily, but it's a valuable tool for your automotive toolbox. Knowing how to jump-start an automatic car is a fundamental skill that can save you time, money, and frustration if you find yourself stranded with a dead battery or want to help a fellow motorist in need. 

Short Guide

"Parking the working vehicle close enough to both car batteries will allow the jumper cables to reach them. Turn off both engines, connect the red clamp to the positive terminal of the dead battery, then connect the other red clamp to the positive terminal of the working battery. On the dead car, connect the black clamp to an unpainted metal surface away from the battery and the black clamp to the negative terminal of the working battery. Start the working car and let it run for a few minutes, then try starting the dead one. Reverse the cables once it starts."


How does a battery work in a car?

The car battery converts chemical energy into electrical energy to power the vehicle's electrical systems and start the engine. The battery contains two electrodes, one made of lead dioxide and the other of sponge lead, immersed in sulfuric acid. Electrons are released when these components react chemically, resulting in electricity flowing.

How does a battery work in a car

Your car's battery provides electrical energy to the starter motor, which turns the engine when you turn it on. When a battery loses its charge or fails, jump-starting becomes necessary. In jump starting, a good battery is connected to a dead one, allowing a flow of electricity to revive it temporarily, allowing the engine to start and the alternator to recharge it.

How to Identify a Dead Battery?

To jump-start a car, you must be able to identify a dead battery. When you turn the key, you'll hear a series of feeble clicking sounds, and the engine won't start.

How to jump-start an automatic car

By recognizing these symptoms, you can diagnose the issue correctly and decide whether a jump start is necessary.

Tools and Equipment

Gather the right tools and equipment before you attempt to jump-start an automatic car.

  • Jumper Cables
  • Owner's Manual
  • Running Vehicle

Safety Precautions Before Jump-Starting an Automatic Car

It's possible to jump-start an automatic car in a dead battery situation, but safety must be prioritized to avoid accidents or vehicle damage. Follow these safety precautions:

1. Wear Safety Gear

Wear safety gear such as safety goggles and gloves before attempting a jump start. Wearing gloves and gaggles can prevent you from short circuit. As a result of this simple step, you will be protected from sparks and battery acid, reducing the risk of injuries.

2. Check for Leaks or Damage

Safety Precautions Before Jump-Starting an Automatic Car

Check the battery for visible leaks or damage. Don't attempt to jump-start a vehicle if you notice cracks, bulges, or corrosion around the terminals.

3. Park in a Safe Location

Park both vehicles in a safe, flat, and well-ventilated area away from traffic. Start the jump-start process by turning off the ignition, engaging the parking brakes, and placing both cars in neutral or park.

4. Keep Ignition Off

Turning off the ignition in both cars before jumping them is important. It is possible to damage a vehicle if you attempt to jump-start it with the ignition still on.

How to jump-start an automatic car| Step By Step Guide

Now that you've gathered the necessary tools and equipment, let's learn how to jump-start an automatic car step by step. To get your vehicle back on the road, follow these simple instructions.

Step 1: Preparing the Tools and Vehicles

Make sure both vehicles are parked safely and the engines are off before you begin the jump-starting process. Keep the donor car close to your vehicle so that the jumper cables can reach, but leave some space between them to avoid contact.

Step 2: Identifying Battery Terminals

How to identify battery terminal

Look at both vehicles' battery terminals and identify them. The battery has two terminals: a positive (+) terminal and a negative (-) terminal. Identifying these terminals is crucial since you'll connect jumper cables to them. 

Step 3: Connecting Jumper Cables

Connecting the Positive (Red) Cable: The dead battery's positive terminal (marked with a plus sign) should be connected to one end of the red jumper cable. Connect the other end of the red cable to the positive terminal of the donor car's working battery.

How to connect jumper cables

Connecting the Negative (Black) Cable: A black jumper cable should be connected to the negative terminal of the donor car's working battery (marked with a minus sign). The black cable cannot reach the negative terminal of a dead battery, unlike the positive cable. As an alternative, you can attach it to an unpainted metal surface on your car, away from the battery, in order to provide a safe ground for it.

Step 4: Starting the Donor Car

How to start donor car

Start the donor car's engine and let it run for a few minutes. Through the jumper cables, power will be transferred from the donor vehicle's alternator to your car's dead battery.

Step 5: Starting the Dead Car

It's time to breathe new life into your vehicle. Start your car by turning the ignition key or pressing the start button. You should hear your engine roar back to life if everything goes well. Wait a few minutes and try again if it doesn't start right away.

Step 6: Removing the Jumper Cables

The first step is to remove the black (negative) cable from the unpainted metal surface of your car. After that, you need to remove the black (negative) cable from the negative terminal of the donor car. The red (positive) cable should be removed from the positive terminal of the donor car.

How to jump-start an automatic car

Last but not least, remove the red (positive) cable from your car's positive terminal. During removal, always handle the cables carefully and avoid letting them touch each other.

Step 7: Testing the Jump-Started Car

Allow your jump-started car to run for a few minutes after you disconnect the jumper cables. To test the battery's performance, turn on the headlights, air conditioning, or other electrical accessories. Your automatic car has been successfully jump-started if everything appears normal.


Common Issues During Jump Starting

Despite your best efforts, sometimes the jump-starting process could go better. You might encounter the following problems:

1. Weak or Dead Donor Battery: You may not be able to jump-start your vehicle if the donor car's battery is weak or dead. In this situation, you will need to find another vehicle with a healthy battery.

2. Incorrect Cable Connections: Your vehicle's electrical system can be damaged if you mix up the cable connections. Double-check your connections to ensure they match the correct terminals.

3. Corroded Battery TerminalsA battery's terminals can corrode, preventing electricity from flowing through them. Clean the terminals before attempting a jump start if you notice white or greenish buildup.

4. Failed Alternator: If your car's alternator fails, you cannot charge the battery even if you jump-start it. Alternators need to be replaced or towed to a mechanic.


How do you jumpstart an automatic car without another car?

If you don’t have another vehicle for jump-starting an automatic car, then you can you two methods. 1 Portable Jump starter and 2 Push start.

Method#1 Portable jump starter

A portable jump starter or a jumper pack can jumpstart an automatic car without another vehicle. In the event of a dead battery, these devices provide the necessary power to start your car's engine. To start your car, make sure it and the jump starter are turned off. Locate the battery in your vehicle and identify its positive (+) and negative (-) terminals.

How do you jumpstart an automatic car without another car

Using the jump starter, connect the red (positive) cable to the positive terminal of your car's battery and the black (negative) cable to the negative terminal. Then, try starting your car with the jump starter. Then, disconnect the wires in reverse order, starting with the black cable, and let your car run to recharge the battery.

Method#2 Push Start

If you don't have a jump starter, you can push-start your automatic car if it has a manual transmission mode. You can do this by asking a friend to push the car while you are inside. Turn on the ignition, depress the brake pedal, and put the transmission in drive or first gear. Release the brake as your friend pushes the car, and the car should start.

How to push start a car

Apply the brakes, shift back to park or neutral, and turn off the ignition once it does. It's important to prioritize safety when attempting push-starting, as this method might only work for some automatic cars. Now that you know how to jump-start an automatic car, I hope you are fully prepared because I provided you with an alternative method.


Can you damage a car by jump-starting?

If not done correctly, jump-starting a car can cause damage. Positive and negative terminals must match up properly when connecting jumper cables. The car's electrical system, including the battery, alternator, and sensitive electronics, can be damaged by reversing these connections.

There is still a risk associated with electronic cars. Electric vehicles require special precautions when jumping starting due to their complex batteries and electronics. It is possible to damage the electric vehicle's high-voltage system or sensitive control modules if not done correctly. When jumping starting any car, especially an electric one, consult the vehicle's manual or seek professional assistance.


Final Verdict

Although jumping start an automatic car is not a big deal, you should still pay attention because automatic cars are different from manual cars. Connecting the jumper cables in reverse order can cause some problems with the electrical system of the car. Portable jump starters are the best option in emergency situations if you don't have another vehicle. Some portable jump starters have power banks, flashlights, charging ports, inflatable gauges, and charging ports.

I recommend you to have a portable jump starter, with the help of this you can jump-start your automatic car as well as charge many electronic things. A push start may be a better option when you have a helper or friends. It is very difficult to start this option if no man is available. Now I hope you don’t have any questions related to how to jump-start an automatic car.