When my car battery died, I was at work. I happened to be the only female employee at the restaurant at the time, and I was also kind of on a date. My solution to the problem was the gather every man I could and have them diagnose the problem for me.
Unfortunately, there aren’t always men around when you have car problems. Also unfortunately, women think that whenever you have car issues, men are the only answer. Parents don’t often see fit to teach their daughters basic car maintenance. My dad was interested in having my brother help him out with the repairs, but he never asked me. I
had to learn am learning the hard way.
Since my first experience with car trouble, I’ve had to help two other women jump their batteries. The experiences are the same: Nervous giggling. Awkward standing around. Asking, “Ok, so what now?” The process usually takes about half an hour, which is way too long. I’ll get better the more I do it, but this is one of those cases where you’d rather not get the extra practice.
There is a right and a wrong way to jump a car, and from what I understand, you could
even blow up your car get zapped if you do it wrong. Since that’s a potentially a bad situation, here’s how to jump your car the right way:
- Find a friend/sympathetic bystander with a working car. Have them park their car so that the engines are close. Make sure both engines are turned off. This is where the whole engine-blowing-up thing could happen, so don’t neglect this part.
- Grab some jumper cables and connect one of the red ends to the positive terminal on the stalled battery. For science reasons, there’s an order to how you connect the cables, and if you do it out of order, bad things could happen. Connect the other red end to the working car.
- Connect a black end to the negative terminal to the working car. Then connect the other black end to an unpainted part of the engine block, not the negative terminal of the stalled car.
- Start the working car. Let it run for a little bit before trying to start the dead car.
- Remove the cables in the opposite order that you put them on. Black off the engine block, black off the working car, red off the working car and finally, red off the stalled car.
- Once the stalled car starts working, don’t turn it off for a while. If you do, it could die again.
That’s it! Jumping a car isn’t as scary as not knowing what’s wrong with you car. In case the instructions aren’t clear from the text, here’s a video showing you how to do it. Sometimes you have to watch a few times before it make sense.
Disclaimer: Humans of the male persuasion are awesome and I have nothing against them helping me with my car, but I don’t think that half the population should be rendered helpless when something happens to the vehicles that they depend upon every day. Everyone should know basic mechanical skills. That is my official position on the men, women and cars topic.