Jump your own car with the help of General Motors

January 28, 2011 12:00 AM

We've all heard that sound... you turn the key and the engine roars to life... oh, wait. Just kidding. You turn the key, again. It revs, but no spark. Finally, on the third turn, you don't even hear a sound. After the tirade of curses at your car have subsided, it's time to call AAA. Or is it?

According to GM, it's possible to jump-start a vehicle on your own. Apparently it's in the owner's manual of every GM car, but we'd like to know who reads those Bibles cover to cover.

Once you've flagged a friendly person down, or if you're lucky and already caravaning someone, position the cars front-to-front, but not touching! Extinguish any cigarettes, flames or anything that could create a spark on the battery.

Without letting the jumper cables touch, place the red (positive) cables to the plus (+) piece on the battery. After that, connect the black (negative) cables to the minus (-) piece. Once the two cars are connected, turn on the car with the good battery and let it sit idle for one or two minutes.

Turn on the headlights of the car with the bad battery to absorb some of the voltage, then attempt to start the vehicle. Remove the cables immediately after the car has been jumped.

GM recommends driving the car around for at least 30 minutes before turning it off so that the battery is completely recharged. 

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