How To Jump A Car

There are few things more frustrating than leaving home in the morning, getting in your car, turning the key, and hearing nothing but a repeated clicking noise. Then you notice the headlight switch in the on position. Your car has a dead battery, and now you have to jump-start it or risk being late.

Most car owners have encountered this scenario at some point. Many people know how to jump-start a dead vehicle, but there are equally as many people who have never had to, or don’t know how to. Even if it seems unlikely you’ll ever be in a situation where a jump start is required for your car, you may need to help someone else with a dead battery. It’s a good skill to know, and we are going to cover the steps here.

Safely jump-start your car in these 8 steps

1.) Get your jumper cables

Keeping a set of jumper cables in your car is a really good idea. If your battery dies, it’s one less thing you need to either buy or borrow to get your car back on the road.

2.) Locate the battery

The vast majority of vehicles have their batteries under the hood with the engine. The battery may be covered by a plastic or felt cover, but the posts should be easily accessed. Some luxury car models keep the battery in the trunk. If you are unsure where your battery is, check the owner’s manual.

3.) Connect the positive clips to the positive terminals

The positive terminal may have a “+” or “POS” on it or have a red terminal cap. Connect the red jumper cable clips to the positive terminals on your car and the car supplying power.

red jumper cable clips

4.) Connect the first negative clip

The negative clip on the car providing power should go on the negative battery terminal. The negative post will have a “-“symbol, “NEG” or have a black terminal cap

black jumper cable clips

5.) Place the other negative clip on a section of metal

On your car, place the other negative jumper cable clip on a section of unpainted metal in the engine bay. Find a bolt or rail away from the battery, fuel lines, or moving components like fans and belts. Do not place it on the negative terminal. Doing so can cause an explosion by igniting the hydrogen gas above the battery.

6.) Start the car supplying power

Allow it to run for a few minutes to give your dead battery time to get enough charge to start your car.

7.) Start your car

Hop in the driver’s seat and turn the key. Your vehicle should fire up. If it doesn’t, double-check all the jumper cable connection points to make sure they are attached correctly. Once your vehicle is running, don’t turn it off for at least 15 minutes to give the alternator time to charge up the battery.

8.) Disconnect the jumper cables

Remove the negative (black) clips first. For safety, you can attach the clip to the cable below the positive clip this will prevent the cable from coming into contact with the car while you remove the positive one. Replace the battery cover if you had to remove it and secure all the terminal covers.

Other jump-start tips

  • Once you get your car running and drive it for more than 15 minutes, the battery should be charged sufficiently. If your car won’t start even after a long drive, it’s likely your battery is unable to hold a charge and will need to be replaced.
  • If you are having trouble getting a good connection with the jumper cables, inspect the battery terminals and jumper clips for buildup/debris that may be causing a bad connection.
white audi and black sedan jump starting

Need a battery test or replacement?

If your battery is not staying charged like it should, stop in at Becker Service Center. We can test your battery and determine whether or not it’s time for a new one, ensuring your car starts up every time you get behind the wheel. Our team of skilled technicians can handle all other repairs and services your vehicle needs, too.

What’s Inside a Catalytic Converter?

Catalytic converters have been fitted on vehicles from the factory since 1975. Catalytic converters greatly reduce the number of toxic emissions that come from operating an internal combustion engine. Today, without a cat, you will be unable to pass emissions tests that many states require regular tests. Naperville, Wheaton, or any other town within the Dupage county limits require emission testing, so you better have one!

Most car owners know the importance of catalytic converters in reducing the harmful gasses emitted during engine operation, but what’s actually inside them remains a mystery. In this article, we are going to go over what’s inside a catalytic converter, and why they work.

What is a catalytic converter?

catalytic converters installed on a vehicle

The catalytic converter is an emissions control device located in the vehicle’s exhaust system. Cats are positioned closely after the exhaust manifold or headers, before the resonator or muffler. They accelerate a chemical reaction that changes toxic exhaust gases into less harmful emissions.

Catalytic converters contain a mix of ceramic and precious metals

A“catalyst” made up of various precious metals coats the ceramic material in a catalytic converter. The catalyst is responsible for the chemical reaction that converts harmful vapors like nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrocarbons into carbon monoxide and water vapor.

What does the inside look like?

catalytic converter inside

If you were to open up the metal canister of a catalytic converter, you would find a highly compact ceramic honeycomb structure. The honeycomb layout maximizes the catalyst surface area. Some catalytic converters use a less compact structure to benefit performance and exhaust flow. Emissions control is the primary focus of factory installed cats.


What metals are in a catalytic converter?

Catalytic converters use platinum, palladium, and rhodium to accelerate the chemical reaction needed to reduce NOx emissions. These metals coat the ceramic honeycomb core and react with the exhaust gasses that pass through on their way to the tailpipe.

These precious metals are what drive the prices of catalytic converters so high. This is why catalytic converters are such a common target for thieves. Used catalytic converters can bring $150 or more at a scrap yard. The owner, on the other hand, has to shell out hundreds (or thousands!) of dollars to replace it on their car.

Bring your car to Becker Service Center!

If you need to replace your catalytic converter or have any other exhaust service performed, the skilled technicians at Becker Service Center can help. Give us a call or schedule an appointment at our conveniently located Naperville repair shop today. We look forward to seeing you!