Probably, all of us have been in a situation where we wondered, “Can you jump start a car in the rain?”
If your car broke down in the rain and now it needs a jump, and your friend or family member is coming to help you, you may be asking yourself if it’s safe to jump-start your car.
The answer is yes; you can jump-start a car in the rain as long as you follow specific steps to get it done. A vehicle’s battery voltage is not high enough to shock you while jumping your car, but you should take measures to prevent water from dripping on the jumper cables.
Consumer Reports discusses how to jump-start your car with a dead battery. This is the general way to jump a car’s dead battery.
Knowing the usual process will help you to prepare for any emergency.
The first important lesson to learn is how jumper cables work.
Jumper cables are in two colors. Red is positive. Black is the battery's negative spot.
Take your time to match the colors appropriately to prevent personal injury.
Take a moment with your helper to read the owners’ manuals.
Review the proper steps to hook up the jumper cables to both your cars based on which car has the dead battery and which one has a good battery.
Tip: Some cars, such as Saturns, have their batteries located in the trunk rather than under the hood.
Park one car facing forward. Have the other vehicle parked where the open hoods are parallel.
They should not touch but position them close enough to where the jumper cables can reach the batteries.
The vehicles should not be running while one is jump-starting the other. Turn both cars off and take the keys out of the ignition.
The red cable is for the positive charge on the batteries. Connect the red cable to the red positive area on your battery.
Have the other person do the same to the red part of their battery.
The black jumper cable connects to the negative portion of the car batteries.
Connect one end of the black jumper cable to the negative section of the working car battery.
Attach the other end of the black jumper cable to a metal surface that is far away from the battery.
This acts as a ground for conducting power to the negative battery.
Turn the ignition to the car with the good battery to turn it on. Keep the car with the dead battery off for a few minutes or so for the battery to properly charge up.
Attempt to start the car with the dead battery. If the car turns on, then you have successfully jump-started your battery.
Keep the car on for 20 minutes minimum to charge your battery before shutting it off.
Following this step will help your battery not go dead right away again.
If the car does not turn on, follow the next two steps.
If the car with the dead battery still does not start even after a long time of the cables hooked up together, there could be another issue.
Call your local mechanic to schedule a consultation. If your car is not at home, have it towed to your home as soon as possible.
Whether the car with the dead battery starts or not, you must remove the cables in reverse.
Remove the black cable from the ground area of your choice. Take off the other end that is on the working battery.
Finally, remove the red cable from both batteries.
Tip: If you are not on level ground, put the emergency brake on in both vehicles for extra precaution.
Yes, you can jump-start a car in the rain. However, you must follow safety precautions when jumping starting a car while raining.
How the water can interact with the electricity in the batteries and the flowing electrical charge in the jumper cables can lead to injury if you are not taking precautions.
Suit up in your protective gear, set a cover over your open hood, and set up a hanging light to see everything.
Follow the same steps for jumping your car with a dead battery when jumping a car in the rain.
However, you must follow these precautions while doing so. Here are the steps to jump-start a car in the rain.
Go to your trunk or wherever you keep your personal protective gear (PPE). Suit up so that you can stay safe.
You should wear safety goggles to protect your eyes while jumping a battery. Sparks could fly when jumping car batteries, so be cautious and wear eye protection.
Have a pair of rubber or mechanic’s gloves on hand to adequately and safely jump-start your car to prevent injury.
Keep a microfiber cloth in your supply kit to remove corrosion off the battery before installing the cables.
Get out an umbrella or old blanket to protect the car batteries from getting wet. Plus, you will see better when jump-starting your car without the rain getting all over your face.
Keep a flashlight or a hanging light handy if you have to jump a car in the rain during nighttime.
Tip: Utilize a car trunk organizer to keep all your supplies and PPE easily accessible to prepare for an emergency.
While you should always do this step before jump-starting your car, this is especially important when completing the task in the rain.
Any exposed internal wires poking out of the black or red rubber coating could mean that sparks fly when connecting a dead battery to a working one.
Follow this vital step to prevent injury as the sparks could interact with the rain and harm your skin, eyes, or another part of your body.
If you have an old blanket as your cover, secure it over the hood. Tape the bottom corners underneath your license plate and the top corners to your hood.
If you prefer, you can hold an umbrella while doing the job.
Keep an extra umbrella in your trunk organizer in case your helper does not have an umbrella for their hood.
Refer to the section above to jump-start a dead battery once you have the rainy day (or night) precautions set up.
AAA states that car batteries last for about 3-5 years.
However, there are ways to extend your car battery life, including:
- Do not use the accessories functions for too long as this can wear down your battery.
- Regularly use your car. Prolonged non-use for weeks at a time can cause a dead battery.
- Reassure your battery is firmly placed for utmost effectiveness.
- Have a car battery insulation kit to protect your car during wintertime.
- Go on longer rides rather than shorter ones to keep your car battery charged.
Tip: Purchasing a higher quality car battery means it will last longer.
So, can you jump-start a car in the rain? Yes, you can! Follow the safety precautions and take each step slowly to get the job done and stay safe.
You may feel panicky when your car does not start. Do not fret. Inhale a deep breath, take it one step at a time, and call for help immediately.
If you have children as passengers in your vehicle when it breaks down in the rain, have them stay in the car for safety.
Occupy them with a favorite toy or an activity on an electronic device to keep their attention.