Should Car Be Running When Jump Starting

As a running sports enthusiast, I know a thing or two about the importance of being in the right state when starting a race or a workout. Similarly, when it comes to jump starting a car, there’s often confusion about whether the car should be running or not. Let’s dive into this topic and clear up any doubts.

Understanding the Process of Jump Starting

When a car’s battery is dead, jump starting is a way to revive it by using the electrical power from another vehicle. This process involves connecting a good battery to the dead battery using jumper cables and transferring power to start the engine.

Should the Car Be Running?

Contrary to what some may believe, the car should not be running when jump starting. The reason for this is safety. If the car is running while jump starting, it could cause damage to the electrical systems in both cars due to the sudden surge of power.

The Correct Steps for Jump Starting

Here are the correct steps to follow when jump starting a car:

  1. Turn off the ignition – Ensure that the car with the dead battery is switched off to prevent any electrical mishaps.
  2. Connect the jumper cables – Attach the positive and negative ends of the jumper cables to the corresponding terminals on the batteries of both cars.
  3. Start the engine of the working car – After the cables are properly connected, start the engine of the working car to transfer power to the dead battery.
  4. Attempt to start the dead car – Once the working car is running, attempt to start the engine of the dead car. If it starts, let it run for a few minutes to ensure the battery is recharged.

Precautions to Keep in Mind

While jump starting a car, it’s important to take certain precautions to avoid any accidents or damage:

  • Use quality jumper cables – Ensure that the jumper cables are in good condition to safely transfer power between the batteries.
  • Follow the correct sequence – Connecting the jumper cables in the right sequence (positive to positive, negative to negative) is crucial to prevent electrical issues.
  • Seek professional help if unsure – If you’re unsure about the jump starting process, it’s best to seek assistance from a professional mechanic.


It’s important to remember that safety should always be the top priority when dealing with car batteries and electrical systems. By following the correct steps and precautions, jump starting a car can be a safe and effective way to get back on the road. Remember, when it comes to jump starting, keep the dead car off and the working car running!