If you find yourself in a situation where your car won’t start, there are a few things you can do to try and jump-start it. If you have jumper cables and another car with a working engine, you can attach the cables to the battery of both cars and start the working car. The working car will then charge the battery of the other car. 

If you don’t have jumper cables or another working car, you can try calling a trusted roadside assistance service. They will be able to help you jump-start your car or tow it to a nearby service station. In either case, it’s important to make sure that you understand how to properly jump-start a car before attempting to do so. Otherwise, you could end up causing damage to your vehicle.

To do this, you’ll need another car with a working battery and jumper cables. Once you have everything you need, follow these steps: 

  1. Park the working car close to the car with the dead battery, but make sure the cars don’t touch. 
  2. Turn off all electronics in both cars. 
  3. Connect one end of the positive (red) cable to the positive terminal on the working battery. 
  4. Connect the other end of the positive (red) cable to the positive terminal on the dead battery.
  5. Connect one end of the negative (black) cable to the negative terminal on the working battery.
  6. Finally, connect the other end of the negative (black) cable to a metal part of the dead car that is not near the battery (such as a bolt). 
  7. Start the working car and let it run for a few minutes. 
  8. Try starting the car with the dead battery. If it doesn’t work, check the cables and make sure they are all properly connected. If everything looks good and the car still won’t start, you may need to replace the battery.

Do You Have Roadside Assistance Coverage?

Regardless of why you can’t jump-start your car, start at square one: See if you are covered for roadside assistance. Call the following three companies to find out if they can come to your aid:

  1. Credit Cards: Believe it or not, just by having an open credit card account, you may be entitled to roadside assistance. Call the customer service line for your credit card company and ask to speak to an associate in the card benefits department.
  1. AAA: If you have an AAA membership, you know for a fact you have roadside assistance. However, maybe you don’t know if your membership is still current. Call AAA and they will look you up in their system.
  1. Warranty: Is your vehicle fairly new? The manufacturer’s warranty may cover roadside assistance if you can’t jump-start your vehicle and the dead battery is a manufacturing defect.

Even if your car isn’t new, maybe you purchased a dealership warranty when you bought your car. Dealer warranties likely provide roadside assistance up to a certain mileage, so call the original dealer and explain your situation.

Find a Tow Service

Let’s say you explore all of the above options, but you still don’t have coverage. That’s OK — all you have to do is find a trusted local towing service that specializes in helping stranded motorists. You will need to make sure the towing company you choose offers the following two services:

Professional Jump Start

Make sure the towing company understands why you’re calling — that you have a dead battery and you can’t jump it on your own. They will bring heavy-duty jumper cables and a professional battery starter kit. They will do everything in their power to get your vehicle running using their equipment.