Topic: Jump Starting Your SUV
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Stuck away from home with a dead battery? Learn to jump start your SUV and you can get going again. Start by familiarizing yourself with your owner's manual instructions about jump starting your particular vehicle and then consider these important tips.

First, buy yourself a GOOD set of jumper cables (top photo). The cables should be heavy duty and at least 12 ft. long. Always store these cables in your SUV or 4wd pickup so that you have them available to get yourself (or other stranded motorists) going again.

Second, in the comfort of your own garage, raise the hood on your SUV and familiarize yourself with the battery. Locate the two battery posts (blue and red arrows in second photograph). The battery posts are where the main power cables attach to the battery. Some batteries have these posts located on top (second photograph) and some have them located on one side (third and fourth photographs). You will notice on all these battery connections that there is a silver colored bolt connecting the wires to the battery (the arrows in these photographs point to these bolts). If you notice that these battery posts are corroded, see our battery maintenance web page about how to clean them. This is one of the maintenance chores that will keep you from having a dead battery in the first place.

Third, note in all of these photographs, that one of the battery cables is red and that one is black. Batteries have both a positive and a negative connection. One connection always goes to a ground somewhere under the hood and the other goes to the starter or fuse panel to provide battery power to the SUV. The battery will always contain a plus(+) sign near the positive post and a negative (-) sign near the negative post. Consult your owners manual again to assure that you understand which is which. Some vehicles have the positive cable going to ground and some have negative going to ground.

CAUTION: be careful to never short the positive terminal directly to ground (either the negative terminal or any metal part of the car) as a direct short will occur. Be careful of this when using metal tools on the battery terminals.

Press the yellow "2" button above to see how to connect the cables and jumpstart your SUV.
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