Just when you think all is good and fine while trying to beat the traffic and catch up with a client you’ve kept waiting because of a heavy downpour, then your car suddenly stopped in the middle of the road. And while you try to restart it you realize it won’t start because the battery is flat.
It is bad enough that you kept your client waiting but now you are stranded. No one wishes for a flat battery in inclement weather, on a nice day, right? But it happens!
Now you’re left with no option other than to jumpstart your car but lost in a dilemma of whether it is safe to do that in the rain. It is obvious that you are concerned about getting electrocuted.
Well, some people believe that there is nothing wrong with jumpstarting a car and letting it run in the middle of wet days. While that may be true, you have to be cautious and remember that water is a good conductor of electricity.
However, you may want to cast your worries aside because the car electrical system has a very low voltage as it stands, and since the voltage is not high, it is completely safe with no danger of being electrocuted.
So, if jumpstarting a car in the rain will not cause any harm, does that mean there is no danger waiting ahead? Exposing your car battery to moisture may not have immediate danger but can cause corrosion which might shorten the life of the battery.
To jumpstart your car, make it safe by ensuring that the electrical components are placed safely and rain droplets are prevented from dripping on battery open terminals.
Precautionary Measures To Jumpstarting a Car In The Rain
When jumpstart seems not to be the best option in the rain but looks like the only option to get you back on the road, you can play safer when you choose to stick to a few precautions:
Read Car Manual Before Making Any Attempt
Not all cars are recommended for jumpstarting. Check to see if the car can be jump-started because cars that are not recommended for jumpstarting have sensitive circuitry.
Protect yourself by wearing gloves and shield yourself, the battery terminal, innards of the car and the jumper wire open terminal with an umbrella to prevent rain droplets.
Check Battery For Existing Damages
Take a closer look at the battery to see if there is any existing damage on the jump leads and the battery itself. If you notice any damage, don’t risk jumpstarting the car as any attempt could lead to an explosion.
Be Mindful Of Traffic
People seem to get tense when it is raining forgetting that the roads are slick. While other drivers may want to be careless, you have to be mindful. Watch out for traffic anytime you need to get in and out of the car during the jumping process.
Remove Metal Jewellery
Before you start to jumpstart the car, remove any metal jewellery that can touch the battery terminals. Jewellery like wristwatches, bracelets, rings, among others, are liable to touch the battery terminals therefore, keep them away.
Ensure Proper Connection
Make sure that jumper cables are in their perfect shape, properly connected to the right terminal without touching each other and the connections should be as tight as possible.
You should not be in a hurry to jump into the car, hit the road and continue your trip. But rather, ensure that the jumper cables are carefully disconnected from the battery’s terminal. Never attempt jumping frozen, cracked, corroded, leaking and dry batteries
Step-by-Step Procedure To Safely Jumpstart a Car In The Rain
A better understanding of how to safely jumpstart a car is an asset in dire situations. While it is not dangerous to jumpstart your car in the rain, you should carefully follow a procedure that won’t endanger you, your car and the donor who is willingly lending a helping hand. Follow the steps below for a successful jumping process:
A few things should be done to get you ready for the jumping. Firstly, get the car manual and read the jumpstarting section thoroughly. Take note of all the guidelines and strictly follow suit. Secondly, run some background checks. Check the battery for any visible damages like leaks, cracks and corrosion.
Check if there are any tears or cut on the insulators and check for any damages on the cables. Finally, check to ensure that the cables are firmly attached to the clamps.
Turn-Off All Electrical Devices In Both Cars
For you to gather and transfer enough power to the dead battery, it is necessary to turn off the lights, windshield wiper, cooling device, radio and every other unnecessary electrical item in both cars.
Get The Jumper Cables Ready
Fetch the jumper cable from your car. Emergencies like this should always inform you to keep one in your vehicles. Although not all cars come with them, you can get one for your car in automobile shops. In case you do not have one, you might just ask other drivers around (you never can) you might get lucky.
Locate Batteries In Both Vehicles
Basically, not every car has its battery located in the same place still, you may not spend more than a few minutes doing this since you already know where your car battery is located. You can just ask your donor whether to check the trunk or elsewhere to locate his/her car battery.
Once the battery locations are known, move vehicles closer enough to each other so that the jump lead can easily get to both batteries at each end. While still on this, ensure that there is no exposure of batteries to the rain.
Be Safety Adherent
You can’t afford to be extra careful in situations like this. It is too dangerous to leave engines on when you are standing between both vehicles. Ensure that the cars are correctly packed plus, you do not necessarily need to have both cars packed facing each other.
Connect The Red And Black Clamps
By now you should have noticed that your car battery has both red and black terminals, the same applies to your jumper cables. The red is for positive while the black is for negative. This is where your full attention is needed most, you do not want to make any mistakes.
Ready for connection? Connect the red clamps to the positive terminals, with one attached to the dead battery and the other connected to the donor’s battery. Since you are left with the cable that has the black clamps, connect it with the negative terminals as you did the red clamps.
Hit On The Ignition Key
Start the car and allow the engine to run on a good battery for some ample time. By doing this, the flat battery gets charged and comes alive gradually. Thereafter, try starting the car with the flat battery. If you have a perfect connection, your car should start automatically.
If it doesn’t, make all necessary adjustments then give it another try. It should start by now but if it doesn’t, it could be a sign that the battery has developed a problem. You may just have to call the professionals. Once the car responds, leave the engine running for a while as this will allow the battery to charge gradually.
Carefully Disconnect The Cables In Reverse Order
Now that you have successfully revived the battery back to life, you can proceed to disconnect the cables. Start with the black clamp on the flat battery, then the black clamp on the donor’s battery. Repeat the procedure for the red clamp as you did the black clamp.
Drive the jumpstart car within a short distance, bring it to halt and leave it idle for about thirty minutes. With this, the battery gets charged with the help of the alternator. To fully recharge your car battery, you should just go ahead and attach the battery charger. Back to the question again “can you jumpstart a car in the rain”? Yes, you can!
With the right cables and correct connection, your car cannot be that dangerous. Be careful when connecting the cables, doing it the wrong way can result in short-circuiting.