November 19, 2018 at 9:05 AM
Getting behind the wheel of your van ready for a day's work and being faced with a dead battery is not an ideal way to start the day. No matter how much reliability improves with modern vehicles, the battery can still let us down without any warning.
Whether the lights have been left on overnight or the battery is faulty, you're faced with the prospect of having to jump start your van to get it going. Learning how to jump start a vehicle is an important skill that will serve you well to know.
Although it can be a daunting experience, the process is relatively simple. Follow our step-by-step guide to jump start your van.
You'll need a couple of items before you can attempt to jump start your van:
In terms of safety, you should make sure that any loose clothing is secured, all metal objects are kept away from the batteries and people aren't smoking in the vicinity of where you're attempting the jump start.
It's important to read the handbook for your van and any instructions on your jump leads. The steps in this post are generic and you should always follow any specific instructions provided for your van or equipment.
Park the vehicles bumper-to-bumper or side-by-side - depending on where you are - and put them both in neutral or park, switching both engines, heaters, radios and other electronics off. Make sure that the vehicles aren't touching because you don't want them to complete a circuit through the bodywork.
Open the bonnet of your van and the other vehicle to access their batteries. If you notice that either of the batteries are cracked or damaged, do not attempt a jump start. Call breakdown cover immediately and get it looked at by a professional.
There is a specific order that you need to connect the jump cables to each of the vehicles, so follow these instructions very closely:
After you've left the van running for a while, the jump leads need to be removed in reverse order. Because they have had an electrical current passing through them, they will be charged so it's extemely important to not let any of the jump leads touch any metal.
Once all of the jump leads have been disconnected and are safely packed away, try to start your van again. Hopefully it will start up, and if it does, you need to drive it around for at least 20 minutes to charge the battery.
If the van won't start again after this process then the battery has completely died and needs to be replaced.