Can you jump a car in the rain – is it safe?

Many drivers, at one time or another, have experienced the need to start their car. When the battery is dead and you have to go, a jump start may be the only way to do it, assuming major engine components are working as they should.

Getting jumper cables and some help from a willing friend or even a close stranger isn’t usually a big deal, but something many people wonder about is the weather. In particular, is it safe to perform a jump start when it’s raining outside? This is the central question of today’s blog.

Can you start a car when it’s raining?

The short answer to this question is yes, you can. However, there are some very important things to remember and some rules to follow. It’s logical to assume that wouldn’t be possible, as most of us have been programmed from a young age to associate any type of water and moisture as something to be kept completely separate from anything electrical.

It’s still good advice, but when it comes to starting the car, it can be done with care. One more important thing to remember is that while it is acceptable to perform a jump in the rain, it is NO acceptable in a storm. If you see lightning and hear thunder along with the rain, don’t try to perform a jump start.

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Can you jump a car in the rain? before you start

In addition to equipping yourself with the proper rain gear and an umbrella to protect yourself and your car’s engine from the rain, there are 2 other important things to check and be sure of before you start trying to start your car:

1. Jumper cables

Your jumper cables need to be in good shape. As jumper cables age, their insulation layer begins to wear down and become damaged. Isolation exists for a good reason, mainly to prevent short circuits from occurring. When attempting a jump in the rain, you need all the protection you can get.

If rainwater hits old, worn jumper cables, there is a greater chance that water will get into the cables and, at best, cause a short circuit. Therefore, check the cables for signs of damage. The plastic insulation must be free of cuts, cracks or fractures, and the clamps must be firmly and solidly attached to the cable.

2. Protective equipment and knowledge

You should not lack any equipment that you would use when starting a car, and this especially includes protective gloves🇧🇷 You should also review your battery and cable geography, making sure you are 100% sure where the positive and negative terminals are and what order you will connect them (see below). Never touch both battery terminals at the same time. If you need to brush up on your battery or starter knowledge a bit, check your car manual first for exact model-specific information.

How to jump a car in the rain – step by step guide

Step 1: Bring the cars as close as possible

Regardless of the length of the cables, try to get the two cars you will be using as close together as possible. This minimizes the amount of cable that must be exposed to the outside. If you have the cars close enough together and you’re in the middle with a big umbrella, you can ensure that virtually no water gets close to the action.

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rain car departure

Step 2: Turn off all electrical components

All vehicle electrical systems need to be turned off before you start: lights, windshield wipers, fans and air conditioning, radio, etc. I don’t want any power to be consumed in the car while you are jump starting. You want everything in there on drums.

Step 3: Connect the cables

This is the tricky part and the part that needs the most care of all. Your car battery, like all others, must have 2 terminals, one of them red and the other black. Jumper cables should also be red and black. Although you shouldn’t attach both clamps at the same time, you should hold them together to prevent either one of them from touching anything metal.

First, connect the red positive lead to the red positive terminal on the GOOD battery, then connect the other red cable to the red terminal on the DEAD drums. Then connect the black negative cable to the black negative terminal on the GOOD battery, but DO NOT attach the other clip to the dead battery. Instead, connect it to a different metal component that is not near the battery. Keeping it away will prevent sparks from flying or hydrogen gas being released.

At no time allow cables to be cross-connected. Connecting red to black will cause a short circuit and be very troublesome for everyone involved.

Step 4: Start the working car and then the dead car

After waiting 2-3 minutes, start the car with the good battery first and let it idle for a few minutes. The period of inactivity should allow a small charge to be transferred to the dead battery to allow you to start it. After waiting 2-3 minutes, start the car with a dead battery and it should come back to life quite easily.

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Step 5: Disconnect the cables

The disconnection of the cables must also occur in the correct order, i.e. the black negative cable first and then the red positive cables. Make sure the staples don’t touch anything metal when you remove them.

Step 6: Idle and Drive

After starting the car, you can let it idle for a while and/or drive for at least 20-30 minutes to restore battery charge. After that, you can rest assured that you can leave the battery overnight until you can boot up and complete the remaining charge the next day.

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