How to Handle a Dead Battery


A dead or drained battery is one of the biggest inconveniences you can encounter with your vehicle.
Luckily, if you have a willing friend with a working battery and a set of jumper cables, it isn’t difficult to get your vehicle started again.

Prepare yourself beforehand

If you’re reading this article, you’re already taking an important first step – knowing what to do before you experience a problem. Here are a few other things to do:

  •     Familiarize yourself with all the safety and roadside emergency information in your Owner Guide before you hit the road.
  •     Make sure to keep the Roadside Assistance in your cell phone, wallet or   purse and glove box.
  •     Purchase a pair of jumper cables if you don’t already have them. Every  driver should have a pair in his or her car.


  •     Do not disconnect the disabled battery – this could damage the vehicle’s electrical system
  •     Do not let the assisting (booster) vehicle and the disabled vehicle touch

Setting up the jumper cables

1.    Park the boosting vehicle next to the vehicle with the dead battery
2.   Turn off the ignition of both vehicles, set their parking brakes on and set them in P   (Park)
3.    Turn off all lights, electronic devices and any other items that can drain power (it’s a good idea to remove any portable items plugged into your cigarette lighter/outlets as well)
4.    Remove any terminal covers and excessive corrosion from the battery terminals before connecting the cables
5.   Clamp the red positive (+) cable onto the disabled vehicle’s red positive (+) battery terminal
6.   Next, connect the other end of the red positive cable to the booster vehicle’s red positive battery terminal
7.    Now connect the black negative clamp to the booster vehicle’s black negative (-) terminal.
8.    Connect the other end of the black negative cable to a large, unpainted metal surface within the engine area of the dead vehicle, away from the battery and the carburetor/fuel injection system. Make sure cables are clear of any possible moving parts
9.     After a final check, start the booster vehicle. Then start the disabled vehicle. Allow them both to run connected for about three minutes
10.    Without turning off the jump-started vehicle’s engine, disconnect the cables in the reverse order that they were attached and close the hoods

11.    Allow the jump-started vehicle’s engine to run for several minutes
12.    Visit your local Ford or Lincoln Dealership to get the jump-started battery tested or replaced as soon as possible

For more detailed information and illustrations on how to jump-start your vehicle, be sure to check your Owner’s Guide.