At times, the commonplace becomes a platform for camaraderie and community building. A motorist stranded by the roadside due to a dead 12V battery in their petrol car presents such an opportunity. It’s a scene not uncommon on the UK’s winding roads, and offering assistance can be a rewarding experience. However, it’s imperative to follow a structured approach to ensure safety and effectiveness while lending a hand. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to correctly assist in such a situation:
1. Prioritise Safety:
First and foremost, ensure that both vehicles are positioned safely away from the flow of traffic. It’s advisable to put on hazard lights, especially in low visibility conditions.
2. Identify the Issue:
Confirm that the issue at hand is indeed a depleted battery. A quick look at the dashboard lights when the ignition key is turned, or a portable battery tester can help establish the battery’s state.
3. Prepare for Jump-Starting:
If a jump-start is needed, ensure that both cars’ engines are off, and the keys are removed from the ignition. Position the helping car close to the stranded one but not touching, and ensure both handbrakes are engaged.
4. Connect the Jump Leads:
Attach one end of the red jump lead to the positive terminal of the dead battery, and the other end to the positive terminal of the assisting battery. Next, connect one end of the black jump lead to the negative terminal of the assisting battery, and the other end to an unpainted metal part of the stranded car’s engine block away from the battery.
5. Initiate the Jump-Start:
Start the engine of the assisting car and let it run for a few minutes. Then, attempt to start the engine of the stranded car. If successful, let both engines run for a further 10 minutes to allow some charge to transfer to the depleted battery.
6. Disconnect the Leads:
Turn off both engines before safely disconnecting the jump leads in the reverse order to how they were connected.
7. Final Check:
Ensure the once-stranded motorist’s car starts again independently before parting ways. If the car fails to start, the battery might be beyond revival, and professional assistance may be necessary.
Helping a stranded motorist is a straightforward yet gratifying gesture. Adhering to the above-outlined steps will not only ensure the safety of all parties involved but will make the process smooth and effective.