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How to jump start you van

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How to jump start you van

Whether you've left the lights on, the keys in the ignition or your battery is faulty, having to jump start a van to get the engine running can be a daunting experience. If you're not sure how to do this just follow our simple steps and you'll be on the move again in no time.

What you will need:
> Jump leads
> Another vehicle with the same battery voltage
> Safety goggles if available

For safety it is important to remember not to attempt to jump start your van if the battery frozen, cracked or damaged; in these cases it is best to be safe and call a professional. Remember you always need to read your vehicle handbook and instructions to any equipment before you jump start your van. Any specific instructions should be used instead of our steps.

When jump starting your vehicle there are a few safety issues which you need to be aware of:
> Make sure you secure all loose clothing before jump starting your van.
> Don't smoke or have any naked flames in the vicinity.
> Keep metal objects away from the battery.

Step 1

> Ask the owner of the working vehicle to park it opposite your van so that the bonnets are facing. Make sure that the vehicles do not touch as it could cause a shortage (and a bang). Remember to check they are insured.
> Make sure both engines are switched off and open the bonnets.
> Identify the positive and negative ends of both batteries (the positive end will usually have a plus symbol or red markings, whereas the negative end will have a minus symbol or black markings).

Step 2

A) Using the jump leads connect one end of the (+) positive red cable to the (+) positive terminal on the dead battery.
B) Then connect the other end of the (+) positive red cable to the (+) positive terminal on the working vehicle.
C) Take the (-) negative black cable and connect to the (-) negative terminal on the working vehicle.
D) Take the other end of the (-) negative black cable and connect it to a suitable earthing point such as metal bolt or bracket under the bonnet, however make sure it is away from the dead battery and the fuel system of your van. (Some vans have negative jump starting poles just for this situation, check your vehicle handbook to see if yours does.)

Use the image below as a guide to connecting the jump leads.
Battery 2

Step 3

> Ensure all the heaters and radios are switched off, so all of the energy of the working vehicle is used for the jump start.
> Start the engine on the working vehicle and let the engine run for a couple of minutes.
> Revving the engine a little will help to produce more current for the battery.

Step 4

> Try and start your van, if it doesn't turn on then wait for a couple of minutes before trying again.
> Once your van is running leave the engine of both vehicles on for five minutes to charge the battery.
> If your van still doesn't turn on, then depending on where you are you should call your breakdown provider who will attempt to fix your vehicle at the roadside.

Step 5

> Once you van has been jump started and is running the jump leads need to be removed in reverse order.
> First of all you need to switch the engines of both vehicles off and you need to be careful when you are removing the jump leads, DO NOT let any jump leads touch any metal especially the bodywork of the vehicles when removing them.
> Start by disconnecting the (-) negative black cable from the earthing point.
> Then disconnect the (-) negative black cable from the (-) negative terminal on the vehicle you used to help jump start your van.
> Next disconnect the (+) positive red cable from the (+) positive terminal on the vehicle you used to help jump start your van.
> Finally disconnect the (+) positive red cable from the (+) positive terminal on the van which had the flat battery.
> Start the ignition of your van; if it won't start now then you might not have left it to charge long enough. Try again and leave it charging for longer. If it does start then congratulations you have managed to jump start your van!

Once your vehicle is running then you should drive it for a minimum of 20 minutes in order to charge the battery, or once you are home connect the battery to a charger overnight. However, if the battery becomes flat again after the jump start procedure, it could mean that the battery is faulty or damaged and might need replacing.

Hopefully our guide on how to jump start your van has given you some useful tips about what to do if you are faced with a flat battery when you are out and about in your van.

If you want to avoid the hassle of jump starting your vehicle then think about getting breakdown cover. It will ensure that if you ever do have engine trouble then a trained machine will assist you. Autonet have teamed up with AXA Assistance to offer breakdown cover for vans, cars and bikes. AXA were the winners of The Best Breakdown Cover Award at The Personal Finance Awards 2014/15.

Autonet Insurance Group cannot accept responsibility for any damage,best cover
loss, injury or disappointment incurred by you jump starting your vehicle using the above guide.