Key Takeaways

  • You can safely jump start a car in the rain.
  • Jump-starting your car in the rain is no more dangerous than jumping it in dry conditions.
  • The hood of your car can provide your battery some protection from rain.
  • Make sure you hook the cables up in the right order.
  • Ground out the dead car battery side to the engine block if you can.

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Jumpstarting your car requires you to be around amperage and voltage. So is it safe to jumpstart a car in the rain?

It’s totally safe to jump start a car in the rain. There are some precautions you can do to minimize risks. Things like turning off both cars, wearing protective gear, keeping the batteries dry, and connecting the cables in the right order are all things you can do to minimize risk of injury.

I’m a mechanic with 5 years experience diagnosing and repairing vehicles. I received my degree in automotive repair and I am ASE certified. I receive regular training on the most recently released automotive technology. And I diagnose and repair vehicles with the latest and most up-to-date tools and software.

Table of Contents

Is It Safe To Jump A Car In The Rain

It is safe to jump start a dead battery in the rain. This is because moisture on top of a battery from rain will not cause that much risk in terms of creating a spark. Car batteries are usually under a covered area as well so they should be protected from the rain.

For example, when you lift the hood up to access the battery you can use the hood to protect it from the rain. Or if the battery is in the car you don’t have to worry about moisture getting onto the battery at all.

And even if there was tons of moisture on the battery while jump starting the vehicle you shouldn’t be that concerned since there isn’t enough voltage to cause any damage when mixed with water.

However, you do want to watch out for sparks. Sparks of electricity can come off the battery during both dry and wet conditions. Sparks usually happen because the two posts of the battery get connected somehow.

For example, if a wrench gets set down on top of the battery and touches both the positive and negative terminal a spark will occur. A spark can occur if enough water gets on the battery causing electricity to flow from each post, but that’s a lot of water.

Basically the battery would have to be submerged in water for that to happen which won't happen in rain. But there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of sparks and shocks. The first smart thing to do when hooking up the jumper cables is to make sure both cars are off.

The next thing you can do, if you have it, is to wear protective gear. You’ll want to wear gloves and eye protection if you can. Minimizing risk is the priority here so wearing these Personal Protection Equipment items minimizes any risk to your hands and face.

Keep the batteries as dry as possible in the rain. If you see moisture on the posts before you clamp the jumper cables onto them, dry them off with a rag. This also minimizes the risk of contact sparks.

Use good quality jumper cables with a thick gauge of wire. Make sure the jumper cables have good solid clamps on them too. The clamps should be somewhat difficult to get on and off. If they go on too easily the clamps might not have enough tensile strength to avoid sparking.

And make sure you connect the cables in the correct order. Connecting the cables in the incorrect way can cause sparking and damage. But it's simple.

  • Red (+) → Red (+)
  • Black (-) → Black (-)

These are the things you can do to avoid any sparking while jumping your car. Some sparking will occur when you hook up the jumper cables correctly but very little. You want to avoid all sparks if you can no matter what the condition as they can be harmful to your skin.

How To Jump Start A Car Battery

The first thing you want to do is confirm that the battery is dead. You can do this by trying to start the car and listen for clicking. This clicking noise is your starter relay telling you your battery doesn’t have enough  power.

Once confirmed you have a dead battery, pull another car up to your vehicle so a working battery is as close to the dead battery as possible. When you pull up the car with a working car battery make sure not to touch the cars.

To safely jump start the car make sure you take both sets of car keys out of both car’s ignitions. The next step is to identify the positive and negative cables on the posts. The negative cable on the posts will be black and the positive posts on the cable will be red. The actual posts won’t be red but the wires coming off of the battery terminals will be these colors.

Next take out your jumper cables. The jumper cables should be red and black. Take your red clamp and connect it to the red terminal on the dead battery. Now connect the red clamp to the positive terminal on the good battery. Then put the black clamp onto the negative terminal for the good battery.

You can connect the both posts at once on the good battery at the same time. And finally you can connect the black clamp to the dead car. You can connect the black clamp to the dead car’s grounding point. Avoid using the negative terminal since it can cause a spark which can cause an explosion. When you complete the circuit you might see a small spark. This spark signifies that the circuit is complete and you have done everything correctly.

Ensure that you have hooked up the jumper cables in the correct position. The red cable is for positive terminals and the black cable. The black cable on the dead car should be connected to a grounding point such as the engine block. Doing otherwise risks doing damage to other electrical components and the vehicle’s electrical system.

After everything is hooked up, turn the key in the dead car’s ignition and the car should start right up. Leave the car running for about 3-4 minutes before you shut off the car. This will ensure the alternator has a chance to recharge the dead battery. You can disconnect the cables in any order that’s most convenient for you.

It’s also possible to use a portable jump starter. A portable jump starter doesn’t require the use of another car. All you have to do is hook up the portable jump starter to the vehicle’s battery.

Put the red cable to the positive terminal and the black cable to the negative terminal and start the car. The car should start right up. The only downfall to this method is that portable jump starters can get quite expensive and are usually only found in automotive shops.

Is It Safe To Jump-Start A Car In The Rain?

About The Author

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks has been servicing vehicles since 2012. After completing the automotive studies program at Camden County College, he was awarded an Associates's Degree in Applied Science. His first job was a lube-tech at Jiffy Lube, and is currently an independent B-Technician servicing vehicles for the United States Postal Service. Christopher is ASE certified and loves rebuilding engines.

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