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Ben ASKED THE GUIDE

Holden Vectra 2004: How do I jump-start my car?

I had trouble starting my 2004 Holden Vectra, it wouldn't kick over. Could I have caused more problems jump-starting my car with a jump-starting kit, with the negative connected to the negative and the positive connected to the positive?

Jump-starting a modern, computer-controlled car is fraught with dangers. Get it wrong and you can fry the electronics and that’s bound to cost plenty if you damage – and need to replace - the on-board brain. The conventional advice is to connect the positive lead of the jump-start kit to the positive terminal of your car, but attach the negative lead of the jump-pack to a solid, metal part of the car. As in, not the actual negative battery terminal. That reduces the chance of sparks that could ignite the flammable gasses batteries give off. Make sure the ignition is switched off when you connect, too.

The best advice is to also make sure you’re using a set of surge-protected jumper leads ort a jump-pack that’s similarly protected as it’s the power surge (or spike) that kills electronics. The other piece of advice is; if you’re unsure about jump-starting, leave it to somebody who knows.

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