Store Locator

Ask CATS 3: How to safely boost your car battery.

Guest Contributor January 14, 2016
Car jumper cables.

Our Consumer and Technical Services (CATS) team receives questions from car care, buying a new or used vehicle, auto repairs, vehicle inspection, driving costs and more. If you have a question for CATS, call 1-866-464-6448 or email them at cats@caasco.ca.

Ask CATS #3: I just came back from Florida and my car battery is dead. What do I do?

About this time every year, Canadians are escaping down South. What they may not know is that the battery in their parked car can slowly drain, leaving them with a dead vehicle when they return.

While battery boosting was fairly simple in decades past, boosting a car battery today can be dangerous, and definitely requires some know-how of our modern vehicular systems to avoid damaging internal computer systems, and potentially injury.

Why is it dangerous to boost a car battery yourself?

Typically, another driver hooks their vehicle up to the drained battery using booster cables. However, you may not know that doing this can be extremely unsafe.

Incorrect boost procedures may cause damaging current spikes or surges to your vehicle’s electrical systems. Additionally, connecting your booster cables incorrectly can also cause severe harm. While the battery itself may sustain damage, it is easily replaced. Your car’s computers are not.

Worse, a battery has the potential to explode when boosted due to the hydrogen gas it emits. The corrosive acid inside can severely burn your skin and eyes if it touches you.

Don’t take the risk. Leave it to the pros.

One of the perks with every CAA Membership is getting your car boosted, safely and professionally. Why not take advantage when you need it most? Reach us at 1-800-CAA-HELP today.

To find out more about batteries and boosting, call our CAA’s Consumer and Technical Services (CATS) team at 1-866-464-6448 or email them at cats@caasco.ca.