3 Tire Checks You Shouldn’t Skip (Ever!)

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tire that needs to be inspected for small holeCar and truck tires may not be one of the most flashy car parts, but they play an important role in safety on the road. Your tires are the only part of the car that is in constant contact with the road, and one of the most vital safety components when road conditions are hazardous.

Like other car parts, tires need regular maintenance to keep them performing well when the road is icy and wet. Tire maintenance can also extend the life of the tires and save funds by maintaining peak gas mileage.

Tire Pressure

Why: Maintaining optimal tire pressure plays a role in gas mileage and tire life. An underinflated or overinflated tire can accelerate the tread wear of your tires. With an overinflated tire, less of the tread is touching the road wearing parts of your tire tread more quickly. An underinflated tire does the opposite: more of the tire is wearing down faster. A tire not wearing properly leaves you vulnerable to blown tires and more frequent tire replacement.

How: Look on the door frame or in the owner manual to determine the optimal pounds per square inch of each tire (psi). Purchase a tire pressure gauge. Remove the cap from the tire stem, and insert the tire pressure gauge into the tire stem. You should not hear any air escaping during this time. The tire pressure gauge should either electronically or manually give you the psi of the tire.

How often: Tire pressure should be checked at least once a month, and more often when the temperature drastically changes or if the tire is consistently low on air (if the tire is often low, schedule an appointment with a mechanic to see if the tire can be fixed). Do not rely on simply looking at tires or on the Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensor warning light on the dash. Sometimes TPMS sensors do not light up until the tires can be 20% under optimal tire pressure. You can also ask your mechanic to check tire pressure when you schedule an oil change.

Tire Tread

Why: Driving tires with low tread (bald tires) is a safety hazard. As the tire tread wears down and have minimal tread, tires cannot channel water correctly. Tires with low pressure can also blow prematurely.

How: Do the penny test. Take a penny and place it into the tread of the tire, then check to see how much of Abraham Lincoln’s head you can see above the tread. If you can completely see Lincoln’s head, you need new a new set of tires. Place the penny in several places around the tire. Tires can wear unevenly, leaving you with low tread and an unsafe tire. If you notice extremely uneven wear, schedule an appointment with your mechanic. Uneven tire wear can be a sign of a problem, such as a worn suspension part, alignment issue, or improper tire pressure.

How often: Tire tread should be checked as early as 15,000-20,000 miles after purchase. In addition to the penny test, the tire tread bars are going to start to show.

Tire Rotation

Why: Tires can wear unevenly if left in the same position, leading to premature wearing and replacement. Unevenly worn tires can also prematurely wear down suspension parts and cause unsafe driving. During a tire rotation, mounted tires are removed and repositioned from side-to-side or front-to-back.

How: Schedule an appointment to have your tires rotated. The exact tire rotation pattern is dependent upon the tires. Cars with different-sized tires are limited to changing the same size tire with another tire of the same size (whether that’s side to side or back to front). If your tire tread patterns are asymmetrical, tires can only be swapped back-to-front and vice versa.

How often: The general guideline is every 6-8,000 miles or six months if you do not put a lot of miles on your car or truck. If you are getting an oil change every 3,000 miles, schedule a tire rotation with every other oil change.

Campers: Don’t Tow Until You’ve Done these 5 Truck & RV Checks

RV in mirror being towed by truckThe temperatures are rising in Wisconsin (finally!). Time to get the RV out of storage and head out to for a weekend (or week!) of campfires, fresh air, and great stories from a relaxing weekend. Before you buy the ingredients for s’mores, however, make sure you do a full inspection of the RV and truck so you can get to the campground for fun weekend without a breakdown.

Check the truck tow rating

Trucks (and SUVs and vans) have a tow rating for a reason. Before you head out for your camping weekend, make sure your vehicle is rated to tow the RV safely.  Don’t tow a RV that weighs more than the vehicle tow rating; towing a RV (especially repeatedly) can compromise vehicle handling, significantly increase stopping distance, put additional stress on the vehicle engine and transmission, and wear down tires and other vehicle parts prematurely.

How to check: The tow rating can be found in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. The weight of your camper can be found on the trailer or in the camper’s owner manual; remember to factor in items that add to the weight, such as water and personal items.

Inspect the tires on the truck and RV

Worn truck and RV tires can ruin a camping trip very quickly. Worn tires are more likely to blow during the trip and can be a safety hazard during summer storms. Even with the correct amount of tread, truck with low pressure (or too much pressure) can lower gas mileage, cause tires to wear unevenly, and put undue stress on suspension parts (needing premature replacement).

How to check: Check the tire tread and pressure of every tire (including spare tires) on the truck and RV. Use a penny to check the tread; place the penny on the tire. If you can see Abraham Lincoln’s head completely, there is inadequate tire tread for travel. The tires may also need to be replaced if there are cracks or other damage; contact a tire shop to see if the tire can be fixed or get replacement tires before your next camping trip.

For tire pressure, use a tire pressure gauge to ensure every tire is at the correct pressure. The correct tire pressure (pounds per square inch-psi) can be found in the truck manual or on a decal on the inside of the driver’s side door. (Do not rely on a warning light on your dashboard; this may not activate until the tire is 20% under pressure.)

Look closely at lights

At some point, you are probably going to travel in the dark of night or during a dark storm. Its times like these when properly working truck and RV lights are a must for the safety of everyone involved.

How to check: Regularly check truck headlight and turning signals to ensure that all lights are in running order (or ask a mechanic to replace bulbs during your next oil change). Before you leave the driveway (or storage facility), connect all wiring to the camper and turn on the vehicle. Stand behind the RV and check all lights: directionals, brakes, and running lights.

Test the hitch

An improperly hitched camper heading down the highway is a hazard to the vehicle and all the cars around them. It can also damage the RV and bring camping trips to an end.

How to check: Inspect the hitch, chains, and wiring for corrosion or damage that could cause the towing equipment to fail. Next, check the hitch connection by trying to lift the RV hitch off your truck.  If it lifts off, the connection is not adequately connected and you need to inspect your hitch, safety chains, and all wiring before you leave.

Check the trailer and truck brakes

For those towing a camper that is more than 2,000 pounds, trailer brakes are recommended for handling and safe stopping. Trailer brakes needed to be wired into a truck’s wiring system.

How to check: Always check your trailer brake connections and test your vehicle to ensure it stops when you need it.  If you don’t have trailer brakes as part of your truck package but haul on a regular basis, contact your mechanic to have a trailer brake controller installed in your truck so you and your RV get to the campground safely.

Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Next Set of Tires

car tires on gray backgroundBuying a new set of car tires is a huge investment, both in tires and your safety. That’s why it makes cents (pun intended) to ask questions about this big purchase.

What size tires do I need?

The simplest way to determine what size tires are needed for your car is to look at your current size of tires. You can find the size on the tire, usually in a series of letters and numbers (i.e. P235/55R17, 225/70R17, 265/70R15). The tire size could include the letters LT (light truck), P (passenger), or T (temporary spare). These letters are usually followed by a series of numbers. The first three numbers are the width between the sidewalls of the tire, such as 175, 235, or 255. The second number is the aspect ratio, which is a percentage. The last number, typically between 15-20, is the diameter of the wheel rim that the tire fits on.

How do I drive?

Choosing the cheapest tires is an option, but not always a good one. Be honest with your driving style and intentions. If you want a daily commuter tire for basic driving, look for tires built specifically for high mileage driving. For tires for a muscle car, research tires with a higher speed rating (or let your mechanic do the research).

What is the condition of my current tires?

The condition of your current set of tires can give you clues about any car issues. Before you put on the next set of tires, have your current set inspected to make sure they are wearing evenly. If you find uneven wear, make an appointment with a mechanic. Uneven wear can be a sign of a mechanical issue, such as worn breaks or suspension parts. An unevenly worn tire can also mean that the car needs to be aligned so the new tires and existing suspension parts are not worn down prematurely.

Do I need one or two set of tires?

If you have to drive through all kinds of weather (including our famous Wisconsin thunderstorms and winter snow storms), two sets of tires may make more sense for long-term driving—especially if your car does not handle well in the snow. All-season tires are manufactured for all sorts of summer and winter conditions; however, a set of tires designed for every condition does not perform as well as tires built specifically for snow and ice. Snow tires are manufactured with a compound specifically tested for driving through snowy conditions.

Are there any tire deals going on? How much is the total cost?

Before you purchase, ask if there are any deals on tires that meet your specific criteria. Tire manufacturers often offer rebates and sales on select sets of tires. If you do purchase tires with a rebate offer, be clear on deadlines for submitting paperwork and what needs to be submitted.

The cost of the tires is not the final price; tires need to be mounted on your set of rims and balanced. Balancing the tires minimizes shaking at highway speeds and ensures even tire tread wear (assuming all parts are aligned and in working order). Ask your tire shop or mechanic for a total cost so you can drive away on your new set of tires with all the information you need.

How often should I rotate my tires?

mechanic removing tires from a carCar tires are a hot topic all year round (even when the weather is not). After all, tires play a major part in safety; they are the one source of contact between the car and road—and a major investment in safety.

For both of those reasons, tires need to be rotated on a regular basis. Regular tire rotation ensures even tread wear on every tire, extending the life of the tires and giving you adequate (and even) tread as you drive.

The amount of time between tire rotation varies based on the tires, but a general guideline is every 6-8,000 miles (or every 6 months). The direction of the tire rotation depends on the car; front wheel drive cars are rotated slightly different than four-wheel drive and rear wheel drive vehicles. If a car has different tire sizes, the same size tires are rotated.

Rotating tires on a car or truck doesn’t take very long; schedule a tire rotation with the next oil change or make an appointment specifically for the task. As part of the tire rotation, the tire pressure can be checked to ensure that it is correct; low tire pressure can compromise the safety and wear, even shortening the life of a tire.

During a tire rotation, the mechanic can also check the tire for uneven wear. Uneven tire wear can be a sign of a car out of alignment, along with a vibration that gets worse at high speeds and a pull to the right or left. Just as with tire rotation, the exact alignment settings are different for every car. For that reason, contact a shop with the capability to not only rotate tires, but also perform an alignment that keeps you safely on the road.

Is it time for a new set of tires?

tire that needs to be inspected for small hole“How many miles should I get out of a set of tires? How long do my tires last?” These are common questions we hear from our customers about tires on their car or truck. Unfortunately, as with many car questions, there is no definite amount of miles or years that signal it’s time for a new set of tires. The life of a set of tires depends on many factors (i.e. heat, miles, etc.), but there some clear signs that it’s time to invest in a new set of tires for your car or truck.

Tire Tread

Worn tires are a safety hazard; tires with minimal tread do not direct water from wet roads well, making driving in wet conditions treacherous. Fortunately, it’s easy to check for worn tires with minimal tread. Take a penny and place it into the tread of the tire, then check to see how much of Abraham Lincoln’s head you can see above the tread. If you can completely see Lincoln’s head, you need new tires.

Place the penny in many places around the tire. Tires can wear unevenly, leaving you with low tread and an unsafe tire. If you notice extremely uneven wear, schedule an appointment with your mechanic. Uneven tire wear can be a sign of a problem, such as a worn suspension part, alignment issue, or improper tire pressure.

Cracking or blistering

Over time, tires can crack and blister from heat and age; some cracking and blistering is normal. However, if you have excessive cracking or blistering on the sidewall of the tire, contact a mechanic to see if you need new tires. Excessive cracking or blisters can lead to an unexpected blow out, leaving you stranded.

Tread wear indicator bars

Because low tire tread is a safety issue, tire manufacturers have added tread wear indicator bars to visibly signal when a car has a bald tire (when there 2/32 inch of tread left). As the tread of your tire starts to wear down, you will notice bars in the bottom of the groove in several locations around your tire. Don’t wait until the tire has worn down to the tread wear indicator bars; bald tires are unsafe. Instead, ask your mechanic to check your tires when you can start to see the tread wear indicator bars so you can start shopping for new tires and planning for replacement.

Hardness

Even if you don’t put on 10 or 20,000 miles a year, your tires can harden over time, making them a lot harder to drive in slick weather. Tire with hardness issues can cause your car to have trouble finding traction. To catch any issues caused by age or hardness, ask your mechanic to check your tires when they reach the five-year mark. Most manufacturers recommend replacing tires (even with low miles) at about the 10-year mark.

Tire Pressure

Tire should hold maintain proper air pressure without needing frequent stops to add air. If you have to add air to your tires regularly, or your tire sporadically goes flat, visit your mechanic for a tire inspection. Your tires may have a puncture that can be fixed, may not have a solid seal with the rims, or may have a bigger injury that could be leaking air.

How do I know if my alternator is dying?

battery under open hood ready to be checked to see if it is dyingAn alternator is an important part of the vehicle’s electrical system. An alternator recharges the car’s battery while the car is running and provides power to key car parts (i.e. headlights, starter, dashboard lights). Your alternator is the reason your dashboard lights stay lit, your headlights are bright, heater running, radio cranking out the tunes, and all those million other electrical components keep working.

So how can you tell when your alternator has gone bad? What signs tell you it’s time to replace an alternator? Because the alternator provides power to the battery, it can be incredibly hard to tell if the source of your car problems is the battery or the alternator—and you don’t want to spend a lot of time trying to diagnose the exact source of the problem. Some people may try to tell you to run the engine while disconnecting the negative cable of a pair of jump start cables; this method can damage the electrical system of the car. Instead, schedule an appointment with a mechanic if you notice any signs of a bad alternator.

Squeal

When alternator bearings are worn, the damaged bearings can let out a squeal that is noticeable when the hood is open and outside the vehicle. Contact a mechanic to find out the possible source of the squealing noise (other possible causes of a squealing car are listed here).

Engine stalls

While a battery provides the initial power that starts your car, an alternator is what keeps the car going. If your car starts (or jump starts) but stalls after it starts up, a failing alternator could not be providing enough power to get you down the road.

Clicking sound

If your car starts rough, doesn’t start at all, or makes a clicking sound, an alternator could be the cause. The clicking sound typically occurs after the key turns in the ignition.

Dim lights

The power supplied by the alternator keeps the headlights and dashboard lights running. When an alternator is failing, the headlights or dashboard lights may seem dim when driving. Similarly, other electrical components can start to slow down because of a weak power supply from the alternator (i.e. slow power windows or seats).

Dashboard warning light

Most vehicles, especially modern vehicles, have a dashboard warning light notifying the driver when there is a problem with the electrical system. The warning light may have the words ‘ALT’ or look like a battery; contact a mechanic as soon as the battery comes on to prevent being stranded.

Random dead battery

Modern batteries are manufactured with enough power to run a vehicle, but not for the long-term. A battery can only keep a car running for so long without an alternator before the battery dies. Don’t automatically buy a new battery; take the car to a mechanic to find out if the cause is a bad alternator.

Odd Odor

An alternator has a lot of parts inside and around it; if any of these parts corrode or start to wear, you may start to smell an odd odor (i.e. electrical or burning smell). Schedule an appointment to find out the source of the smell and the problem.

What does that car noise mean?

car mechanic working on car that is squealingThe only sound you should hear is the soft purr of your car’s engine—and occasional loud music when your favorite song comes on. If you’re hearing another noise from under the hood (or in the wheel wells or…), don’t turn up your radio or ignore it. That noise could mean a serious problem that could leave you stranded. While we can’t give you an exact diagnosis until you bring your car in, we can give you an idea of what is causing that sound—and why you shouldn’t ignore it.

Squeal

Possible cause: The serpentine belt keeps the AC, power steering pump, and other vital parts of your car functioning. A worn serpentine belt can let out a squealing sound when it’s time for replacement. If you wait too long, a broken serpentine belt can leave you stranded.

Possible cause: Wet or worn brake pads can let out a squeal. When the squealing doesn’t stop or is accompanied by vibrations, a pull to the left or right, and a soft pedal, schedule an appointment with a mechanic to get new brakes—and a safer feel when you press the brake pedal.

Possible cause: A power steering pump is part of the system that allows you to turn the steering wheel easily. When it feels like turning is a harder task or if the car is squealing when the car starts, the power steering pump could be the culprit. As soon as you can, contact a mechanic about checking the pump and power steering fluid level.

Possible cause: An alternator recharges the car’s battery while the car is running and provides power to key car parts (i.e. headlights, starter, dashboard lights). When the alternator bearings are worn, they can let out a squeal that needs to be addressed by a mechanic as soon as possible.

Grinding

Possible cause: Brake pads with no pad left can let out a grinding sound when metal contacts metal. If you even suspect this is the problem, get the car to a mechanic immediately to replace the brakes.

Possible cause: Wheel bearings allow the tires to spin with little or no friction. Wheel bearings can last for more than 75,000 miles (even up to 150,000 miles), but they do wear out eventually and emit a grinding sound when they need to be replaced. Other signs of a worn wheel bearing are a vibration in the steering wheel and abnormal tire wear.

Rough starting noise

Possible cause: A car battery is one of the primary sources of power, which is why a car with a failing car battery has problems with starting. If your car is making a rough starting noise or the battery goes dead periodically, get the car in to the mechanic quickly for a new battery.

Possible cause: Spark plugs provide the spark that starts your engine. Over time, the gap at the top of the spark plug widens, impacting the spark and causing a slow start. Weak spark plugs can damage other parts of the car and cause the engine to misfire. Spark plugs can last anywhere between 30-100,000 miles; schedule an appointment to get those spark plugs replaced before they cause more damage or completely fail.

Possible cause: An alternator is another key part of your car’s electrical system. Typically, you can tell when it’s time to schedule an appointment for alternator replacement when the car is slow to start, makes a rough starting noise, the battery dies, or the headlights or dash lights start to dim.

Rattling/shaking

Possible cause: Tire alignment is a matter of geometry; your car’s wheels leave the factory with optimal angles that can be altered (negatively) by pot holes and bumpy roads. In addition to shaking and rattling, cars out of alignment may also pull to the right or left or drive with a steering wheel that is not straight. If you suspect it’s time for an alignment, don’t wait to get your car into a shop with the right equipment for a full alignment. If you keep driving a misaligned car, you may have to pay more for replacing suspension parts and tires over the life of the car.

Possible cause: You car’s exhaust system is essential to the health of your car; it’s also an essential part of passing your next emission test. When parts of the exhaust are loose, they can cause a rattling sound that needs to be addressed by a mechanic.

Possible cause: Worn brakes let you know in a number of ways that it’s time for replacement (i.e. soft brake pedal, pull to the left or right). When your car starts shaking and rattling, it’s a sign that there is little (if any) metal left on the rotors and pads. Make an appointment with your mechanic before you have issues with stopping on your next commute or road trip.

Why is my TPMS light on?

TPMS light on dashThe TPMS warning light is just another annoying dashboard warning light that can be ignored, right?

The answer: no. Not if you want to be safe and NOT stranded on the side of the road.

What is the TPMS light for?

The TPMS warning light is a dashboard warning light that alerts you, the driver, to low tire pressure in one or several tires. ‘TPMS’ stands for tire pressure monitoring system. Basically, your car or truck has sensors in the tires that alerts you when the tire pressure is low.

What should I do to make the TPMS light turn off?

When the TPMS light is on, check the tire pressure of each tire (use these directions for checking tire pressure).  Fill up the tire or tires with air to the proper tire pressure recommended by your car’s manufacturer. The proper amount of pressure (noted as psi) for your vehicle can be found in your car’s owner manual or on a decal that is on the frame below you as you climb in the driver’s side door.

Your TPMS warning light comes on when your tires are 20% or more below the recommended pressure. By that time, your tire pressure is dangerously low—and dangerous to drive on. If your TPMS light comes on regularly, schedule a mechanic to see if your tire has a leak that needs to be fixed or to check for an error in the system.

The pressure of your tires rise and fall with the weather and road conditions. Make checking the tire pressure a regular part of your schedule. You can also have your mechanic check at every oil change.  Don’t rely on a quick glance or the tire pressure monitor on your dashboard; sometimes your tire can be low on tire pressure and you cannot tell from looking at it. If your tires are low on tire pressure often, contact your mechanic to find out if the tire can be fixed or if you need a new tire.

Why do I need a TPMS system? Why should tires be kept at recommended tire pressure?

Maintaining proper tire pressure in your car’s tires is more than just a means to keep the TPMS dashboard warning light off. Proper tire pressure is also safer and can save you money over the life of your tires.

Tires kept at improper tire pressure can cause handling and traction issues, which can be extremely hazardous during our cold Wisconsin winters and on our hot Wisconsin roads in summer. Overinflated or underinflated tires can lead to a flat tire, which can cause an accident, leave you stranded, and cost you more as you replace tires.

Tire pressure also affects the handling of the car. Overinflated tires give you a bumpy ride. Tires low on air guarantee a soft ride but can cause handling issues.

Improper pressure can also cost you more money in the short- and long-term. Tires with too much or too little air can decrease gas mileage, costing you more in gas the longer you own the car. Both underinflated and overinflated tires need to be replaced more often because it increases the rate of tire tread wear. With an overinflated tire, less of the tread makes contact with the road, wearing down selected sections of the tire tread more quickly. More of an underinflated tire comes in contact with the road, wearing down all of the tire tread. A tire not wearing properly leaves you vulnerable to blown tires and more frequent tire replacement.

Why does my car shake?

woman driving shaking car with a vibrationThe terms ‘shake’ and ‘rattle’ should be associated with food and baby toys, not with your vehicle. There are a number of reasons why your car could be shaking and rattling—and none of them are good for your car in the short- or long-term. That’s why you shouldn’t hesitate to get your car to a mechanic to find out which of these problems are causing that annoying car vibration.

Your car needs an alignment.

You can tell if the shake is from an alignment issue if the shake starts at around 40 mph and gets worse as your speed increases. Another sign is a steering wheel that is not straight as you drive down the road. Your car may also pull to the right or left when you drive. If you keep driving a car in dire need of an alignment, you may need to replace tires and suspension parts more often (costing you more in parts over the life of your car). If you do suspect your needs an alignment, schedule an appointment with a local mechanic who has the equipment and expertise to align it properly. A car should be aligned every 6,000 miles.

Your tires are wearing unevenly.

Your tires wear as you drive; how the tires wear can give you key insight into any problems (or lack thereof). Tires with uneven tread wear can cause your car to shake. There are many reasons tires wear unevenly, such as overinflated or underinflated tires, improper tire alignment, and a failing suspension part. Schedule an appointment with a mechanic to find out the reason for the uneven tire wear.

Your brakes need to be replaced.

A warped brake rotor is a common reason for car’s shake; it’s also a problem that shouldn’t be ignored. Usually, brake rotors wear because there is very little (or no) brake pad left. The metal-on-metal contact causes the shaking. The shaking is not going to stop until the brake pads and rotors are replaced. Schedule an appointment as soon as possible so your brakes don’t fail when you need them on the road.

You need new spark plugs.

One of the ways to tell if you need new spark plugs is a random shaking or vibration under the hood (look for these other signs of worn spark plugs). The shaking can be felt throughout the car, and can get worse over time. Driving with worn spark plugs can damage other parts of the car as well. Get your car into your mechanic as soon as possible to get new spark plugs and to eliminate the shaking.

You have front end issues.

There are other causes of shaking, such as damaged motor mounts or suspension parts. Only an experienced mechanic can diagnose the problem, prevent more damage to other parts, and stop the shaking before it gets worse.

Why do car batteries die in the cold weather?

woman trying to repair broken down carWinter in Wisconsin always comes with surprises, like the snow storm that the weather man didn’t predict or an icy spot on the road. What it shouldn’t come with is a dead battery and a surprise jump (or worse a dead battery that can’t be jumped).

While you can’t always avoid the need for jumper cables (unfortunately, some batteries fail unexpectedly), it can help to know why car batteries seem to fail more when the temperatures drop.

Why do batteries fail during winter?

Surprisingly, summer heat is actually harder on car batteries. Batteries consist of cells surrounded by an electrolyte solution (more information on how batters are made in this video). Hot weather can hasten corrosion and cause the solution to evaporate in the battery. This damage weakens the battery, which car owners often don’t notice until the temperature drops. When the weather gets colder, the fluids in a car become like molasses. It’s harder for the battery to start up the sludgy fluid in winter—leaving car owners out in the cold with a weak battery that needs to be jumped.

What is the right way to jump a battery?

  1. Park another car near the front of the car with the dead battery. Turn the car off, and use the parking brake if necessary to secure the car.
  2. BE CAREFUL! Electrical systems can cause situations where someone could get hurt. Be very careful when jumping a battery.
  3. Find the positive and negative terminal on the battery. A plus sign is positive and a minus sign is negative.
  4. Clamp the positive cable to the positive terminal on the dead battery.
  5. Clamp the other end of the positive cable to positive terminal on the live battery.
  6. Do the same with the negative terminal on the dead battery.
  7. Clamp the other end of the negative clamp to a non-moving metal part of the engine. Do not reach into any areas with moving belts or parts.
  8. Start up the car that runs. Let the car run for a few minutes.
  9. Try to start the car with the weak battery.
  10. Remove the jumper cables.
  11. Get your battery checked and replaced if necessary.

If a battery needs to be jumped often, contact a mechanic to get the battery tested. A weak battery should be replaced.

How can I tell if my battery is going to fail?

As mentioned before, a dead battery cannot always be foreseen. In most instances, however, there are signs that a battery needs to be replaced: