How to Charge a Saturn's Car Battery

by Paul Dohrman

Your Saturn’s engine automatically recharges the battery after ignition. To manually charge a battery too weak to start the ignition, the customary approach is to get a jump from another car. Instructions for jumping a car battery must be followed closely to prevent shock, damage to the vehicles’ electronics, acid burns and an explosion from battery gases that could cause blindness.


Check that the battery of the other vehicle is 12 volts; otherwise, jumping your Saturn’s battery off of it could damage both vehicles.


Park the cars closely enough that the jumper cables reach between batteries, but not so close that the cars touch; otherwise, you could cause improper grounding.


Turn off your Saturn’s radio, air conditioner, headlights, cigarette lighters and other electrical accessories; otherwise, their electronics could be damaged when the electrical system is jumped.


Turn off both vehicle’s ignition.


Attach one red jumper cable clamp to the Saturn battery’s positive (+) terminal. Remove the terminal cover first, if there is one. Then attach the other red clamp to the other car’s positive terminal.


Connect the corresponding black clamp to the other car’s negative (-) terminal.


Attach the other black clamp to an unpainted metal surface at least 18 inches away from your Saturn’s battery. Note that you are NOT attaching the black clamp to the Saturn’s negative terminal. Don’t attach it near moving engine parts.


Start the other car.


Press UNLOCK on your key fob to disarm the car alarm.


Start the Saturn. If it doesn’t start after several tries, it probably needs servicing.


Disconnect the jumper cables in the correct order; otherwise, you can damage both vehicles. Disconnect the black negative clamp from the Saturn, then the black negative clamp from the other car, then the red positive clamp from the other car, then the red positive clamp from the Saturn.


  • check Add water to the battery if it has filler caps and the water is low. Do this before attempting the jump.


  • close Don’t use a match near the batteries. Use a flashlight instead. A match could combust battery gases, possibly causing blindness.

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About the Author

Paul Dohrman's academic background is in physics and economics. He has professional experience as an educator, mortgage consultant, and casualty actuary. His interests include development economics, technology-based charities, and angel investing.

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