How to Use Jumper Cables on a Oldsmobile Silhouette

by Steve Bradley

Using jumper cables on an Oldsmobile Silhouette is a fairly simple process as long as you follow the basic rules for using jumper cables properly and safely. The Silhouette is one of the original luxury minivans and was produced roughly between 1990 and 2004. All automobiles inevitably suffer battery drain from time to time, whether this is from the battery's age or from the driver accidentally leaving the headlights on overnight.

Determine whether it is indeed your Silhouette's battery that is the problem. Turn the key in the ignition; if you hear a click but nothing happens, then jumper cables should do the trick. If your radio, lights or other electrical components turn on, you may have a larger issue such as the starter or ignition.

Park a car with a good battery next to your Oldsmobile Silhouette. Be sure to park on the driver's side, where the battery is housed, so that you will be able to reach the battery with the jumper cables.

Open the hoods on both cars and locate the batteries. They are easily recognizable by their square-box-like shape. An automobile battery will have two terminals, a positive (+) and a negative (-). Take out your jumper cables, making sure the cables are straight and free of kinks. Each end of the jumper cables will have two clips, a red one for positive connections and a black for negative.

Put a red clip from one end of your jumper cables onto the positive battery terminal of the Oldsmobile Silhouette. If there is a plastic cover on the battery terminal, unclip this first. Make sure you have clipped the cable to the metal part of the battery's positive nub.

Take the opposite end of your jumper cables to the fully charged automobile's battery. Attach this second red clip to the positive terminal.

Attach the black clip to the negative terminal of the charged battery. Again, remove any plastic covering and attach the black clip to the metal portion of the negative terminal nub.

Return to your Oldsmobile Silhouette and connect the remaining black clip to a ground. You can do this by either attaching the black clip to the negative terminal of the dead battery or by attaching it to the engine block. You may see the cable spark a bit, which is normal. Just be sure you are not touching the battery or block with your hand as you do this, to avoid accidental shock.

Turn on the automobile with the fully charged battery, and wait two to three minutes.

Turn on your Silhouette. It should start right up. Occasionally the battery will be so drained that you must wait longer, but you should at least have enough power for your lights and radio, assuring you that it is indeed a battery issue. If your car still will not start, wait an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Disconnect the jumper cables in the reverse order of how you connected them: Remove the black clip on your Oldsmobile first, then the black clip from the charged automobile; next remove the red clip from the charged vehicle and finally the red one from your Oldsmobile.

Items you will need

About the Author

Steve Bradley is an educator and writer with more than 12 years of experience in both fields. He maintains a career as an English teacher, also owning and operating a resume-writing business. Bradley has experience in retail, fashion, marketing, management and fitness. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and classics.