Toyota 4Runner, Tacoma and Tundra 2000-Present: How to Jump Start Battery

It's something every truck owner ought to know. This article will teach you how to jump start your Tundra.

By Jared Hammond - January 28, 2016

This article applies to the Toyota 4Runner, Tacoma and Tundra (1984-present).

We don't expect much from our trucks, but if there's one thing we do expect, it's for them to start. But over time and a lot of miles, the battery can become drained. It can happen if you leave the headlights on or have a trailer hooked up. If you need to give your truck a jump start, all you need is a friend with a second car or truck or access to a jump starter pack.

How to Jump Start Toyota Truck infographic

Materials Needed

  • A pair of jumper cables
  • A second car/truck or a jump starter pack

Step 1 – Hook up the jumper cables

This is the part that people get most confused about, and that's the order of hooking up the jumper cables. Just remember: red on dead. This means always start with the positive jumper cable connected to the positive terminal on the dead battery. Set the negative cable on a dry surface that doesn't have any metal touching the truck. We'll get back to it in a second.

toyota tundra jump start battery how to DIY
Figure 1. The red cable is positive and the black cable is negative.

Now go to the working car battery and connect the positive cable to the positive battery terminal and the negative cable to the negative battery terminal. Make sure that the alligator teeth on your cables are touching the bare copper on the terminals.

toyota tundra jump start battery how to DIY
Figure 2. The battery terminal with the red cover and wire is your positive terminal.

To complete the circuit, find a solid grounding point on the dead truck that's somewhere far away from the battery or the engine. Look for a metal bolt or screw that doesn't have any wires running to it. Then, attach the negative jumper cable to the bare metal.

Pro Tip

Make sure that the jumper cables never touch each other. This can cause a spark which has a small risk of igniting any flammable gases contained in your truck's battery.

Step 2 –Jump start the truck

Start the working car/truck and let both vehicles sit for a few minutes as they charge the battery. Then, start your own truck. If it doesn't start at first, tell the owner of the second car/truck to push on the accelerator a little. This will get their car's alternator working harder to pump more juice into the battery.

Once you've got it started, you're pretty much good to go. You just need to disconnect the jumper cables. Go in the reverse order you connected the jumper cables:

  1. Remove the negative cable from the ground point first.
  2. Remove the negative cable from the second vehicle.
  3. Remove the positive cable from the second vehicle.
  4. Finally, remove the positive cable from your truck.
toyota tundra jump start battery how to DIY
Figure 3. Use a battery pack if you don't have access to a second car/truck.

Pro Tip

If you have one of those jump starter packs, then this process will be even easier. Make sure that the jump starter is turned off before you connect the cables to your battery. Then, attach the positive cable to the positive terminal and the negative cable to the negative terminal. Let it charge for a few minutes and start the truck. Just make sure to shut off the jump starter before you disconnect the cables.

Featured Video: Jump Starting 2005 Tundra

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