How do you jump-start a diesel truck?

My diesel truck died. I think I left the headlights on. How do I jump-start it?

Melanie Krieps Mergen · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Jump-starting a diesel truck isn’t much different from jump-starting a typical gas-powered vehicle.
While diesel trucks usually have two batteries, they are usually parallel. When batteries are parallel, you only need to jump-start one battery to power the other.
To jump-start your diesel truck, you should:
  • Step 1: Put both vehicles in park (or neutral if they’re manual).
  • Step 2: Turn off the lights and radio in your diesel truck.
  • Step 3: Connect a clamp from the red jumper cable to the positive terminal of your truck, marked by a plus symbol or a red cap.
  • Step 4: Connect the cable’s second clamp to the other vehicle’s positive terminal.
  • Step 5: Connect one of the black cable clamps to the other vehicle’s negative terminal, marked by a minus symbol or black cap.
  • Step 6: Find a piece of unpainted metal on your diesel truck and connect the second black clamp to it.
  • Step 7: Start the engine of the other vehicle and let it run.
  • Step 8: Turn the ignition key in your truck. If it doesn’t work, try giving it more time to charge.
  • Step 9: Once the engine turns over, remove the black cables from both vehicles first and then the red cables.
  • Step 10: Make sure that neither colored cable touches the other or anything else.
  • Step 11: Remove each clamp one at a time and you’re done.
Once your truck fires up, keep it running for at least 20 minutes to ensure your batteries are recharged and the car doesn’t die again after you turn it off.
If you’re worried about your battery or you often drive in remote areas: Think about adding
towing and labor coverage
to your current insurance policy. This type of coverage functions as roadside assistance and can provide battery and towing assistance when you need it most.
View full answer 
Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free