Friday, September 18, 2009

Jump the Hybrid!

Actually, jump from the hybrid. Nathan left the lights on in the old Altima, and the battery (a brand new battery) couldn't start the car, plus the alarm was tripped. (This is the second time that running down the battery has tripped the alarm.)

Because of the alarm issue, Nathan couldn't get a jump from helpful strangers. They tried, but the engine wouldn't start, just beep, beep, beep. Dad to the rescue.

I had researched the alarm system of the 98 Altima on the web, and tried the secret handshake with the key in the driver's door, two lefts, then two rights. That seemed to have cleared the alarm issue.

Now for jumping - the new Altima is a hybrid. We looked in the owners manual and you can indeed jump start a hybrid from another 12 volt battery. The manual said nothing about jumping another car from the Altima, but we decided to give it a shot.

Open the hood. Under the hood are some large boxes. I'm stumped. Henry Ford would be stumped. Saved by the owner's manual. It has an illustration of where to attach the cables. Negative to ground, positive to a bolt exposed in what otherwise looks like the fuse box.

The moment of truth. I push the button to start the hybrid - which starts in all electric mode. No sparks, flames, or explosions. I take this as a positive sign. Finally the gas engine starts, and I rev the engine like normal and tell my son to try to start the other car.

It works!

OK, maybe a blog entry about jumpstarting a car is thin gruel for you. But at the time, it felt pretty cool.

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