Mazda 3: Jumping for Joy!

  • We rope in the services of the Kia Soul as our Mazda 3's battery goes flat
  • Find out best practice on using jump leads
  • Mazda 3 is now fighting fit ready for a weekend in the Peak District

For the first time since joining Bauer Media five years ago I needed to send out a group email titled ‘Jump Leads required’.

Yep that’s right – the Mazda 3’s battery died and with not a jump lead between us we needed to pool the company resource to help get our long term car started again.

I hold my hands up: it was completely my fault having left an interior light on a week prior which subsequently drained the battery. Being accustomed to cars doing everything for me (turning on wipers and headlamps when automatically, for example) I wrongly assumed everything turns itself off automatically in the Mazda.

So little longer than a week later I was stood scratching my head trying to figure out why the keyless entry wasn’t working anymore. Thankfully the key fob also has an actual manual key hidden away so I was able to get back inside the car.

I must confess to not knowing completely how to use jump leads, despite my years test driving cars I’d never actually needed to jump start a car. Luckily for me though, fellow Parkers staffer James Taylor was on hand to help me.

James’s current long termer, the Kia Soul, was also drafted in to help with the resurrection and now, with jump leads in hand we set about to work. Firstly we brought the Soul close enough to the Mazda (without touching) that we would be able to connect the jump leads up.

Once the bonnets of both cars were popped open (there is a switch just under the steering wheel on the right-hand side for the Mada) we untangled the leads and made sure all lights and systems were off in the Soul.

The leads must always be connected negative to negative and positive to positive and always connect the negative lead first (usually black) to the dead car. The positive and negative points where you connect the leads should be clearly marked with + and - symbols. Once the negative lead was attached to the Mazda we then connected the positive lead (usually red), first on the Mazda and then on the Soul.

You must make sure that the ends of your jumper cables never touch each other once they are connected to the batteries.

Once the leads were connected up we started the ignition for the Kia Soul and gave it a minute, then I climbed inside the Mazda 3 (with my fingers crossed) and pressed the start button and the engine sprung back into life.

We gave it a few minutes for the Mazda before removing the leads – you must ensure you remove the jump leads in reverse to the way you attached them.

Once the jump leads were packed away and the Kia Soul dutifully back in its parking space I needed to take our Mazda 3 on a long drive to flush out the cobwebs and give the battery enough time to charge up again.  One of the great things about our office is that it is only a couple of roads away from the A1M motorway, a perfect road for the Mazda 3 at that time.

So now the Mazda 3 is up and running again I plan to give the car a full healthcheck before heading off to the Peak District at the weekend.

Mileage: 2,916

Fuel economy:  37mpg