Knowing how to jump start your car is a vital skill that can help any car owner whenever they have a dead car battery.
However, what do you do when you don’t have another car handy?
How do you jump start a car without another car and its working battery?
This Article Contains
- How To Jump Start A Car Without Another Car?
- 7 Things To Keep In Mind
- 4 Common How To Jump Start A Car FAQs
Let’s get started.
How To Jump Start A Car Without Another Car?
If you need to jump start your car but don’t have another car or running vehicle handy, don’t worry.
Here are some options you could turn to instead of looking for another car’s working battery:
1. Push-Start Technique
The push-start technique, also known as pop-starting or bump-starting, is when you start your car by force instead of a battery-powered starter.
This technique involves pushing your car till it gets a little momentum. It’s important to note the push-start technique is effective in a vehicle that has a manual transmission.
What do you need for the push-start technique?
You’ll need a flat road or a slight incline and someone to help with the pushing.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for the push-start technique (for a car with manual transmission):
- Step 1: Ask a person or two to go to the back of the vehicle and take a position to push.
- Step 2: Take the driver’s seat and turn the ignition on.
- Step 3: Push the clutch in and shift to second gear while the parking brake (emergency breke) is still engaged. It’s best to use the second gear and not the first gear because it may cause the car to buck severely.
- Step 4: Push the brake pedal and release the parking brake. Then, ask the people at the back of your car to start pushing. Remember to release the brake pedal when the people start pushing.
- Step 5: When you’re around 5 mph, release the clutch. Your engine may sputter as it engages. If the engine starts, you now have a working vehicle, so you’re good to go. If it doesn’t, try to repeat the process at a higher speed.
What if your engine still doesn’t start?
If your engine still doesn’t start, then the problem may not be the car battery.
It could be a bad alternator, or it’s time to replace the dead car battery. You should call for roadside assistance or a mechanic to identify the issue and fix it. The assistance numbers may be on your insurance card or find it online, and you’ll soon have a running vehicle.
2. Use A Jump Start Box
A jump box is basically a small portable battery pack or backup power source that often has jumper cables attached to it. It can be used to jump start an automatic car with a dead or weak battery.
Some of them even have safety lights, AC outlets, and USB ports to charge your phone, making it multipurpose.
Moreover, it’s inexpensive, and you can buy a portable jump starter box for under $25 from most auto repair, hardware, and online stores.
For automatic car owners, this is a must-buy to keep in the car’s trunk in case of emergencies.
But how do you use a portable jump starter box?
Here are some easy steps to follow:
- Step 1: Ensure your jump starter is fully charged. If it isn’t, you can plug it in and charge as per the instructions.
- Step 2: Use the portable jump starter’s integrated cables or your own cables (if it doesn’t have them) to connect to the correct positive and negative battery terminals on the jump starter.
- Step 3: Connect the red clamp or red clip to the positive terminal of the dead battery. You can identify it with the + symbol or the red cover. Then connect the black clamp or black clip to a grounded unpainted metal surface somewhere on the frame of your vehicle.
- Step 4: Once you’ve connected everything, turn on the jump starter as instructed.
- Step 5: Start the car after a few minutes. If the engine doesn’t start, let it sit for a few minutes, so the car’s battery gets some time to charge, and then try again.
- Step 6: If the engine starts, you’ve jump started your vehicle, and now you have a working car!
- Step 7: The next thing to do is turn off the portable jump starter and remove the clamps in the reverse order. First, remove the black clamp from the unpainted metal surface, then the red clamp from the dead battery.
A quality jump box or jump starter battery pack could come with reverse polarity protection.
What does that mean?
With reverse polarity protection, you don’t need to worry about what battery terminal or cable you attach.
For example, if you connect the negative cable (black cable) to the positive terminal and the positive cable (red cable) to the negative terminal, you won’t cause damage to the battery. This makes a jump box much safer than a jumper cable (jump lead).
However, if your car still doesn’t start, you might have to turn to a professional or call roadside assistance for help. You can also choose to call a jump start car service.
Now, if you’re a car owner who knows their way around your car or vehicles in general, there’s another solution you could opt for:
3. Remove The Fan Belt And Spin The Car’s Alternator
Do NOT use this method if you’re not very experienced with handling and fixing cars or vehicles.
Ideally, you should avoid this method unless you have no other options remaining because it can cause major damage to the car if performed incorrectly.
How do you use this method correctly?
Here are some simple steps to revive your weak battery by spinning the car’s alternator:
- Step 1: Disconnect your battery before starting this process. You should do this before any engine repair.
- Step 2: Find the fan belt. For most cars, it should be located at the front of the engine. It’s a synthetic flexible rubber belt.
- Step 3: Remove the fan belt to access the car’s alternator by releasing the tension on the fan belt. Automatic tensioners will either have a bolt to hold a socket wrench or a hole for a ratchet. For both, you’ll have to turn your wrench away from the belt to relieve the tension.
- Step 4: Now, pull the fan belt from the various pulleys.
- Step 5: With the fan belt out, rotate the alternator quickly for a sufficient amount of time to charge your dead battery. To get enough voltage, you can connect the alternator in place of the rear wheel of a bicycle with a high gear ratio.
Note: There has to be some power left in the car battery for this process to work.
No matter what process you choose to jump start your car, there are some things you need to keep in mind:
7 Things To Keep In Mind
Here are some tricks and safety tips to remember:
- If your car’s battery doesn’t start after a few attempts, try to reconnect every battery cable because sometimes, they may be loose. You can also inspect for splits and cuts in your cables.
- Always remember never to jump-start a car with a damaged battery. It can be very dangerous since it can catch fire or even explode.
- In general, when working with car parts, it’s best to use non-conductive mechanic gloves and safety glasses.
- Ensure your jump starter has essential safety features. Remember to keep your jumpstart battery in good condition, or you won’t be able to rely on it during emergencies.
- Be very careful when connecting the jump start box cables. If it doesn’t have reverse polarity protection, ensure not to connect the cable links to the wrong battery terminal, or it can cause a short burst and badly damage the battery.
- Remember to connect the positive jump box cable to the positive terminal and then the negative cable to the negative terminal.
- If you own an automatic vehicle, make sure that the gear is in neutral before jump starting the car. If you don’t, your car might start at great speed, which can cause much damage.
Now that you know all the jump start approaches and tips to remember, let’s answer some FAQs.
4 Common How To Jump Start A Car FAQs
Here are some common questions regarding jump starting a dead car and their answers for any car owner:
1. Why Does A Car Battery Die?
A dead vehicle or car with a weak battery can happen due to several reasons. It could be because:
- You left your headlights or interior lights on for an extended period
- The car’s charging system failed
- Your vehicle battery is older than 5 to 7 years
- Your vehicle battery is corroded
- You left your car parked for a long time in extreme temperatures
2. Why Is Push-Start Not Recommended For An Automatic Car?
Unlike a manual transmission vehicle, an automatic car doesn’t let you engage the gear you want.
Remember, in an automatic transmission vehicle, the car handles most gear changes, and there’s no clutch pedal to use the push start method.
3. What’s An Alternator?
A car’s alternator is a type of electric generator.
It’s used as a charger for your car’s battery and to power the electrical system when you have a running vehicle.
4. What’s A Fan Belt?
A fan belt is a flexible synthetic rubber band that connects various engine components. For example, it connects the crankshaft pulley and the alternator to the engine’s cooling fan.
A fan belt’s job is to transfer a reasonable amount of power from one place to another in the automobile engine.
As your car’s battery is such an essential component, you need to take good care of it.
However, even with a good battery, a dead car battery could happen at any time.
And while it’s always helpful to jump start your car without another car’s good battery, it isn’t always possible.
When you don’t have a donor car or donor battery, don’t worry.
You’re not stuck with a flat battery forever!
Use the tips we mentioned here, and you should be able to bring your dead car back to life.
However, if these tips don’t work, please contact a mechanic ASAP.
You might need a battery replacement, or something else could be wrong.
Fortunately, you can let professionals like RepairSmith handle it so you can have a working car in excellent condition in no time.
Contact them, and their ASE-certified mechanics will help your vehicle battery problems wherever you are!