Having a dead car battery can be one of the most frustrating things. You go out to your car in the morning or after work, put the key in and turn it and nothing happens or only a clanking sound happens.
This means you are probably going to be late to your next location because you got to figure out how to get your car started. Well, the good thing is a dead battery is something that can be fixed from right where you are at.
There is actually a couple ways to start a car with a dead battery. After reading this article you will know your options and how to start a car with a dead battery.
Options for Dead Battery
You have a couple main options if your car battery is dead and you need to get it started.
The first option is to charge the battery on a charger or a battery tender. For most people this isn’t a practical solution because when they find out their battery is dead it is because they are trying to go somewhere.
Also, not a lot of people have car battery chargers in there home. That means most people will use the other option and that is to jump the car. We will go into farther detail on how to jump a car below.
If you have a manual car, then you actually have a second option that people with automatic cars don’t have. If you have a manual car, then you can sometimes push start it depending on how low the battery is.
To do this though you need at least two people. The simple explanation of push starting a car is one person pushes the car, while the other person turns the key.
By pushing the car it causes the alternator to work and put off a charge to the battery. If the battery is not too low, this charge will be enough to give the battery enough juice to start the car.
How to Jump a Car With A Dead Battery
For those with automatic cars though you can’t push start them. This is because you can’t put the car in gear when it is off. That means you will have to jump the car.
To jump a car you will need jumper cables and another car. It really is that simple of only needing two components. That is why it is a good idea to carry a pair of jumper cables in your trunk for emergencies.
They do not cost much and you never know when you might need them. Now though we will go into how to use the jumper cables, so you can know what to do if you ever need to jump your car.
The jumper cables have two colored clips on them. One is normally red and the other is black. The red is positive and the black is negative. To jump a car you need to pop both cars hoods and open them.
This is so you can get to the battery. All you do is hook the alligator clips onto the metal terminals on each battery. Some cars have rubber caps over the terminals that you have to pop off.
Be sure to put the red positive clip on the terminal that is positive. To know which is which the positive will be marked with a plus sign. The black ground one goes on the other one that is marked with a minus sign.
On some vehicles the battery is positioned where you may not be able to get to the negative or ground terminal. If that is the case then there is most likely a piece of metal running along the battery that is connected to the ground part that you can hook the negative end too.
If you can not find such a piece, then you can just hook the negative end to any other piece of metal, such as the frame or side panel of the car.
The ground side just has to be connected to something metal to complete the circuit. The positive side is the only one that has to be connected to the battery.
Once you have the connectors hooked to both car batteries it is time to jump start the car. First you want to start the working car. Then, let the working car run for a minute or so.
This will allow the energy to transmit to the dead car. Once that is done you can try to start the dead car. If it doesn’t start wait a little longer and try again. Most of the time this works without any problems.
Once the dead car is running and can turn off the working car and carefully remove the jumper cables. You don’t want to touch the metal ends of the jumper cables whenever they are connected to either car.
Also, if you have gloves, then it is a good idea to wear them to protect you.
After the cables are removed, then you can close up the hood. It is a good idea to drive the jumped car a bit before turning it off to make sure that the battery will stay charged enough to restart it after turning it off.
If you don’t let the jumped car run long enough, then you will have to jump it again.
What if no other car
How do you jump a car if you don’t have another car around though? Maybe you are home alone and don’t want to call someone to come.
Well, if you have a lawn mower, then it most likely has a 12 volt battery too (if you want to be sure it has how many volts battery, you can use the car battery tester to test), so you can use it to jump start your car. You do that in the same way as if you were using another car.
This is a useful thing to know in a pinch, but to prevent this from happening you can also by a portable battery pack.
They make jump start kits that you can carry in your trunk that has a battery and jumper cables connected to it. All you do is connect the cables and turn the device on.
Then you just start your car like normal. It is highly recommended that everyone has one of these that they carry with them. The key though is to make sure it is always charged and taken care of.
You may forget you have it in your trunk and then when you need it, it might not be working right. They normally aren’t to expensive and it is nice to have the peace of mind that you can start your car no matter where you are at.
Also, they are cheaper then a tow bill if you do get stranded somewhere.
So, if you end up with a dead car battery you have a few options. You can remove the battery and charge it, push start the car if it is a manual, or jump start the car.
For most people jumping the car is the best option and now that you have read this you know how to do it properly.
Also, you know you can use a mower in a pinch or get a portable jumping pack, so you won’t ever get caught unprepared with a dead battery again.