How to jump start a car on your own

Jump start a car
It’s one of those days if you’re here because of an emergency. Jump starting a car comes into play when your car won’t start because of a dead battery. Follow these steps to jump start the car on your own without wasting time.
First of all, you have to confirm that it is the battery’s fault that the car is having trouble with the ignition. One thing you have to understand here is the role a battery has in the starting of a vehicle. In the olden days, people had to crank the engine by hand. Today, a starter motor powered by a battery does that job.

starting system of a car
starting system -Do you see the whole picture?


Starting trouble can be because of the following reasons:

Probable causes for starting trouble:

1. Low fuel (Common case)
2. Low battery
3. Starter motor trouble
4. Spark plug issue
5. Trouble with the fuel injection and so on.

How to identify if low battery is the cause of starting trouble:

A low battery would cause other systems under its support to also fail. So checking the working of other systems can give you a better idea. Tick of these checks before you prepare to jump start your car:

1. Check the headlamps:

If the headlamps are bright, then the battery isn’t the problem. You’ll have to check for other reasons. But if you find the headlamps to glow dimly, you can confirm that its a battery problem.

2. Check for the dashboard lights:

Turn the key to the ‘on’ position. If the dashboard lights up, as usual, you can cross out the battery as the cause of the trouble. But if you find the dashboard lights to be dim and troubled, it is a battery problem.


3. Check the stereo:

Does the stereo work? For obvious reasons, if the stereo sounds feeble, it is battery trouble.

4. Check the cranking:

What happens when you turn the key for ignition? Does the starter motor respond? Do you feel the normal effort it takes to crank the engine? If otherwise, it is a case of bad battery.
There are two methods you can adopt to jump start the car on your own. If your car has an automatic transmission, then you have to stick with method 1.


Method 1: Jump start the car with the help of a good battery:


What you’ll need:

1. A good battery. Try asking the help of passing by vehicles if you’re on a highway.

3. Glows, rubber shoes for your safety.


Jump start equipments
Jump start starter kit

How to do it:

1. Park your car facing the car with the good battery. make sure the two cars aren’t in contact.
2. Open the hood of the car and find the battery.
1. There are two cables: a red one and the black one. The battery has two terminals, the positive (marked with ‘+’) and the negative (marked with ‘-‘).
2. Use the red cable to connect the positive of the bad battery and that of the good one.
3. Connect the negative of the good battery to a ‘ground’ on the dead car. The ground refers to any metallic piece of the car, such as the bolts that connect to the chassis.
How to jump start a car
How to jump start a car – illustration

Here’s a quick illustration of the above process done by The Art of Manliness  .

After proper connections, make sure the cables aren’t dangling close to moving parts.
1. Start the working car and let the engine to idle. This should ensure that the dead battery gets charged. Let it charge for a good five minutes.
2. Try starting the disabled vehicle. It must start at this point. If it doesn’t, make sure your connections are clean. If this doesn’t work, the battery is beyond help and you have to hail towing service.
3. Let the car you jump started to run for some time. This will make the alternator to recharge the battery.
4. Remove the cables from the battery. Make sure you remove in this order:
  • Remove the black cable from the ground of the dead car
  • Remove the black cable from the negative of the good battery
  • Remove the positive from the good battery and
  • Remove the positive from the bad battery.
You can then be on your way. Make sure you have the battery checked and replaced.
With a manual transmission, it is easier to perform a jump start.

Method 2: Push start the car:

This method does not involve any connections or the help of another car. It is a simple method to start a car without the help of the battery. But it is possible only with cars having a manual transmission. Here’s how you do it:
1. Ask people or co-passengers to help push the vehicle to gain significant momentum. Make sure you hold the clutch.
2. Turn the key to the ‘on’ position. Do not crank the engine by turning your key to ignition. Leave it at the ‘on’ position.
3. Throw the car into second gear.
4. Release the clutch pedal when the vehicle has gained significant momentum.
5. This will make the clutch engage the gears. As a result, the engine will crank and gain ignition. Make sure you have the gas pedal depressed to a point also.
6. Once the car starts, rev up the engine for some time. This will ensure the alternator charges the battery.
How to push start a car
Push start a car – Quick round up
There you go. Now you can jump start your car on your own. You can be of help to friends and strangers in need. Hope the article helped you if you were in an emergency.
Do let us know if the article was helpful in the comments section. Share the article with others who might be in need.
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