The car batteries pass through lots of troubles, particularly in the cold weather. With the quantity of electronics equipped in most of the modern vehicles, the necessity for the electrical current can cause too much straining to a 12-volt battery.
With time, this will reduce the ability of your battery to hold its charge, leading to it’s exhaustion. If this takes place, you will be required to be know how to jump-start your car. It is a natural skill for any owner of the vehicle since the flat batteries usually strike at the most inconvenient moments. In the cold months, the 12 volts supply is usually under a lot of pressure to hold the voltage taking into account that one is most likely to be operating the heaters and electrical systems within your car.
If the battery of your vehicle has undoubtedly gone flat, you will have no other option but to jump-start the car so that you can proceed with the journey. This is usually one of the easiest forms of DIY that one can do to a car without having to ask for an emergency breakdown cover. However, there are a couple of pitfalls to watch out for.
A jump start also referred to as a boost, is an act of starting a car that has an emptied starting battery.
An impermanent link is made to another vehicle’s battery, or to the other external source of power. The external electricity supply recharges the disabled car’s battery and renders some of the energy required to start the engine.
When the car is started, its charging system will charge a new, and the additional source can be taken away. Moreover, if the charging system is fully functional, the common vehicle operation will restore the battery charge.
Some motorists carry the jumper cables just in case of an accidental discharge of the car battery. Dependable procedures for connecting and disconnecting the cables are provided in the car manual.
There are different methods that someone can apply to jumpstart his or her car. They include the jumper cables, push starting among others. No matter which way you decide to do it, ensure that your car battery is checked without delay. Substitution of a car battery can well rectify the error.
However, if there is a problem with the car’s alternator, it means the battery is not recharging when you are on the move and can result in a pricey replacement.
Method 1: Checking the Battery
Ensure that the battery is the problem.
- Examine the headlights to determine if they are dim or bright (remember that in some vehicles you will require to turn on the ignition to check the headlamps). If they are dull, it is probable that your battery is the perpetrator. Nevertheless, if the headlights are bright, your battery is not dead, and a jump start will not solve your problem.
- Direct the key in the ignition and check whether the dashboard is lighting up as usual. Examine the stereo. In many cases, still with a small battery, one should view some panel lightings and hear some sounds. If you fail to pull out a flicker from the dashboard, you may experience problems with the ignition switch.
- Attempt to start your car. Is it turning over slowly, or is it cranking rapidly? If it fast cranks then the battery is not dead, and a jump start is not necessary. If it slowly cranks or does not at all, then it is possible that you have a flat battery.
Method 2: The Jumper Cables
- One pair of high quality and clean jumper cables. Ensure that the clamps are rust free.
- Rubber work gloves
- One pair of safety goggles, which contain a splash-proof polycarbonate assigned for auto repair
- A wire brush
- An extra car with a fully charged battery and with a similar voltage as the vehicle being jumped.
Jumper cables also referred to as the jump leads or booster cables are a set of two similar insulated wires with sufficient capability to jump start a car.
They contain alligator clips at every end to interlink the disabled vehicle with a supplemental source, such as one more vehicle with a similar system voltage.
The alligator clips can be enclosed in insulation to avoid accidental shorting. Steel or copper materials can produce these clips.
The following easy guide will explain the procedure of jump-starting your vehicle using the jumper cables, and you will get to where you were going before you even know it.
The first step involves opening every hood of the car to discover the battery. In most of the cars, it is usually not far from the front of the vehicle on the left or right side, although the battery of some cars is situated close to the firewall within the engine and passenger space. In some vehicles, the battery is found in the trunk. If uncertain, refer to your car handbook for the battery location. Check the negative and the positive terminals.
- The positive terminal is distinguished by a plus sign (+) and normally has a red cable tied on it.
- The negative terminal is recognised with a minus sign (-) and usually possesses a black cable attachment.
- Park the functional vehicle close to, but not in contact with the non-functional car. Put the vehicle in a way that the distance within both car batteries is minimal. Switch off the engine, lights, radio, fans, A/C, and any other electrical parts. Ensure that all of the above mentioned are off in the non-functional vehicle as well. Do not allow the cars to come into contact with each other at all.
- If they are touching, then the jumping of the battery can induce unsafe electrical discharge within the vehicles.
- Examine the batteries for breaks, leaks or any other problem. If you discover any of them, avoid jump starting the car. Instead, call a tow truck or substitute the battery.
- The removal and cleaning of the disabled automobile’s battery cables from the battery terminals may not be necessary. Utilise a firm wire brush to get rid of all the corrosion. Connect the wires once more to the battery poles and jump the car.
- If applicable, take out any positive red post safety covers if applicable.
Disentangle and separate your jumper cables. Similar to your battery, the jumper cables will likely bear the black and red cables and will also contain industrial clamps to link to the battery terminals. Just a reminder, ensure that the black and red poles of your jumper cables are apart.
Connect the jumper cables as explained below:
- Attach a single red clinch to the positive terminal of the flat battery.
- Connect the other red clinch to the positive terminal of the functioning battery.
- Plug in a single black clinch to the negative pole of the working battery.
- Connect the remaining black clamp to the grounded metal piece on the non-functioning vehicle, preferably the bolt in which the big negative cable of the battery links to the chassis. If it is not practical, then search for a shiny metal connected to the engine. Under normal circumstances, a bolt, nut or any other convex shiny metal will function well. You may discover a little spark if you connect to a proper ground. For the final resort, you can link up to the negative terminal of the dead battery, although this runs a risk of erupting hydrogen gas from the battery.
- Ensure that no cable is hanging into the engine space, where the moving parts can endanger them.
Start the functioning car and Leave it idle for some few minutes. Avoid racing the engine, but do rpm the engine a little more than idle from 30 to 60 seconds.
This will recharge the battery in the non-functioning vehicle since the starter will absorb most of the needed current of that battery, not via the cables.
The usual retail jumper cables do not pass the expected current. Charging the flat battery is necessary. If the 30 seconds does not work, make an effort of charging for the full 60 seconds through maintenance of a high idle engine.
A proper, clean attachment between the cables of the battery and the poles of the battery is necessary.
Make an effort of starting the wrecked car. If it is not starting, stop the engine and unplug the last connection for a limited time as you twist or wiggle all the four clamps slightly to assist in assuring a proper electrical connection.
Start the functional car again. Leave it for five more minutes to charge before trying to start the non-functional car. If it does not operate after a few attempts, it may be necessary to get the vehicle pulled along or the battery substituted.
Once the car starts, take out the jumper cables. Perform this in the turn of the order that they were connected, and do not let any of the clamps or the cables to come in direct contact with each other (or hang freely into the engine space).
- Unplug the black clinch from the grounded metal on the non-functioning car.
- Disconnect the black clinch from the negative pole of the working battery.
- Disconnect the red clinch from the positive pole of the functional battery.
- Unplug the red clinch from the positive pole of the flat battery.
- Substitute any positive red post safety covers if relevant. The sheets assist in the prevention of the unexpected short circuiting the battery.
Keep the engine of the immediate-disabled car running. Drive the car idle for about five minutes then on or above idle for about 20 minutes ahead of switching it off. That should provide the battery with the adequate charge to restart the car. If it fails, you possibly have a drained battery or a dying generator.
Limitations of the jumper cables
In the case of an overcharge, a lead-acid battery operation may give off an inflammable hydrogen gas through electrolysis of the water inside the battery. The procedures of a Jumpstart are typically in the vehicle owner’s manual. The advocated connections sequence is aimed at minimising the risk of shorting the working battery unexpectedly or inflaming the hydrogen gas. The owner’s handbook will provide the best areas of the jumper cables linkage. For instance, the batteries of some cars are frequently put under the seat. They may also have a jumper pole in the engine space.
You cannot use the jumper cables to interlink between the disparate voltage systems. The connection of 6 V and 12 V systems can cause damage.
If the flat battery is damaged physically, contains a low level of electrolyte, is frozen or decayed, a jump start cannot repair it. Jump starting a car whose battery is frozen battery can lead to an explosion.
Method 3: Push starting (Without the use of Cables)
Push starting, also referred to as the bump start, popping the clutch, clutch start, or crash starting is the method of setting in motion in a motor vehicle that has an internal combustion engine by employing the manual transmission while the car is moving. This technique is commonly used when the other methods such as the kick start, automobile self-starter and jump start are not available.
Before applying this method to start your car, ensure that it is a standard vehicle with a clutch. Do this by studying the owner of the car’s manual or by only checking out the footwell.
You will also require a group of allies to assist you in making the car move. If you cannot get anyone nearby, make an effort of asking some passersby to help. They can even be your friends in the time to come. If you are on a hill and you can make the vehicle move without asking for help, you will be able to restart the car alone.
Release the clutch immediately when the velocity reaches five mph. The engine is supposed to turn and start and if it does not, attempt to depress and rerelease the clutch.
Stop and leave the engine working. Appreciate your friends for executing the legwork. Ensure that the engine runs for not less than 15 minutes to charge up the battery ahead of putting it off. This can be a sound time to buy your allies a cup of coffee or just drive away.
Push starting has been the most productive when the automobile is utilising a gasoline engine, applies a carburettor, and employs a capacitor discharge ignition or the inductive discharge ignition scheme. Cars with other types of combustion, engines, and fuel delivery contours may function, although they can be hard to start. Some of the engines must possess a battery with some electricity because fuel injecting schemes must hold power to work.
Throughout the early twentieth century, most of the motorbikes could just be pushed to start. The Scott of1908 was recognised by ushering in a kick starter aspect. The welbike of the Excelsior Motor Company, which was aimed to be transported by the paratroopers during the World War II was made to be started by merely pushing.
Other Jumpstarting Methods
A hand-carried battery, fitted with connection charger and cables, can be utilised similarly in another car’s battery. An independent jump box owns a battery and links directly to the engine of the cell, and this requires a boost.
The boosters, which are easily carried, can mechanically detect the polarity of battery ahead of sending the power to the car, eradicating the equipment casualty that can emerge from the connection turning.
There are several easily carried jump starters, which have multiple functions and can also be employed in charging other electronic devices. They include the following
Cigarette lighter outlet
The other option for a jumper cable is the Cigarette lighter outlet. It is used in interconnecting the 12-volt power exits of the two cars. Although this eradicates fears associated with the improper linkage and arcs generation near the battery poles, the quantity of current obtainable via such a connection is little. This technique functions by recharging the battery slowly and not through the production of the current required for cranking.
The draw of the engine cranking the motor current will outperform the fuse valuation in the cigarette lighter exit.
Most of the cars switch off the cigarette lighter exit if the key is turned off, making the method not capable of being utilised unless the ignition switch is reversed on a position of attaching the cigarette lighter exit to the battery or the accessory.
The Most Effective Cigarette Lighter Jump Starter
Irrespective of being aware of all the above mentioned, it is still difficult to distinguish between the most efficient cigarette lighter jump starter and the defective ones.
However, Eurow Easy Quick Jumper has been acknowledged as one of the best, due to various reasons. One of those grounds includes affordability, and the other one is that it does a good job. A test was done using an old Mitsubishi Galant, which had a 2.4 engine and a flat battery.
The Eurow Easy Quick Jumper charged the battery on the Mitsubishi (a relatively big car with a massive driving force) in about 10 minutes. The great thing about the Eurow Easy Quick Jumper is that it also has a battery tester head.
That can come in handy because if the battery of the donor car is not amply charged, then that vehicle will use most of its power to charge its battery. Consequently, you will have to wait that much longer until your dead battery gets enough of the charge.
The cigarette lighter jump starter’s essential attributes include its weight and the ease of use. The Eurow Jumper passes the two tests because it is small to fit in the glove space. The cable is also soft and flexible.
Therefore, you can pile it up neatly. The next good thing concerning the Eurow is that the cable is extremely long so there should be no troubles stretching from one vehicle’s cigarette port to the other irrespective of whether you are utilising big Lorries or not and you are not precisely a car parking maverick.
The most apparent advantage of employing the Cigarette lighter outlet is that it enables you to start the vehicle without opening the hood, getting the polarities correct, or even going on your battery’s quest, since it can be hidden below the passenger’s seat or within the car’s boot in some vehicles.
Jump starting a car with standard jumper cables or the jump box can result in two different problems.
The first one is that if you directly connect the cables backwards, and if you fasten the cables with a hook to a battery can induce a spark, which may later ignite the exhausts that have oozed out. However, these effects can both be neutralised by just being careful when connecting the cables and complying with the right process of jump starting a car.
Even so, the cigarette lighter jump starter, which attaches one cigarette lighter receptacle to the other, is to a lesser extent likely to spark out or stimulate a battery explosion than to misuse the jumper cables. Therefore, it is wise to purchase a proficient set of cables, or a jump box to your kid and cautiously teach him/ her to use them effectively.
The service garages and the motorists frequently own portable battery chargers controlled from the AC power. The small chargers are meant to sustain a charge of the parked or stored car, although the bigger ones can sufficiently charge a battery to enable it to start in a few minutes.
The battery chargers can be purely manual or can involve the checks for the charging voltage and time. The chargers with high voltage will lead to the hydrogen gas discharge from the battery, and this can harm it or increase the risk of an explosion.
The battery can be charged again without being removed from the car. Even so, in distinctive roadside conditions, no commodious power source may be available.
Battery booster and jump starter
Some of the AC battery chargers own an engine start, a boost or an engine assist aspect. Regardless of having a capability of jump starting a flat car battery, these forms of Chargers do their work for a longer period, on the contrary to the instant boost. Supercharging a flat battery via a battery charger may take five to twenty minutes contingent on the depth-of-discharge, state of the car battery, and the type of engine. The AC power is not usually accessible for the roadside boost.
The Jumpstarters can be defined as the portable battery instrumentality that makes it possible for the car to jump start. These instruments work similarly as the jumper cables although they do not need an extra car to generate the power required to supercharge the flat car battery. Jump starters are available in different sizes (commonly ranked in Amps).
Today, most of the jump starters on the market utilise the lead-acid batteries and have a rating of between 400 to 1700 Amps. The primary weaknesses of the lead-acid jump starters include weight, battery chemistry and sizes. The jump starters of the Lead-acid can be enormously cumbersome and large, resulting in them being less than commodious while moving between the cars.
The Lead-acid batteries can also get a condition known as sulphating that permanently drops off the capacity of the battery. It is possible to destruct a newly bought lead-acid battery in months, which will need a replacement.
Jump starting the car using lithium-ion batteries began appearing in the marketplace in 2013. Most lithium jump starter brands utilise a high discharge lithium polymer or Lithium-ion battery. Lithium jump starters are incredibly compact and lightweight (as much as it is 90% littler than its lead-acid equivalents).
Advantages of the jump starters over the booster cables
There is no problem with how the non-functioning car is parked.
You do not have to mind about how your non-functioning car is parked while enforcing a jump starter. However, it is different with the booster cables because the main thoughtfulness is how the host vehicle will get near the booster cables to get hold of the disabled car’s battery.
It is not necessary to ask for assistance if you own a jump starter.
The most apparent benefit of using a jump starter is that that it takes away the necessity of getting somebody to help you with a vehicle that can be utilized as the host car. On the contrary, a second car is required while using the booster cables. This benefit is not only about the trouble of finding someone who is willing to assist you. It also has safety thoughtfulness. If your jump starter is in your trunk, you can remove, attach it and your vehicle will start instantly. This is safe when stranded in the dark or the unknown area.
Double connections entail double the encounter with issues.
When using the booster cables, you will be forced to create two sets of attachments, and this can lead to twice the chance of problems. Reversed linkages are very unsafe to the person operating the vehicles involved. They can give rise to sparks, which can result in an explosion when the gases of the battery are present. Also, they can induce damage to the valuable electronic parts in one or the two vehicles that are involved, contingent on when the reverse connection happens. With the jump starter, only one connection is made, modifying the complicated process.
Damage concerns of the host vehicle
In spite of using the best connection sequence and the starting process, there are still concerns on whether the host car is capable of offering the extra power required by the non-functional vehicle. If any parts of the host car’s electrical arrangement are questionable or suspect, the other necessities of the jump starting procedure may press those components to the edge.
Motorists can be critically harmed by the battery apart. The sound produced is nearly as loud as the gunshot, when the plastic sheath blows apart–accompanied by the toxic sound, extremely saturated sulfuric acid foaming to the ground.
A particular research note conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association in the USA indicated that around 442 individuals were wounded by the exploding batteries when trying to jump-start. Incorrect jump-starting has been identified as one of the principal causes of explosions. The error that most of the motorists make is connecting the jumper cables to the other vehicle’s working battery then to the flat battery. This is a practice that induces a sparkling. At all times, link the jumper cables to the flat battery first, and then proceed to the working battery.
Another study by the same organisation stated that in 1993 only, the battery explosions severely bruised 2,280 individuals leading to a hospitalisation. A percentage of Thirty-one of those body damages happened during the battery chargers’ usage, 19% resulted from jump-starting the flat batteries, 26% were from the battery cables’ handling while 19% were from examining or adding the fluid of the battery. Altogether, the study discovered that 7,051 injuries were associated with the automotive batteries.
The explosion risk is indicated on each automotive battery, but less number of motorists takes the trouble of reading such messages, let aside taking them seriously. It is an unfortunate mistake since the batteries frequently explode without warning.
Also, even if you are not nearby and have avoided the injury, the battery acid can severely harm the engine part, eroding the wires and hoses. It can also damage the paint.
In the previous times, particularly during the cold climates, jump starts were carried out using dual series-connection batteries to supply 24 volts to the12 volt starting the motor. Big cars such as the heavy trucks, mining equipment, or cars that have the diesel engines use the 24-volt electrical systems. They normally have a 24 Volt supply using two 12 V automotive batteries in series. Therefore, you can only jump-start the car with a 12 Volt electrical system using one of the two batteries.
Vintage vehicles can bear 6-volt electrical systems and may link the positive battery pole to a chassis. However, the methods meant to boost a 12-volt, negative ground cars cannot be utilised in such cases.
The hybrid cars have a little 12-volt battery system, which is not suitable for obtaining the high amount of current needed to supercharge a conventional vehicle. Nevertheless, since the 12-volt organisation of a hybrid car is only needed to start up a vehicle’s control system, a little portable battery can well supercharge the hybrid, which has expelled its 12-volt system unexpectedly. The main actuation battery is not likely to have been discharged as well.
If various battery problems are making your vehicle to drop the battery charge (for instance a battery, which is leaking), you should get it replaced or serviced. The best decision is to call a professional if you are not sure of what you are doing since you can severely damage your vehicle and the other car that you are utilising to jumpstart.
The Do’s of jumpstarting a car
- Before you do anything, you should keep in mind that when handling electricity, safety will always come first. Consequently, ensure that the metal objects such as the tools or jewellery are not nearby since they can get into contact with the cables or batteries.
- Ensure that the small kids are in a safe place off from the engine when you are demonstrating how to jump a car.
- Remove any clothing that can be caught in the engine bay.
- Read the vehicle’s manual ahead of making an effort to jumpstart. The modern cars typically come with the jumpstart lugs in which the cables should be linked, rather than doing it directly to the battery poles. Moreover, some of the manufacturers do not permit the jumpstarting of the car at all, and doing so may contribute to the nullification of the warranty. In some cars, some cautions must be followed, and they include a fuse removal or turning on the deicer. The manual should spell any precautions that should be taken.
- Make sure that both of the car batteries are not damaged. If the plastic casing of the battery is broken or it appears like it is leaking out, do not attempt anything. You can either take it out if you are aware of what you are doing, or bring it to a professional for a replacement. Similarly, if the cables are spoilt, the best you can do is to borrow somebody else’s or purchase new ones. They are not too expensive.
- Confirm the battery voltage of the car executing the jumping. If they are not matching, severe damage can happen to the two vehicles.
- The engine of the car with a good battery should be off.
- Only operate the engine in an area that is well-ventilated to make sure that the toxic fumes gas does not develop
- Take out any vent caps around the non-sustenance free batteries. Be extremely cautious because the battery acid is very corrosive
- Disconnect any accessories such as the cell phone chargers because the power surge made by jumpstarting can short them out.
- The two vehicles must be neutral with a parking brake in use.
- The headlights, turn signals and the radios should also be turned off in both cars.
The don’ts of jumpstarting a car
- Avoid leaning over the battery of any of the two cars.
- Avoid smoking when jump starting the car.
- Not in any circumstance should you jumpstart a battery with cold or frozen fluids because this can lead to an explosion.
- Do not jump start the vehicle, if the battery is collapsed because it can cause an explosion.
Tips, Tricks & Warnings
- If you are utilising another vehicle to jump-start yours and there is the insufficient charge to reverse your engine around, get someone to reasonably press the valve of the other vehicle when it is in neutral and examine your ignition at the exact time. This will make sure that the valve is providing your electrical circuit with sufficient power.
- If you frequently have a flat battery, your battery may be having a problem; Another fault could be with your alternator and any other electrical defect in your vehicle. Therefore, you should have your car checked by an automotive electrician or mechanic without any hesitation, if this is the case.
- If you own a booster pack that is portable, examine its charge level more often to avoid being caught up with a flat battery, particularly when other vehicles are not available to help you with a jump-start
Handling a flat car battery can be a pain in the neck. As luck would have it, making your vehicle function once more is not awfully difficult. Through following the above instructions, applying your jumper cables reasonably, exercising safety and dealing with other possible problems, your vehicle will operate better, safer, and also last longer.