Dead batteries on vehicles are enormously frustrating. When you are ready to go somewhere and your car will not start your plans are changed, and if you come out of a store, or you are in a remote location when your battery konks out, then you are stranded.
If you belong to AAA then you can call the service and wait until they can get someone to your location to help you start your vehicle. If you live in a small town, or your battery dies in a remote location, then the wait for someone to come help you could be hours.
A lot of people carry jumper cables in their vehicles so they can “jump their car off” if they ever have the dead battery situation happen to them. Jumper cables are cables with alligator clamps on the end of them. They are designed to connect one battery to another battery so that the battery that is dead can receive a surge of power and crank the vehicle it is on. Jumper cables are fabulous but to use jumper cables you must have another vehicle or another battery in close proximity so that you can connect the two items. There is not always another car or a battery close to you when your vehicle refuses to crank. So what do you do when you have a dead vehicle battery and no jumper cables?
How to Jumpstart a Car Without Cables
If you are driving a car with a standard transmission then you can start the engine with a dead battery and no cables.
- You will need to have the vehicle on an incline. You probably did not park the vehicle on an incline because a standard vehicle tends to roll as you are trying to start it. Right now you want that vehicle rolling. If there is not an incline close by you can have someone sit in the driver’s seat of the vehicle while other people push the vehicle. The problem with this method is you have to get the vehicle to reach about 5 mph before you can manually crank it without a hot battery.
- You need to get into the car and depress the clutch fully. Keep a foot on the brakes so the vehicle does not start to roll down the hill before you are ready for it to.
- Put your vehicle in second gear and turn your key to the on the position like you were about to crank the car, but do not try to crank the car at this time.
- Release the brakes and let the car start to roll down the incline.
- When the vehicle reaches approximately five miles per hour you can “pop” the clutch.
- To pop the clutch you will quickly take your foot off of the clutch pedal. As soon as the vehicle cranks depress the clutch again so that you have full control of the vehicle.
- You can also have one vehicle pull the vehicle that is not cranking so that you get the vehicle going fast enough to crank.
This method of cranking a vehicle will not work on an automobile that has an automatic transmission. If you have a dead battery and an automatic transmission, (the majority of cars now have automatic transmissions) then you must have jumper cables to connect your battery to another battery.
You can crank a car with an automatic transmission without using traditional jumper cables if you have a portable jump starter. The portable jump starter works like traditional jumper cables work. The jump starter provides the power that another battery would provide and it has connection cables that will allow you to connect the jump starter to the battery terminals on your vehicle. To use a jump starter you:
- Connect the cables that are on the jump starter to the battery terminals on your vehicle. Red coloring on the cables or on the alligator clips indicates that they are intended to connect to the positive terminal. Your positive terminal may also have red coloring on the plastic protective cap covering the post, or you may see a plus sign that indicates the positive side. The color black or the minus sign is used to indicate the negative terminal and the negative connector.
- Once you have properly connected the jump starter to your vehicle you turn the device on.
- Allow the jump starter to have between three and five minutes to provide a boost of power to your battery and then turn your key to crank your vehicle. It should crank immediately.
Dead batteries are no fun, but they do not have to be frustrating and cause you to be late to work or to miss an engagement that you were looking forward to. A jump starter can stop your battery from controlling your life.