Ever hopped into your car and tried to start it up only to realize that the battery is dead? It’s something that can happen to any of us, and, most of the time, it occurs at the most inconvenient time.
How long does it take to jump a car, and how can you jump your car quickly? We’ve got the answers to both coming up below.
How Long Does It Take to Jump a Car?
When your car won’t start, and you’re in a rush, it’s good to know how long it takes to jump a car. You need a second car to boost a battery with jumper cables properly. First, you’ll have to pop open the hood, connect the cables correctly, and then start the good car.
As a rule of thumb, it’s good to wait about two minutes with the car running, letting the power flow through. Then, after two minutes, try and start your vehicle to see if it starts working.
If it starts right up, don’t take off immediately; let your car keep running for at least two minutes, giving your battery enough time to juice up.
So, following that guide, the entire process should take about 5-minutes from connecting to charging. If you drive, park, and your battery won’t restart again, you may have a more severe issue.
You may need to either replace your battery or another car part interfering with your car’s battery.
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How to Jump-Start Your Car
Before you jump-start or connect any cable, you should take the proper steps to find the battery, uncover it, and connect the cables in the right spot.
Of course, you’ll need cables and another car that starts up and runs well. Then, follow these few steps to get your vehicle back up and running.
Park the other car close, pop the hood, and pull up the parking brakes of both cars. This will ensure that nothing will go rolling away in the process.
Find the Battery
Then, you’ll need to pop the hood and locate the battery. In some cars, the battery is hidden, while in others, it’s the first thing you can see. Locate it and brush away any buildup or corrosion around the nodes.
When connecting, be sure to do so in the proper order. This will help avoid any electrical shock while connecting the two cables.
Start with the dead battery, first connecting the red (positive) cable. Extend the cable to the second car, connecting the second positive cable.
While you’re there, connect the black (negative) to the second car and then connect the other black to the dead battery.
Start your Engines
Once everything is connected correctly, you’ll need to start the cars. First, start the car that’s working, letting it run a bit before. Then, try out the vehicle with the dead battery, letting it sit for a few minutes before disconnecting.
Remove the Cables
If things are good to go, it’s time to take off the cables. Please do so in the opposite way you connected them, starting with the black cables first. Once they are off and removed, you should be OK to drive away without a care.
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Why Your Battery Needs a Boost
When you realize that you have a worn-out battery, it doesn’t always mean that it needs to be replaced. If you see that your battery needs a charge, it could be for several reasons, including a few of those listed below.
Headlights or Inside Lights
Even if your battery is perfectly healthy, it’s not safe from drainage if you leave things up and running while the car is off.
For instance, if you leave the interior light of your car on all night or forget to switch off your headlights, you’ll probably wake up the following day to a battery that won’t start up your vehicle.
Your alternator works to pass on electrical currents throughout your car. If it doesn’t do so correctly, the battery can get worn out pretty fast, which will make your car not want to start when you need it the most.
Because your car works thanks to a mix of liquids, gasses, and electrical currents, extreme temperatures can have a considerable effect on them. If you live in a place where it gets over 100⁰F every day, you might start to realize that your battery gives out. The same goes if it’s cold; keep your battery from working correctly.
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Starting up your car takes the most power to do. Each time you turn the ignition and start it up, you’re taking a bit of battery power for a spin, which could drain over time. If you constantly turn your car on and off, your battery might give out faster than you bargained for.
It’s Just Old
If you’ve had your car for a while and haven’t had to replace the battery, it might just be time for a new one. Try and short for once every 3-4 years, making sure that it’s in good solid condition so that you can hop in and drive when you need to.
Jump-Starting Your Car 101
Before replacing your battery, if it stops working a time or two, you should try and boost it with a jump. Jumper cables are easy to come by, and you can get a friend or family member to use their car and battery to help out.
Ensure that you connect correctly and wait the suggested amount of time before you disconnect and drive away.
If you notice that your battery keeps giving out, you may need to replace your battery altogether. It’s nothing serious, and the cost isn’t too high, especially if you need to get back up and drive again.
Jump-Starting a Car: FAQs
Is it bad to jump-start a car?
Jump-starting a car is safe provided that the battery isn’t damaged and the correct steps to jump-start a vehicle are followed. However, in a case of a defective battery, there’s a potential fire risk as you attach the jumper cables. Also, touching the positive and negative leads together is another fire risk.
How do you jump-start a car without another car?
To jump-start your car with only one vehicle, you’ll need a jump starter box or a battery jump starter pack if you have automatic transmission. On the other hand, cars with manual transmission will require a push-start by a few friends to get the engine running without battery power on the vehicle.
Can a car battery be “too dead” to jump-start?
No, a car battery can’t be too dead to jump-start. If your vehicle doesn’t respond to the jump-start, you may be dealing with another mechanical issue, such as a broken alternator, or you need a new battery.
How long does it take to jump-start a car?
A jump-start usually takes about two minutes and up to five minutes with colder weather. After successfully starting the car, you need to drive for at least 15 minutes to recharge the battery.
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