Battery Equivalents and Replacements

Can You Jump Start A Car With A Bad Starter?

Car battery jump starters can be of great help when starting a car with a weak or flat battery, especially during winter.

However, a bad starter is a completely different problem, but it can also be very annoying, and as usual, it happens whenever You are in a hurry ... So, can a jump starter help with cranking the engine with a bad starter?

Published: September 27, 2022.



In Short: Car battery jump starters help the users to start the car when the battery cannot do so and while other parts of the car's electric system are working properly.

If the car's engine starter is bad and it can't start the engine, the jump starter cannot help You in such a situation.


In theory, when turning the ignition key or pressing the start button, a signal is sent to the starter circuit - the starter solenoid closes and turns On the starter.

Due to thick wires, huge currents (hundreds of Amps) start to flow from the battery to the starter, creating the strong torque required to crank the engine.

Personally, if You do have starter issues, and You manage to start the engine occasionally using the starter, don't think twice - take your car to the nearest repair shop or certified dealership, and let them check and repair your car.

If You suspect that the starter is bad, by listening to its sounds, You can more closely determine what could be the problem.

For example:

  • a constant clicking sound indicates issues with the battery,
  • a single click often means issues with a starter solenoid,
  • no sound indicates that the starter electric circuit is not even engaged, leading to other possible reasons.

Either way, the best course of action is to let certified professionals check your car and repair it.

How to Start A Car With A Bad Starter?

If You have a car with a manual transmission, it is possible to push start the car if permitted by the manufacturer since modern cars are practically computers on 4 (or more) wheels.

manual transmission

So, if You want to push start your car (and the car's manufacturer permits it), put the key in the ignition, turn it ON (but not to the position where the starter is engaged - just "give contact"), and put the stick in the second or even third gear (as recommended by the manufacturer), press the clutch and let someone push You (or even pull slowly by another car).

After the car speeds up to 3-4 mph (5-7 km/h), let the clutch go for a few very brief moments (whatever happens, be sure to end with the clutch pressed) - the car's inertia will force the engine to spin which will hopefully kick start the engine.

And if the engine starts, go to the workshop ASAP, don't postpone it.

If your car has an automatic transmission, it is impossible to push start such a vehicle due to the "open clutch," which practically prevents cars with automatic transmissions from being push-started.