Battery Equivalents and Replacements

How to Jump-Start a Car Without Another Car?

When the car battery is discharged or even dead, it can't start the car's engine - it is simple as that. Jump starting a discharged/dead car battery with another car using jumper cables is relatively simple and straightforward, but what if don't have another car nearby?

In that case, there are several options that one can do, including push start the car, using another battery, using a car jump starter, and similar. However, whatever You do, safety first!

Published: November 15, 2021.

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car battery with cables 1


A car's battery may get discharged or even die for many reasons, including hot weather, cold weather, age, lights were left On, music was left On, etc.

But, it happens all the time, regardless of the car You have - even new, intelligent cars, that predict how long the battery lasts, among other things, can make an error in prediction, leaving the owner with the dead battery.

When that happens, put safety goggles and protective gloves on, locate your car's battery, and check if the cables are loose or corroded - if they are, tighten the cables and try to crank the engine.

If it starts, just in case, drive to the repair shop and let them check if everything else is alright with your car.

If everything is alright with the cables, check if the battery is in one piece, i.e. without physical damage.

If the battery is damaged, call the tow service and tow the car to the repair shop. Don't even try to run the engine with the damaged battery - it can cause fire or even an explosion.

So, if the battery is in one piece and it is firmly attached to the car's electric system and You don't have another car to jump-start your car, everything is not lost.

Push Start the Car

If You have a car with a manual transmission, You can try to push start your car. The process is actually very simple - push the car manually to 5-6 mph (8-9 km/h) while the car is in the second gear, release the clutch, and start the engine.

In real-life, this process is somewhat more complicated and can't be done by a single person, unless your car is pointing downhill.

So, if You have one or two friends at your disposal (or helpful strangers), you can try to push start your car like this:

- turn the ignition On,

- press the clutch and shift to second gear,

- release the brake and have your friends start pushing the car,

Note: If You are alone and the car is pointing downhill, it is possible for one person to try to push start the car, but this can be tricky and even dangerous. Personally, don't do it.

- when the car reaches 5-6 mph, release the clutch quickly. As the engine is mechanically forced to start, the car may yank a little bit ... and sometimes more than a little bit.

- if the engine starts, great, if not, try again, this time perhaps at a higher speed.

If the engine doesn't start after a few tries, perhaps there is some other issue with the car. In that case, call the tow service ...

Use Another Battery

If You have another battery at your disposal that is of similar size or even larger than the battery in the car, connect it to the car's battery using jumper cables - first, connect the dead battery positive terminal to the positive terminal of the good battery and then the negative terminal of the good battery to the negative terminal of the bad battery.

Note: this is a very similar method to starting a car with a dead battery using another car.

Another battery can come, for example, from the boat.

Leave the batteries connected for a few minutes so that the surface charge builds up in the dead battery so that the engine may crank more easily.

After the engine starts, remove the cables in opposite direction.

Note: If the jumper cables are quickly getting warm, or even hot, remove them immediately and try to start the engine using car jump starter.

Use Car Jump Starter

nocoboost gb70

Car jump starters feature built-in lithium battery allowing them to easily crank gas and diesel engines.

Each car jump starter feature a different maximum cranking current - the more Amps the larger the engine the jump starter can crank.

However, good jump starters also analyze the battery before letting the user start the engine, increasing safety.

And to make them more versatile units, car jump starters often feature LED flashlights and USB charging ports, enabling them to be used as small portable power banks. This also increases the danger of discharging the car jump starters when they are needed the most.

Note: Personally, keep your jump starters always fully charged and even get foldable solar chargers for that. And if You do need portable power banks, actual power banks are smaller, lighter, and cheaper than car jump starters.

Now, connect the car jump starter to the car's dead/discharged battery according to the jump starter Owner's Guide and let the jump starter analyze the battery.

When the jump starter signals to start the car, start the car as You normally would.

If the jump starter signals that something is seriously bad, check the error codes (if available) and act accordingly.

In short, if You are unable to crank the engine using the jump starter, call the tow service - there is something else, more seriously, wrong with the car.

Few Final Words

A bad battery can happen to anyone and it can be rather inconvenient.

Starting the car with a bad battery can be done, if You know what are You doing and You have proper gear - if You don't know what are You doing, potential damage (or worse) can be much higher than the tow service bill ...

For short, whatever You do, stay safe ...