So, your battery got empty and you can’t start your car? There is no one around you to help you out starting your car and you are looking for how to jump a car without another car? Is there a way to do this? Yes, there is, and we are going to cover that in this article.
- What Is A Battery?
- How Batteries Work
- Dying Battery Symptoms
- Reasons Why It’s Empty
- How To Jump A Car
- Battery Replacement Cost
A dead battery can be a big headache for many car owners. A dead battery can literally piss you off and ruin your day. For example, if you need to go to work and your car just won’t start. Your boss can be really angry at you and think that you are lying to him.
This situation with your car can drive you into some really unpleasant situations. Situations that could be easily avoided if you take good care of the health of your battery very closely and see if the battery life is good. But that’s why we are here, to teach you what to do in these situations for you to overcome them simply and effectively.
In this article, we are going to learn everything you need to know when it comes to starting-related issues. We are going to learn how the batteries work and how you can monitor the health of the battery. Then, we are going to share the common reasons why your battery gets empty all the time and the symptoms of a dead battery. After that, we are going to explain how to jump a car without another car. So, let’s discuss.
What Is A Car Battery?
The car battery is a rechargeable battery. This battery has one purpose and that is to help you start your vehicle. The main goal of the battery is to provide electric current to the starter motor that is located on the engine.
When you engage the key, this starter motor starts spinning and then the motor turns over. When the motor turns over, the combustion process begins and the vehicle starts. But how to jump a car without another car or a battery? Is this possible? Yes, it is and we are going to discuss that later in this article.
How large is the voltage of the car battery? The usual voltage of a car battery is between 13.5 and 14.5 volts. To start the vehicle, the battery needs to have at least 12V of power to make the engine crank.
Bigger vehicles such as diesel trucks or cars require higher voltage because they require a lot more power for the engine to start and make the vehicle run.
The battery is usually located in the engine bay or at the back of the truck area. From the battery, there is a positive and negative terminal that needs to be attached for the battery to work properly on the vehicle.
The positive battery terminal is generating power to the starter, and the negative terminal works as a ground. The battery terminals should always be clean for proper current to be delivered to the starter. If the terminals are rusty on your car, the battery will not charge or deliver power to the starter and this can also affect the charging capability of the battery.
How Do Car Batteries work?
Battery design has not changed a lot since the invention of these batteries. They work on the same basic principles.
Every car battery has six cells and each cell has two plates inside. One of the plates is made out of lead and the other plate is made out of lead dioxide. Each of these cells can make around 2V of energy. So, six cells’ times 2V equals 12V of power. This will be enough to start the car.
In the battery, there is sulfuric acid. The plates are submerged in this acid and this acid is triggering a reaction between the two plates. Basically, the acid works as a catalyst.
When there is a reaction, the plate starts to produce two things and these things are the ions and lead sulfate. Then, these ions that are produced by the lead dioxide plate come into contact with the other plate and produce hydrogen and lead sulfate.
The end product of this chemical reaction is electrons. Next, the electrons are racing through the plates and generate electricity. This electricity then travels to the components of your car like the starter and helps you start the car.
It’s pretty interesting how this system works. It’s basically a reversible process because the battery can be recharged many times during its life. But how to jump a car without another car? Well, that’s what we are going to cover later in this article.
Symptoms Of A Dead Battery
Before the battery gives up, it starts to show some symptoms. These symptoms have to be tracked for you to know that your battery is going to give up. By doing this, you will never need to learn how to jump a car without another car.
Tracking your battery health is considered something like preventive maintenance. If you know the health of your battery, you are going to be able to replace it before the battery leaves you stranded somewhere on the road. But what are the symptoms? We are going to discuss that now.
Battery Light On The Dashboard
One of the first symptoms, when your battery is closer to failing, is the battery light that appears on your dashboard. The battery indicator serves the purpose to let you know that the battery is not good anymore and has to be either recharged or replaced.
The alternator is a crucial component that has the purpose to charge the battery while the engine is running. The alternator is something like a generator and it powers the battery and also the vehicle when the car is running. If the alternator doesn’t work, the car will take too much power from the battery and cause damage to the battery in the process.
In this case, when you don’t know what could be the real culprit, is a good idea to test the battery with a multimeter or replace it with another battery. This is one of the ways of how to jump a car without another car that we are going to cover at the end of the article.
Problem Running Auxiliary Components
Another symptom of a failing battery is the problems with the auxiliary components that are stealing power from the battery. For example, the radio, or the dome lights. If they are running dim, it means that there is very little power in the battery.
Or, if you leave the radio on for half an hour and then you have a problem starting the car, this can also be a sign of a bad battery. The battery should not get empty so quickly when these components are running.
If you notice how these components are annihilating your battery fairly quickly, then you know that it’s time to replace the battery with a new one. Replacing the battery on time will guarantee that you won’t get left stranded in the middle of nowhere when you need your car the most.
Corrosion Buildup On The Terminals
If on close inspection, there is corrosion to the terminals, this is not a good sign. The terminals should always be clean and without corrosion. Even the slightest corrosion is a red alert and that means that your battery is not working properly. It’s likely that the acid is going outside of the battery case, and is corroding the terminals.
If this is the case with your battery, then you should consider replacing it with a new one. Because you never know when it will give up on you and will leave you stranded. In this case, the best thing to do is to replace the battery with a new one.
Also, clean the battery terminals thoroughly and make sure that there is no corrosion left. This will guarantee you that the new battery will make perfect contact with the terminal.
Rotten Smell Coming From The Engine
If your battery smells of rotten eggs, it means that the battery is leaking from somewhere. This smell is caused by the sulfuric acid that is inside the battery. When this acid comes in contact with metal, it starts corroding it and creates a lot of problems.
If you are smelling something like a rotten egg smell. The first thing you need to do is to get a new battery. This battery that you are currently running is not good anymore and it can stop working sooner or later.
Before replacing the old battery, make sure that you clean the housing if there is any acid on it. Also, clean off the clamps with a wire brush from any corrosion. Replace the battery and you are good to go.
Car Has Trouble Starting The Engine
If the car needs a lot of cranks and doesn’t want to start, maybe your battery level is below the recommended 12V. This is a clear indication that one of the cells in this battery is probably dead or close to dying.
So, if your battery is working on 5 cells, it means that there is only 10V of power. This is not enough to start some vehicles that have higher displacement engines. This cranking is going to damage the battery even more.
In this case, the best thing to do is to check the battery with a multimeter. The multimeter is a device for measuring voltage and resistance. For this, you will need the voltage meter and if the voltage is below 12V, it means that you are going to need a new battery. If the voltage is above 12V, it means that the battery is good and you will not have to replace it with a new one.
Also, if the battery was sitting for a long time, it is a good idea to charge it with a battery charger. Because it may lose some of the charge because it was sitting idle.
Another important factor is battery age. If the battery is really old then you need to replace it just for preventive measures. The battery usually lasts between 2 to 5 years on average. And if the battery is older than this you are probably going to have to replace it with a new one.
With old batteries, you never know when the battery is going to fail and leave you stranded. You may continue driving it for months. But if it suddenly stops working you will be probably very annoyed.
That’s why I recommend changing the battery when getting a used car with a battery that you don’t know when it was changed. This will help you in the long run and you will enjoy many carefree miles. A new battery is the best investment when you are getting a used vehicle.
Reasons Why The Battery Gets Empty
If your battery gets empty all the time, you either have some kind of parasitic drain, or your battery doesn’t hold the energy for longer periods of time.
If this is the case, you should note that if the battery is pretty new and you are constantly getting an empty battery problem. Should this be the case, you probably have some parasitic drain. This parasitic loss can be caused by some malfunctioning component that is draining the power from your system.
The car needs to be checked thoroughly to find the real culprit. Just a hint, if you were messing with the electrical system by yourself, you should check twice if your connections are good and if you made some kind of a mistake while connecting the components. I’m saying this because this is the most frequent reason why people get parasitic loss.
On the other hand, what if your battery loses power frequently when you are running your headlights or radio? The problem probably lies in the battery itself. In this situation, you have to check the voltage of the battery.
You can do this by using a multimeter device. These multimeters are fairly cheap and you need to set the multimeter on the voltage setting. If the battery is making below 12V, it means that the battery is bad and needs replacement. If the battery is good then you will have to look if you have some kind of parasitic loss in your system.
How To Tackle This Problem?
You can tackle this problem as we mentioned above. You need to test the battery and see if it makes 12V. Get a multimeter and check the voltage that the battery is making. If the voltage is below 12V, then you should be concerned and look toward replacing this battery. Because it’s probably going to fail sooner or later and you will be looking for how to jump a car without another car.
If the battery is good, you will have to take the car to a mechanic that specializes in electrics. They are experts on finding parasitic loss in cars and will tackle your problem pretty quickly and effectively. Or, if you are sure about what is taking your power away, you can try to fix it by yourself.
How To Jump A Car Without Another Car?
You can jump-start a car without another car. There are three ways how you can perform this on your car. And we are going to elaborate on them in great detail in this chapter. Some of them are simple while some are more complex and require more effort. For one of the methods, you are going to need a friend to give you a hand if your car is not parked downhill. So, which are the methods?
Push The Car To Start
This method will work perfectly if you have a manual transmission car. With automatic, it will not work, since you don’t have a clutch to press. For this method, you will also need another guy to push your car. Or, if you are parked on a downhill would be great.
If the car doesn’t want to start, just press the clutch and put the car in 1st gear, and DON’T RELEASE THE CLUTCH. Then tell the guy to push your car to gain momentum.
After the car gains momentum, RELEASE THE FOOT FROM THE CLUTCH. Since the car is in gear, it’s going to jerk and try to start the engine. If the engine starts from the first try then it’s great. If the engine does not start after the first try you can try it again and again until you learn how to jump a car without another car and start the vehicle.
Get Another Battery
Another way that you can try is to simply get another battery if you have one laying around. Or if a friend has an extra battery, he can lend you his battery for you to start your car, and then you can return the battery to him.
Or, simply go to your local parts store and get a new battery. This is going to cost you some money, but in the end, you are going to have a good battery that will last for a long time. We are going to cover more about the costs of getting a new battery later in this article. But first, let’s discuss the last method for how to jump a car without another car.
Get A Jump Starter
Another thing you can do is to get a jumper. The jumper is simply a portable battery pack with clamps that will hold to your positive and negative terminal.
To jump your car with a jumper, you need to get a jumper first. If you have a friend that has a jumper, then it’s great if he can lend the jumper to you. If not, you will have to purchase one. And these jumpers can cost a few hundred dollars. They are expensive. So, they might not be worth it if you don’t jump cars all day long.
These jumpers usually have enough juice to start around 10 to 20 cars depending on the size of the battery that is installed in the jumper. And if you start a lot of cars regularly, this might be the perfect tool for you.
If you are only trying to start your own car once, it’s probably not worth the investment. A much better option is to get a new battery. With a new battery, you are not going to need to jump your car probably for more than 2 years. Since most of the car batteries last between 2 and 5 years.
Cost To Replace A Battery
The average cost to replace a battery is around $100 to $150 depending on the size of the battery. Bigger batteries cost a lot more since they are bigger and pack more power. But if you have a regular passenger vehicle, you are not going to need more than a 6 cell 12V battery for your car.
Just pay attention when you buy a battery. Check the terminals. Make sure they are laid out the same as your previous battery. If they are not matching, you will not be able to connect the new battery to the vehicle and you will have to replace the battery. That’s why you should pay attention to the terminals if you want to be sure which battery to get.
Starting a Car with a Dead Battery: Facts
- Unless you have a manual transmission, it is impossible to start a car with a dead battery without another car.
- Jump-starting a car is a simple skill, but you will need a backup plan when you’re out in the middle of nowhere with no cables, jump box, or another vehicle around.
- The battery-on-battery method is not safe, and it is recommended that you use a portable jump-starter or call for a tow truck or AAA for battery service.
- You should never attempt to jump-start a car with a damaged battery that can catch fire or explode.
- Non-conductive mechanic gloves and safety glasses are recommended for safety.
- Push-starting or pop-and/or bump-starting is a method of spinning the engine to life by force instead of using a battery-powered starter.
- Jump boxes are small portable batteries with jumper cables attached and are safer to use than jumper cables.
- Roadside assistance is often built into your car or motorcycle’s insurance plan, and local towing services will have jump-starters for dead-battery situations.
- Pro tips for starting your car’s dead battery without another car include inspecting the cables for splits and cuts and reconnecting the battery cables if they are loose.
How To Jump A Car Without Another Car – Conclusion
In this article, we have covered a lot when it comes to car batteries. We learned the basics and how these batteries work.
Then, we have covered the most common symptoms of a dying battery. These symptoms are crucial if you are dealing with a dying battery. Knowing the symptoms is key in knowing when to replace the battery and not getting stranded on the side of the road.
Additionally, we learned what to do when you are experiencing a battery empty problem. As we mentioned, this can be caused by a parasitic loss and an old battery.
Finally, we learned how to jump a car without another car. And there were three ways how you can do this and start your car without needing another car.