Taking care of your car will probably minimize the number of times you may need to jumpstart it. However, sometimes, you may come across a driver in distress who needs your help, jump-starting their car. Knowing the correct procedures and safety measures to follow when jumpstarting a vehicle is necessary.
Herein, we will discuss some essential steps you need to follow when jumping a car. However, you need to know that jumping a car has its fair share of risks. The guide will include some critical safety measures to ensure you don’t injure yourself or hurt your battery.
Why Your Car is Not Starting?
There are a couple of reasons why your car may not start when you turn on the ignition. Sometimes, the issue could be straightforward, and you can sort it out without calling a mechanic. However, diagnosing why your car is not starting will help you take the right action. Below are some of the reasons why your vehicle may need jumping.
- Dead Battery– The lifespan of a car battery is around four years. Older batteries do not pack enough juice and will probably die out quickly. In addition, low temperatures can also affect your battery’s performance. In such instances, if your battery is still healthy, warming up your car before starting it can help improve its efficiency.
- Faulty Starter– If you have tried jumpstarting your car with no success, then the issue could be a defective starter. A flawed starter can be caused by loose connections, corrosion, or wear and tear after long-term usage. Listen to the sound your car produces when you turn the ignition. In most cases, a failed starter makes instant ticking noises that signify it is not receiving adequate electrical power.
- Defective Spark Plugs– Most cars’ ignition systems have a switch, a set of spark plugs, and a battery. Faulty spark plugs can prevent your car from starting. Spark plugs can malfunction because of corrosion due to carbon buildup, overheating, or wear and tear.
Read Also: Can You Jump a Bad Starter Solenoid?
Safety Steps to Follow When Jumping a Car
Sometimes, you may get your car jump-started, only for it to stall a few minutes later. Jumpstarting will only come in handy if your battery is out of power or you have a defective alternator. Below are some safety steps to follow when jumping your car.
- Make sure you check your battery for any malfunction. Do not attempt to jumpstart your car if you notice any leaks or defects. Also, clear the area around the battery. Ideally, you should have any items that could short-circuit the battery and cause a fire or fry the electrical system.
- A good battery should be switched off when hooking the jumper cables. Once the connections are set, you can now switch on the vehicle with a good battery to boost the dead car’s battery. However, switch the good vehicle off again before starting the dead vehicle. Having both cars running simultaneously can cause damage, especially if the cars are of different makes.
Can You Damage Your Car by Giving a Jump Start?
If not done correctly, jumpstarting can be pretty risky. You can end up harming yourself or destroying your battery or car’s electrical system. Even if you do it correctly, there are still risks involved that you need to be aware of.
Misconnecting the jumper wires can lead to surges in electric voltage, damaging your car’s battery. In addition, there is the risk of over-voltage, that may damage electrical parts of your vehicle. As a safety measure, make sure you switch off all the electronics, for example, the radio, headlights, and AC in your car.
We advise buying a portable jumper starter unit with a battery to start various engines. After purchasing the portable unit, ensure you train yourself on using it safely.
How Many Times Can You Jump a Car Battery?
As per our research, you should not make more than four consecutive jumpstarting attempts. This is often a sign that the battery is flat and needs a full recharge. Also, it could be a sign that the issue couldn’t be related to the battery.
Frequently jumping your car will also affect your battery’s lifespan and damage other ignition parts. As such, avoid running your battery until it drains out completely. Also, check your battery’s health. If it is more than 3-4 years old, you should replace it in due time.
Also Know: How to Jumpstart a 24v With 12v Battery?
Sometimes, the inevitable may happen where you need to jumpstart your car. Jumpstarting your vehicle has its risks but will deliver good results if you do it correctly. Ensure you use the right jumper cables and the connection is correct.
If the issue reoccurs frequently, it could signify that either your battery is not healthy or some parts could be faulty. In such cases, call a mech to check it out or visit the nearest auto service shop.