It has happened to everyone. You wake up to run a few errands or go to work, but your car doesn’t start. After checking a few things, you realize your car battery is dead, and you must jump-start it.
But how long does it take to jump-start a dead battery? Your answer will depend on a few aspects, like the battery type, the condition of the alternator, and how long the jump start will last.
Jump-starting your car will take around 5 minutes once you’ve hooked up the cables. If the car won’t start after jump-starting it for 5 minutes, the battery is dead, or the process is wrong.
Table of Contents
- Factors affecting the jump-start time
- Causes of a dead battery
- How to jump-start your car battery?
- Reasons why a jump start might not work
- Can you leave the jump start cables on for too long?
- Things to avoid when jump-starting your car
- What to do if the battery is too dead to jump-start?
- Tips for avoiding a dead battery
Factors affecting the jump-start time
Nevertheless, it’s important to note that some things can impact how long it takes to jump start your battery. They include:
- How weak is the car battery: If the car battery is entirely out of charge or weak, giving it a new life will take longer.
- The type of jumper cables available: The quality of cables will also determine how long it takes to jump-start a battery. If you’re using low-quality cables that are not thick enough, you’ll need several minutes to complete the process. The issue with low-cost cables is that they cannot handle more than 10 amps. Since thicker cables are hefty, they can carry more amps and make the starter go faster.
- The temperatures outside: If the temperatures outside are below 10℉, it’ll take longer to jump-start your dead battery than when it’s warm.
Causes of a dead battery
A car battery dies for various reasons, including:
- Temperature: In extreme temperatures, poor chemical component maintenance will lead to your battery’s early death. Due to the corrosion ability, the acid in the battery grid will weaken the electrodes. The car battery’s ability will diminish fast and cause your car not to start.
- Faulty alternator: The battery will be depleted or undercharged if the car alternator is faulty. This is one of the reasons for a damaged battery.
- Drains: The car battery’s energy source depletes, letting lead sulfate create crystals that expand and make charging hard. This causes the battery to die, which can be depressing if you try to jump-start a flat battery.
- Strong vibrations: Intense vibrations will cause serious damage to the internal parts of the battery. Besides, the grid’s erosion increases in an acidic state.
How to jump-start your car battery?
There’s nothing worse than a dead car battery, but there’s always a solution. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to jump-start a car:
Step1: Find an engine source
A car battery jump start will be effective when you have another car. However, if you don’t have it, you can visit a nearby auto shop or battery repair center for alternatives or even contact a friend. Some of the precautions to take include:
- Ensure the cars are in a secluded location outside all interferences or massive traffic areas
- The cars should be 8 inches apart
- Ensure that the car’s lights and ignitions are switched off
- Make sure the batteries in two cars have the same voltage
Step2: Get to the terminals
Pay attention to the batteries’ positive and negative terminal areas in both cars.
While it might differ from brand to brand, the positive terminals are a tad bit wider than the negative ones. Avoid contact with the metal section of the clamp jumper or cables at any cart parts, except for the correct terminal parts of the battery.
Step3: Attachment work
The jumper cables help you take notes on differentiating the wires. So, attach the positive part of the clamps cable (red) to the terminal of the dead battery.
The other part of the positive clamp’s cable should go to the positive terminal of the healthy battery. Do a similar attachment with the negative cable (black color) on the good battery’s negative terminal.
Since you’ve hooked up everything, ensure you take safety precautions before you attach the negative clamp cable’s other part to the metal area of the vehicle’s engine.
Step4: Start the car
Start with the engine system of the car with a good battery. Let it run for two minutes, with some slight pedal to the gas. Go to the engine system of the dead car battery, with at least four trials before giving up.
If the car with the dead battery doesn’t hold up a click or start, inspect the terminals and cable connection. Don’t forget to switch off any power connection. At this time, instead of two minutes, increase the duration to even 10 minutes with a little pedal to the gas.
Reasons why a jump start might not work
If the car doesn’t start through jump-starting, you might have issues with the starter, ignition, alternator, or other components of the car’s electrical system.
A dead or weak battery can be one reason your jump start won’t work. Clean the cable connectors and terminals to have good contact. Here are the reasons your jump-start might not work.
- Battery damaged or dead
- An issue with the terminals and connectors
- Using power quality cables
- Wrong connection
- Bad starter
- Bad alternator
Can you leave the jump start cables on for too long?
It would help if you had a pair of jamb cables in your trunk. They come in different lengths, usually 10 to 20 feet. Even though longer jumper cables will reach farther, you might lose power as the energy moves through an additional length. Make sure the cables aren’t rusted, damaged, or frayed.
Note that a jump start can’t charge your battery. It holds energy within its battery array and then releases it in shorter bursts to offer enough energy for the car engine to start. While it’s enough to start a car engine, the energy isn’t sufficient to recharge a car battery.
Things to avoid when jump-starting your car
While jump-starting your car is straightforward, there are things you must not do when attempting to review a dead car battery. They include:
- Not wearing eye protection and gloves
- Ignoring the owner’s manual
- Jump start when the battery is leaking or cracked
- Putting your car in park
- Allow the cables to dangle from your car
- Use low-quality or poor cables
You should call a professional if you don’t know what you are doing
What to do if the battery is too dead to jump-start?
If you are having a problem with a dead car battery, starting the car is one of the effective solutions. However, there are situations when your car battery is too dead to jump-start. What could be the cause and the solution?
Maybe you are in a remote area where it’s difficult to find someone to help you. You can start the car without using the jump start cables. Use the portable jump start or call a tow truck.
So, it’s important to check the condition of your battery before leaving. You might be lucky if the battery dies in a busy location where you can quickly get help. However, it would help if you always got prepared.
Tips for avoiding a dead battery
Vehicles should be driven regularly to maintain the battery’s charge.
If you want a car battery to last long, you might need to invest in a battery maintenance gadget or recharger. These gadgets will refill a dead car battery, and the effective models can recharge it and extend its lifespan.
A car battery can last between 3-5 years, depending on temperature and usage. It’s safe to be cautious about maintaining the car battery in good condition and have a replacement rather than stretching it.
A high temperature can damage your car battery life more than cool temperatures. So, you need to be meticulous in maintaining or replacing the car battery, as this is the only way to avoid being stranded or getting stuck in the middle of nowhere.
If you reside in a cold or warm climate, test the battery’s capacity when it’s two years old. The test determines if your battery can keep a steady voltage when used or will tell you when the replacement is due.
To avoid a dead car battery:
- Make sure the car runs frequently; idling for minutes isn’t enough. Go for a drive that lets the alternator hold the charge in the car battery.
- Don’t use accessories and other electrical systems that drain the battery’s power while the engine isn’t running.
- If you plan to park the car for a long time, disconnect the cables connecting to the battery or use the trickle charger that keeps the battery charged even when the car isn’t in use.
As you’ve seen, the duration it takes to jump-start your dead battery will vary. In most cases, your car will work again in less than 5 minutes once the jump starter cables have been hooked up. So, the battery that is extremely depleted can be jump-started. This is another problem if the battery has been damaged enough that it can’t hold a charge. If it’s not working, you can start the car and make it run. Feel free to comment if you have questions or concerns.