All car owners face the dead battery problem sooner or later. And they all know about the option of starting the car with the help of clamps and another car.
But what if the battery drains that morning when all your neighbors are at work? Or even worse, if you happen to be in a place where there are not many people, and therefore the probability that a good Samaritan will come across you is small?
And maybe you will manage to find someone, but neither you nor they will have any equipment. What then?
In this situation, knowing how to start a car with a dead battery without another car would be good. In this article, we bring you four methods to achieve exactly that. You won’t need any extra knowledge or experience, which means you’ll be back on the road in just a few simple steps.
Table of Contents
How To Start A Dead Car Battery Without Another Car?
1. Push or Bump-starting
For the first method, you may need the help of another person. But definitely not another car. Of course, we’re talking about push-starting a car. Even if you haven’t tried it yourself, you’ve probably seen someone on the road doing it.
If your car stops on a straight surface, you must seek someone’s help. However, if this situation happens on a downhill, you could even do everything yourself.
It would be more challenging because you would have to push the car a little, and then when it starts to go downhill, perform the steps we will explain shortly.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before we begin explaining the steps, it is essential to say that this method only works with cars that have manual transmissions.
You will push start the car as follows:
Step 1: Set the ignition to “ON”
Step 2: Put the gearbox in the second shift
Step 3: Press down the clutch pedal
Step 4: The person or persons who are outside the car should start pushing the vehicle
Step 5: Wait for the car to gain some speed, i.e., the momentum (around five mph), then slowly start releasing the clutch and gradually pressing the gas pedal
Push-starting is the most reliable method, and the car should start after the last step. If it doesn’t, you can repeat the steps a few times. If, even after a few tries, you do not get the desired result, know that your problem is not an empty battery.
What could be the problem? Most often, it is a broken alternator, but the battery may have reached its end, so you will need battery replacement. There are a few other answers, but as there is nothing left for you to do here, you should call the professionals and let them do their job.
2. Jump Box (Battery-powered Starter)
This fix is very similar to jump-starting with another car. What is good about this method? Basically, you will never have to worry about whether you will be able to find someone willing to help you because the help you need will be in your trunk.
In addition, the portable jump-starter brings other advantages because many models come equipped with USB ports that can be used to charge the phone, AC outlets, and onboard safety lights.
Add to this the fact that these small portable batteries are not expensive at all, and you really have no excuse to keep one behind.
However, they only can be used on cars with automatic transmissions. Here are the steps.
Have a charged jump box. It may seem like unnecessary advice, but since we said that the jump pack could be used for other purposes, you may do just that, forget about it, and then wouldn’t be able to use it in this situation.
For this reason, periodically check the jump box battery’s state so you can use it when you need it most.
In case you happen to have both an empty battery and an empty jump box, you will first need to charge the jump box, for which you will need access to an electric outlet.
If you are using an older jump box model, it will probably not have integrated cables, which means that you will have to take your jumper cables. So, connect the clips to the corresponding posts, i.e., the positive and negative posts on the jump box.
Now, it’s time to connect the cables to the terminal of the dead battery. The red clamp should be connected to the dead battery’s positive post, which is marked with + or colored red. The black clamp must be attached to the vehicle’s frame’s unpainted, grounded metal surface.
Turn on the jump starter. Do not start the car immediately, but wait for the battery to charge for a while.
Many will recommend that you try starting the car after a minute or two, but it often happens that this is not enough time to charge the batteries, so be patient for 5 to 10 minutes, and you will have no problems.
After you finish waiting, try starting the car.
If the car starts, you can turn off the jump box.
Remove the clamps from the car battery’s posts. It is important to note that you need to remove them in reverse order, which means you first remove the black cable and then the red cable.
Put the jump box in the trunk, and don’t forget to charge it.
Finally, we bring you an incredibly simple way to start your car with just a rope when your battery runs out. Yes, you heard right – with the help of a rope!
But know that you should only use this as a last resort when the other methods we suggested don’t work.
However, as is the case with last resort, they usually aren’t safe or reliable. In order to understand why this method can be a bit unsafe, we must first describe how to apply it.
By the way, this fix only works with petrol cars with a manual transmission and front drive wheels. So if your car has automatic transmission, four-wheel drive, or runs on diesel, this method will unfortunately not be applicable.
The steps are as follows:
Step1: Put the gearbox in the third gear
Step 2: Raise one of the front wheels on a jack
Step 3: Wrap the rope around the raised wheel
Step 4: Pull the rope as hard as you can, and the car should start
Now it’s time to explain the potential downside. Many people think that this way of starting a car is quite dangerous because one wheel rests on the ground, and the car is put into gear when starting, which means that there is a risk of a sudden start of the vehicle.
So, standing to the side when pulling the string would be best to minimize the risk of an accident. But even then, try it at your own risk!
4. Call Roadside Assistance
Couldn’t start the car with the methods we provided? Or maybe you just don’t want to hassle with any of them? No problem – we also have a solution for that situation, which is to call roadside assistance.
It is an excellent idea because they always have jump starters with them so that they can revive your battery. If the problem is not the dead battery, they’ll gladly look around and try to diagnose the problem.
Worst case scenario, they’ll tow your vehicle to the mechanic, where you will definitely find out what kept you off the road.
Another good thing about calling roadside assistance is that this service is included in most insurance plans. But, of course, you will have to check this with your insurance provider before you call roadside assistance.
We’ve learned three methods that will help us start a car with a dead battery without another car. Now we’ll briefly mention the steps for each of them.
- Put the ignition “ON”
- Set the gearbox to second gear
- Press down the clutch pedal
- The people behind the car should start pushing it
- After the car gains speed, start releasing the clutch and gradually pressing the gas pedal
Jump Start Box (Battery-powered Starter)
- Connect the clamps to the jump box’s posts
- Connect the red cable to the positive terminal and the black clip to the ground surface
- Start the jump box
- Wait for 5 to 10 minutes
- Start your car
- Set the gearbox in the third gear
- Raise one of the front wheels on a jack
- Wrap the rope around the raised wheel
- Pull the rope as hard as you can
If nothing works, you can always call roadside assistance. And you can always reach us in the comments if you need extra help.