How to Charge a Car Battery from Another Car?

ByTeam Ackodrive30, Apr, 2021
You are all ready to go to work, you hop in your car and turn on the ignition. There is no response from the car. You try several times only to realise that the battery may have gone kaput. A dead battery is the last thing you need when you are all set to drive. You can get out of such a situation by charging your car battery from another car. Wondering how? Read on to find out.
How to Charge a Car Battery from Another Car

How to Charge a Car Battery From Another Car?

When your car battery is dead, there are several ways to bring your car back to life. The easiest way to get out of such a scenario is by charging your car’s battery from another vehicle. The procedure of starting your car with the help of another car is called Jump Start. For that, you need another vehicle with a healthy battery and few basic tools.

Requirements

You need to have the below items to Jump Start your car.
  • A jumper cable
  • Rubber gloves
  • A car with a fully charged battery

Basic Checks

Before beginning the process of jump starting your car, you need to check the condition of the battery to avoid any mishaps. Make sure that there is no leakage of acid from the battery. Also, check for any visible cracks on the body of the battery. If everything is fine, you can go ahead with the process of starting your car with the help of another car.

Jump Start Procedure

The procedure of jump start is pretty simple and straightforward. There is no need for special tools except for the jumper cables. It can also turn out to be an interesting DIY if done properly. So, here are the steps to jump start your car.
  • The donor car or the car with the charged battery should be parked parallel to your car or opposite to your car facing in front of each other.
  • Next, open the bonnet of both the cars and determine the positive and negative terminals of the battery, which are denoted by + and - symbols, respectively. Do not get confused with the terminals as it may lead to a fatal accident if you connect the wires incorrectly.
  • After figuring out the terminals, take out the jumper cable and begin the connection process.
  • Connect the positive jumper cable (usually red colour) to the positive terminal of the dead battery.
  • Now, connect the other end of the positive jumper cable to the positive terminal of the charged battery.
  • Connect the negative jumper cable (usually black colour) to the negative terminal of the good battery.
  • Now, follow this step carefully. Connect the other end of the negative cable to any metal surface in your car. For example, chassis or surface under the bonnet. Make sure that the surface is free of rust and not painted.
  • Start the car with the charged battery, and the jumper cable will start charging the dead battery. Let the engine run for around 2-3 minutes.
  • Now start the car with the dead battery and keep both the cars idling for at least five to ten minutes. It will help the dead battery to build up some charge. Note that you cannot fully charge the battery as it takes a long time.
  • Shut down the engines of both the cars and remove the jumper cables (in the exact opposite order of the connection) to prevent any sparks or fire.
  • Fire up the engine of the car with the dead battery and let it idle for around five to ten minutes so that it can build up some charge via an alternator.
Note: If you are not familiar with the technicalities of a car battery, it is recommended to do the process under an expert’s guidance.
That’s it! You have successfully managed to jump start your car with the help of another car. If you follow the above steps and connect the wires correctly, it’s a very simple and easy process.
After jump starting your car, it’s better to take it for a small drive to help the battery charge. Allow the battery to charge a bit more so that you won’t face the same situation the next time you take your car for a drive.

Tips to Avoid the Risk of Explosion During Charging

Jump start is an easy and simple process if done correctly. If you are not careful and do not connect the wires correctly, it can lead to an accident. Here are some tips to avoid any mishaps while charging your car battery.
  • Make sure you have all the required tools before starting.
  • Check the condition of the battery terminals.
  • Connect the negative jumper cable to a surface that is free of rust and paint.
  • Never begin the jump start process without checking the condition of the battery.
  • Do not get confused with the terminals while connecting the jumper cables.
  • Do not remove the jumper cables when the car’s engine is running.

How to Charge a Car Battery Without Another Car

Now, if you are unable to find a donor car, it is not possible to perform a jump start. In such situations, there are other ways to start your car. First of all, you can contact a car mechanic who will get the job done for you. 
The second option is to push start your car, but it is the most difficult way to fix the problem. You will require an empty stretch of road (downhill) and enough stamina to fire up the engine by pushing your car. But push-starting doesn't charge the battery. It will only help you to start your car. Once the car comes back to life, you can drive it for a while so that the battery builds up some charge.

How Does a Car Battery Lose Charge?

The battery of your car can drain out due to several reasons. Here are some of the common reasons behind your car’s battery losing charge.
  • Headlights/Cabin lights are On: Sometimes, you might forget to switch off the car’s headlight or the cabin lights after you park. Modern vehicles come with features to avoid this situation by alerting you if you leave the headlights on.
  • Charging Electronic Devices: You may end up draining your car’s battery by charging electronic devices for too long when the car is in ignition mode. It is one of the most common reasons behind a drained battery.
  • Leaving Music System On: This is one of the most common mistakes. You mute the audio to speak to someone or speak on the phone and forget to swift off the music system. The audio system of your car can drain the battery pretty quickly.

Tips to keep your Car’s Battery Healthy

Keeping your car’s battery in good condition is key to avoid a scenario where you find the battery dead. Like any other component of a car, the battery also requires proper maintenance. Here are some tips to keep the car battery in mint condition.
  • Regularly check the acid levels.
  • Top up the distilled water if the electrolyte levels are low.
  • Perform a battery load test with the help of a mechanic.
  • Keep the battery clean.
  • Clean the battery terminals.
  • Disconnect the battery if the car is not used for too long.
  • Do not overcharge the battery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions related to charging a car battery with the help of another car.
How do I check if my car’s battery is dead?
When you turn on the ignition, there will be a whining noise from the starter motor as it does not get enough power to start the engine. Also, the lights on the instrument cluster and headlights will be dim. Those are the signs of a dead car battery.
Can I take help from any car to jump start my car?
Yes. You can use any car to perform a jump start. The only requirement is that the donor car should have a healthy/fully charged battery.
Can I fully charge the dead battery with the help of another car?
No. It may not be possible to fully charge a dead battery through jump start as it takes a long time for a battery to be fully charged through this method.
Does jump starting another car damage my car’s battery?
No, jump starting another car will not damage your car’s battery. But if you do not connect the jumper cables in the correct order, it may cause damage to your car’s battery and electricals. So, be careful when performing such procedures.