Your car battery could die of various reasons. It is possible its life is over. It doesn’t matter if it’s a wet battery or a dry cell, every battery has a life, you can prolong its life by taking proper care of it, but sooner or later, it will start to get weak. Also, if your battery is weak, in winter season, it takes extra charge to crank the engine, and if you have a couple of decade old car, you need powerful high AH battery to crank your engine, and keep at it if your vehicle engine takes time to come to life. So if your battery is already weak, there is a chance it will die after few tries. Your car battery can also die if the current is leaking from the wiring somewhere. Even if you have a new powerful battery, if you left something plugged in overnight in the car, there is a high chance it won’t start in the morning. If you have installed a high power amplifier and due to wrong wiring, it is taking current from the battery continuously, you will have trouble starting your car next day, and specially in winters. Or maybe it’s a wet cell battery and the acid has run dry, it will also kill the battery.
These are just few of the reasons your battery could lose its charge. But the question is, how to start your car if you end up with a dead battery the next morning. Well there are few things you can do.
First is, if you have concluded that you had that battery for long enough, maybe it is best to buy a new one. Let’s say you had that wet cell battery for three years, and for past month or so, you were noticing the car was struggling to start, it is best to ask your friend or neighbor to take you to the nearest car battery shop, and but a new one for your car. Take your old battery with you, and you can trade it in as well.
Other than that, there are couple of things you can do to bring your car back to life if you think your car battery died, not because of old age and it needs replacing, but because of some other unknown reason (maybe a leaking charge or you forgot to check the acid level etc.).
The most common way of doing that is by jump starting your car, and it is specially recommended if you have a car with an automatic transmission. Ask someone you know, or maybe even a random taxi wala, to help you jump start your car. But you must have proper jump cables for that. Safety should always be first. Don’t be adventurous and try to do that with loosely hanging electric wires you found in your home etc. Keep a pair of good quality wires in your car for such emergencies. These jump leads have proper jaws at their ends that you can clamp on to battery terminals. Keep your eyes open and make sure you don’t mix up the negatives with the positives; that could be catastrophic. Safely clamp the jaws on exact terminals and make sure they are not hanging loose. It is advised to keep the helping car running so its battery also doesn’t die in case you need repeated attempts to start your car. If you face the starting issue frequently, there are jump starter packs you can buy. They have their own reserve battery pack inside them. You charge them beforehand and when needed, take it out, put the clamps on and crank the engine.
The other thing is to push start your car, meaning ‘dhakka start’. This method works fine with manual transmission cars but will not work with cars equipped with automatic transmissions.
You can push start your manual car both in reverse, or in forward gears. It depends on the situation as well. Maybe your car is parked in a way you can only push it backwards, or if there is a slope. If you are going to push it forward, put the car in 2nd gear but keep the clutch pressed, ask someone to push the car from behind or if there is a slope in front of you and your car will roll down itself. Make sure ignition switch is at ON position. When the car is rolling comfortably, release the clutch. The car will hiccup a bit, and will crank itself to life. How it will start depends on a lot of factors, like what is the overall condition of your car and its ancillaries, and if the battery is completely dead or there is a hint of charge in. If the car is not starting with this method, maybe there is something far serious than just a dead battery. Have it checked by a professional who can correctly diagnose the fault.
Also Read: A Simple Guide To Buying Used Cars
If you own a relatively heavy vehicle, like a SUV etc., and your battery is weak or dead, pushing a large vehicle can be very tough. And if you don’t have few people around you, see if you can ask someone to tow your vehicle. Tie a rope, or better get a proper tow chain, cable or belt with hooks at the both ends and ask the car in front to start driving slowly. Tie the rope at the proper ends of both cars, you don’t want to end up with a hanging bumper. Make sure there is enough rope between you, you don’t want to end up in the back of the car in front when your car suddenly comes to life. Again, put it in second gear, keep the clutch pressed and ignition switch at ON position, when both vehicles start moving safely at a same speed, release the clutch and as soon your vehicle starts, press the clutch again so you don’t rear end the towing vehicle. Manage with brake pedal and accelerator to slow down the car and rev the engine a bit, especially if your car refused to start in cold weather.
A pair of jump leads and tow rope should always be in your vehicle, but are necessary if you are planning a road trip.
Or you can try this method which WE DO NOT RECOMMEND…unless you’re a Russian!!
Many of our readers would already know all this but there are always those who are new. Aim of this article is to help those, who are not very much aware about their vehicles and they might end up being stranded without having a clue what to do. A little bit of DIY knowledge car help you in such situations. Happy motoring!