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how to start a car with a dead battery without another car

Car battery guide – How to start a car with a dead battery without another car

One of the scariest nightmares of car drivers is being stranded on a dark street in the middle of the night with no person in sight.

A dead battery can be worse if your automatic transmission is no longer working. You must have a backup plan to avoid such scary situations, especially when you are left with no cables, no jump starter, and no other human being around.

Then how to start a car with a dead battery without another car, you must be asking yourself, right? Hold your horses, Sir or Madame! Considering you have a standard shift and a game to push-start your car, we have provided you with ways to get your car running again. Also, we have listed some other ways as well in case you need them in the future.

How to start a car with a dead battery without another car?

So here is a step-by-step guide to help you learn how to do the deed when you are alone with your car and its dead battery.

Precautions: Before you go for this method, make sure you don’t attempt this hack with a damaged battery because a car with such a battery can catch fire and eventually explode. Also, you must keep your skin spot free and ensure that your heart thrums to Rhythm Nation’s beat.

Things you will need

  • A jump starter
  • A fully charged cell-phone
  • Mechanic gloves (non-conductive)
  • Safety glasses
  • Some friends or helpful strangers for push start

Make sure you organize your tools and gear in a manner that they are easily reachable. It will save you your precious minutes and get the job done faster. This method doesn’t require a blowtorch, so even if you have it keep it away from your children’s reach.

Now that you have these things, you can try all the methods below to start a car with a dead battery.

  • Push Starting

Push starting is an old-school method known as pop or bump-starting. It is a resurrection method used to bring the engine to life by applying force instead of a battery-powered starter. However, this method is only possible if you are with your friends or have some helpful strangers around to help you push the car. Here is how to start your vehicle via push-start:

  • Place your friends at least two at the rear of the car and have them set to push.
  • You need to be in the driver’s seat to turn on the ignition while the car is moving.
  • With the handbrake still engaged, press the clutch and put the gear to second. First gear is not advisable in the current situation as it may cause the car to start harshly.
  • Now slowly press the brake while releasing the parking brake
  • Gradually release the brake pedal completely and tell your friends to push with full force
  • Release the clutch at around 5 mph speed. You will notice the engine spluttering as it begins to engage.
  • At this point, if the engine starts, your job is done! However, if not, repeat the entire process at a higher speed this time.

This method usually works and gets your car started without requiring any tools. But if it doesn’t, then the problem is not the battery.

  • Using a Jump-Start box

For those who don’t know, Jump-start boxes contain portable batteries with cables attached. They are typically preferred over jumper cables because they use voltage-controlling software, so your car’s electrical system doesn’t get damaged.

Nowadays, jump-start boxes come with AC outlets, safety lights and even USB ports to charge your cell phone. They are cheap and can be found at auto parts shops or online stores. You must always keep a jump-start box in your car for emergencies.

Now let’s learn how to start a car with a dead battery without another car, using a Jump-start box.

  • Assuming that your jump starter is fully charged, connect the cables that came along with it to their proper posts (red one to the positive terminal and black one to the negative).
  • Now attach the red-handles clamp to the positive terminal on the dead battery and the black one to a piece of metal inside the dead car’s engine.
  • Once everything is in its right place, turn on the jump starter
  • Wait for a minute or two, then start your car
  • Still not started? Wait a few more minutes until the battery is fully charged, then try it again.
  • Now, if your car starts, detach the clamps in reverse order; the black one from the metal and the right one from the no-more dead battery.

While it’s not mandatory, it is advisable to recharge your jump starter after every use.

  • Get Roadside Assistance

When both the above-stated methods fail, you are left with the roadside assistance option. Typically, all insurance companies cover roadside assistance, and you can find the contact number on your insurance card.  Here is how to get help from roadside assistance.

  • Retrieve the tow service contact number from your card or your insurance card.
  • Dial that number and wait for the service to get to you
  • Wait for them to check your car and resolve your problem
  • Once done, show your appreciation by giving a $5 tip for the timely help

It’s good to start your car in front of them so that you can resolve any issue that occurs at that time.

  • Jump-start your car using a laptop charger

While it’s not highly recommended, you can work with it during emergencies. Also, you can only carry out this method if you have a charge of 15 volts or more. Here is how to use a laptop charger to jump-start your car:

  • Take some laptop charging bricks (preferably 15 volts or more)
  • Keep tabs on it. You will notice the charger brick may get a little warm because the car battery is bigger in comparison to the laptop charger and has low resistance.
  • Next, you need to get a series of incandescent bulbs with a charging lead to control the current. We would suggest a headlight bulb to kick-start.

So these are some instant methods that you can use for emergencies. It is not advisable to use these tricks unless it’s an emergency situation, as it could be extremely damaging to your car.

Why do car batteries die in the cold?

Since winter has arrived, you might face dead battery issues more often now. Here is why car batteries die in winter.

  • Oil Issues: Engine oil gives extra power to your battery, and winter causes the oil to move slowly, troubling when you need an oil change.
  • Depleted Charge: During winter, the battery’s electrochemical reaction to maintain the charge slows down, hence, resulting in dropping your battery power.
  • Summer damage: Summer heat can be damaging to your car’s battery. It can cause structural battery damage leaving your battery to survive in the cold season. So battery problems that surface in the winter were actually caused by summer heat.

In order to avoid such damages, you must park your car in a garage or under a shade during summer. Also, try to change your car’s battery every 3 to 4 years and keep the oil consistency and levels in check.

Is it safe to use a jump starter for a dead battery?

There have been myths attached to using jump starters for dead batteries. So would like to add two scents as well. For starters, jump starters are safer than booster cables. While we won’t recommend relying on them completely, they should be used only for emergencies. Secondly, they are safe if used in our suggested manner. Here is how you can use a jump starter without damaging your battery;

  • Always connect the cables/terminals to the dead battery first
  • When power transmission is going on, take precautions and DO NOT touch the ends of the cables together or during the process.
  • Next, follow our guide for power transmission from the jump starter to your dead car’s battery.

Lastly, if you are using another car for power transmission, make sure not to touch the two vehicles together.

When should you consider buying a new car battery?

A dead battery is different from a drained car battery. Even a fresh battery gets drained if you keep your headlights turned on overnight. So if you think your battery is drained for such reasons, only a jump starter is required to get it working. There is no need to get a new battery. However, if your car battery is over 3 to 4 years old and begins acting weird for no good reason, you should consider getting a new one.


So that were some useful tips to activate a dead battery without using another car. While all these hacks will start your car, you must stay cautious while performing them, especially if you are alone. If your battery is older than 3 or 4 years, then you must get it changes as soon as you reach your destination.

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