There’s nothing more frustrating than turning the key in your car’s ignition and hearing the dreaded click of a dead battery. Whether it’s due to extreme weather conditions, leaving your lights on overnight, or an aging battery, a dead car battery can quickly put a halt to your plans. However, if you’re planning to call for roadside assistance and seek help from a mechanic, there are try out several tricks that can help you get your car started again. In this guide, we’ll explore some effective methods and tricks to revive a dead car battery and get you back on the road.

Jump-Starting Your Car

Jump-Starting Your Car

Understanding the Jump-Starting Process

Jump-starting your car is a common and straightforward method to revive a dead battery. It involves using the power from another vehicle’s battery to provide the necessary boost to start your car. Follow these below-given steps to do this correctly and safely: 

Step 1: Park the functioning car close enough to your car so that the jumper cables can reach both batteries. Turn off both engines and engage the parking brakes.

Step 2: Open the hoods of both cars and locate their batteries. Identify the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals on each battery.

Step 3: Attach one end of the red jumper cable to the positive terminal of the dead battery.

Step 4: Connect the other end of the red jumper cable to the positive terminal of the working battery.

Step 5: Attach one end of the black jumper cable to the negative terminal of the working battery.

Step 6: Attach the other end of the black jumper cable to a metal surface away from the dead battery. This acts as a ground to prevent sparks.

Step 7: Start the functioning car’s engine and let it run for a couple of minutes.

Step 8: Attempt to start your car. If it starts, let it run for a few minutes to charge the battery further.

Step 9: Disconnect the jumper cables in the reverse order of how you connected them.

Related: How to Charge a Jump Starter Pack

Safety Precautions

Before attempting to jump-start your car, keep the following safety precautions in mind:

  • Ensure both vehicles are in Park (automatic) or Neutral (manual) with their parking brakes engaged.
  • Never touch the metal ends of the jumper cables together while they are connected to a battery.
  • Avoid smoking or creating sparks near the battery, as hydrogen gas emitted during charging can be flammable.
  • If the battery is frozen or damaged, do not attempt to jump-start the car; seek professional help.

Using a Battery Charger

Using a Battery Charger

Utilizing a Battery Charger for a Slow Charge

If you have a battery charger, this method can effectively bring a dead car battery back to life. These battery charges have many types, so before buying it to charge your car battery, make sure you’re getting the right one. Here’s how to use a battery charger for a slow charge:

Step 1: Park your vehicle in a well-ventilated area, away from flammable materials.

Step 2: Open the hood and locate the battery. Remove the battery’s negative (-) cable first, followed by the positive (+) cable.

Step 3: Connect the positive (+) cable of the battery charger to the positive terminal of the battery.

Step 4: Connect the negative (-) cable of the charger to the negative terminal of the battery.

Step 5: Set the charger to the appropriate voltage and amperage for your battery, typically 12 volts and 2-10 amps.

Step 6: Plug in the charger and turn it on.

Step 7: Let the battery charge gradually over a few hours or overnight. For suggested charging times, refer to the charger’s instructions.

Step 8: After the battery has been fully charged, unplug the charger and turn it off. 

Step 9: Remove the negative (-) and positive (+) cables from the charger in order to disconnect them from the battery.

Step 10: Reconnect the battery cables to the proper terminals by first attaching the positive (+) cable and then the negative (-) cable.

Related: A Guide on What To Do When You Have a Flat Tire

Quick Charging with a Trickle Charger

Quick Charging with a Trickle Charger

A trickle charger is another type of battery charger that can help revive a dead car battery quickly. It delivers a low, constant current to the battery, allowing it to charge slowly and safely. Follow these steps for quick charging with a trickle charger:

Step 1: Follow Steps 1 to 4 of the “Using a Battery Charger for a Slow Charge” section.

Step 2: Set the trickle charger to a low amperage rate, typically around 2 amps.

Step 3: Plug in the trickle charger and turn it on.

Step 4: Give the battery a few hours to charge. It is safe to use the trickle chargers for the long-term, but it’s always a good idea to periodically check the battery.

Step 5: After the battery has fully charged, unplug and turn off the trickle charger.

Step 6: Follow Steps 9 and 10 of the “Using a Battery Charger for a Slow Charge” section to reconnect the battery.

Related: How to Charge a Jump Starter Pack

Cleaning Corroded Battery Terminals

Cleaning Corroded Battery Terminals

Identifying Corrosion on Battery Terminals

Corroded battery terminals can disrupt the flow of electricity and lead to a dead battery. Here’s how to identify corrosion on your battery terminals:

Step 1: Open the car’s hood and locate the battery.

Step 2: Inspect the battery terminals for a white or bluish powdery substance. This is a sign of corrosion.

Step 3: Check the battery cables for any signs of damage or fraying.

Cleaning the Battery Terminals

To clean the corroded battery terminals, follow these steps:

Step 1: Combine water and baking soda to create a solution. Use only one spoonful of baking soda for each cup of water. 

Step 2: Disconnect the battery cables, working your way from negative (-) to positive (+), starting with the negative. 

Step 3: Soak a battery terminal brush or an old toothbrush in the baking soda solution.

Step 4: Gently scrub the corrosion off the battery terminals and cable ends.

Step 5: Wipe the terminals and cable ends with a clean, damp cloth.

Step 6: Allow the terminals to dry completely.

Step 7: Reconnect the battery cables, starting with the positive (+) cable first, then the negative (-) cable.

Push-Starting Your Car

Push-Starting Your Car

Knowing When Push-Starting Is Appropriate

Push-starting, also known as bump-starting or push-priming, is a technique used for vehicles with manual transmissions. Automatic transmission cars cannot be push-started. Before attempting this method, ensure it’s suitable for your vehicle:

Step 1: Check your car’s manual to confirm if push-starting is recommended for your specific make and model.

Step 2: Ensure that the battery is the only issue causing your car not to start. If you suspect other mechanical problems, do not attempt to push-start the vehicle.

Step 3: Ensure the area is clear and safe for pushing the car.

How to Push-Start Your Car

If push-starting is appropriate for your car, follow these steps to do it safely:

Step 1: Park the car on a flat surface or a slight downhill slope.

Step 2: Depress the clutch pedal completely.

Step 3: Turn the ignition to the “ON” position.

Step 4: Put the car in second gear (for most cars) or the gear recommended in your car’s manual.

Step 5: With the help of one or more people, push the car to a moderate speed (about 5-10 mph).

Step 6: Release the clutch pedal quickly while simultaneously applying slight pressure to the accelerator pedal.

Step 7: If the battery is the only issue, the engine should turn over, and the car will start.

Step 8: Once the car starts, engage the clutch fully and continue driving to charge the battery.

Conclusion

You don’t have to have a miserable day or face expensive repairs because of a dead car battery. You can revive your car battery using these proven methods and resume driving without seeking expert assistance. It’s important to keep in mind that these are only temporary fixes and that to avoid any further issues, you should get your batteries properly inspected and changed as needed. When working with automotive batteries, always put safety first and exercise caution. It’s best to seek the assistance of a qualified mechanic to identify and address the underlying problem if the battery consistently dies or if you’re unsure about attempting any of these solutions. To prevent unforeseen breakdowns and to ensure smooth driving, keep in mind to routinely maintain your car’s battery.

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John Anderson
John is a transportation industry expert and the driving force behind Roadway Picks. With a passion for delivering reliable and efficient transportation solutions, John has dedicated his career to helping businesses thrive through effective logistics management and supply chain optimization.