If you live in a cold part of the country or if you’ve been on a long holiday and haven’t driven your car in a while then we are sure you must have sometimes come back home and found the car not starting. This is usually down to low charge in the battery which then ensures you have a frustrating time with the car. But do not worry. These things are normal during the car ownership experience and here are our top tips to help you start the motor on a car with a low or dead battery.
If the battery isn’t completely dead or flat and has some life in it then simply jerk-start it by engaging a gear and getting a someone else to push it. Make sure that you are in second gear and also remember to alert fellow motorists on the road so that they are not surprised with any sudden jerks on your car.
This is the most common reason for an issue with the car not starting. If there is oxidation — a greenish crust will be on there — on the battery terminals, disconnect and clean them, reconnect and coat with petroleum jelly to ensure smooth flow of electricity all across the battery. Check other things inside the engine bay as well. It could be that something else is causing this issue. Maybe a loose hose, belts or loose plug somewhere. Replenish diligently. Clean the battery terminals and tighten cable connections and ground wire.
Before trying to restart the car turn off all the lights, stereo and the air-conditioner to reduce the electrical demand on the battery. In case the engine isn’t starting initially, then remember that engine cranking puts a load on the battery. Allow it a good 10 minutes to recover before trying to start the engine again. The break is good for you too — stay calm and don’t panic.
After reinstalling, ensure that the positive terminal insulation is put back in place. Don’t put the negative with positive as this could fry the electrical system of the car.
If your car has auto transmission, a jerk-start won’t work — you need to jump-start it, by connecting to another battery from another car nearby. Make sure that the battery is of similar ampere. Use jumper cables to jump-start the car by connecting your battery to that of another car. If there is another car, but no jumper cables, be nice and you may get a tow to a battery shop.
If all else fails, ask a battery company, to help you. Small garages can also help. If your battery is out they will recharge it for you by simply putting it on charge. This usually takes a full day. So for that day you can relax or simply take an Uber ride.