Why Does My Car Die After I Jump Start It? Find Out Now

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A battery that has run down is mostly the reason why cars fail to start in the first place, but sometimes the battery may be just fine and the problem that prevents the car from starting may be related to a faulty battery terminal, the vehicle starter or a connection problem somewhere among the wires that relay power either from the battery to the car or from the alternator to the battery or vice versa.

Whatever may be the case, it is highly advisable to find out the cause of the car’s refusal to start and fix it. If you fail to do this, you risk the car dying off after it starts the moment the power in the battery is depleted.

So why does my car die after I jump start it? Usually, a car may start up at first and die off afterwards when there is any obstruction to the free flow of fuel along the supply line or where fuel combustion is impeded for whatever reason. It is quite possible for your car to die even after jump-starting the battery.

For this to happen, however,  certain conditions must prevail. For instance, after you have successfully jump-started your car battery, the car may start up and eventually die when you have any obstruction along the fuel supply route, you have run out of fuel or there is insufficient combustion in the engine itself due to bad or dead combustion plugs.

It is also advisable to look out for any obstruction in the electrical wires that feed the engine as well as the signs of a bad alternator too.

Note: A dead battery cannot start a car when the ignition is turned, but once a car starts up, then it will not die off due to a dead battery except maybe you have a bad alternator that fails to charge the battery after jump starting it.

What To Do When Your Car Starts And Then Dies

There are a number of reasons why your car may start at first but eventually die off after some time. This could be due to a bad combustion plug(s) that may not be generating enough force to keep the engine running. When this happens, the plugs can be tested to find out whether they need to be changed entirely or not. Whatever the case may be, ensure that any faulty or dead combustion plug is changed.

Better still, where you can, it is advisable that you change the whole plugs in the engine especially when it’s time to service the vehicle. It is for this reason that spare plugs are a necessary inclusion in any vehicle repair kit along with plug spanners among many other tools. Another possible explanation is a sudden electrical problem that may interrupt the power supply either from the battery or the engine of the car.

To resolve this complaint, you may have to trace the source of any power conduction fault. Any vehicle that has an obstruction in the fuel supply line from the tank to the filter or from the filter to the combustion chamber will definitely die off even after it starts at first.

This happens because when the fuel in the chamber is burnt off, further combustion is impossible and the engine must consequently die off. To solve this problem, you may have to determine what the exact cause is and promptly solve it. Clean the filter or injection mechanism, whichever one your car uses, to relieve any obstruction.

Furthermore, if you are dealing with a dead combustion plug, change it promptly. Sometimes, a car may startup but eventually die if it hits an empty tank. In this case, the fuel gauge on the dashboard will confirm it to you and the only solution is to source for fuel.

How Do You Tell If Its Your Starter Or Battery That Have Fault?

Both the starter and the battery can be complicit in disallowing the car to start entirely. However, it is relatively easy to tell which one is the cause of your problem with the use of very simple procedures. To start with, you can always ascertain whether your battery has any faults by using either a voltmeter or a  multimeter or both which will read its power capacity with a view to determining whether it can start the car or not.

When the battery is proven to be able to function properly, after using these meters, then it is quite obvious that your starter is implicated in the refusal of your car to start. Alternatively, you may use a multimeter to ascertain whether the starter is okay or not.

Where the starter is not at fault, you will do well to look closely at your battery. It’s as simple as that. Sometimes, you may not have to take these cumbersome steps to actually know what the problem is with regards to either your starter or battery.

For example, a bad starter will not give you any ‘kicking’ sounds when you turn the ignition because it is dead but with a faulty battery, the kicking sounds can be heard quite audibly, thereby signifying that the starter is working just fine but the battery is not.

Will A Dead Battery Cause Your Car To Die?

A dead battery will not start a car when the ignition is turned because it lacks the energy to turn the engine, but in the event that the engine is already running before the battery dies, then the dead battery will not stop the engine from turning. However, if such a car with a dead battery is switched off, then its battery will not be able to start it but otherwise it cannot stop a running engine.(Read Also: How To Recharge A Car Battery Unturned)

How Long Should You Keep A Car Running After A Jump Start?

After any jump start for a battery, it is logical to understand that the battery is not fully charged such that it can start the car should it die off suddenly. For this reason, it is necessary to keep the engine running for some time so that the alternator will have enough time to charge the battery sufficiently to start the car whenever the engine is switched off.

How long you allow the car with the dead battery to run depends on a lot of issues such as how dead the battery is, its capacity and also the conditions of the dead battery. Generally speaking, however, it is advised that you should allow a car whose battery has been jump-started to run for about thirty minutes at least, in order to give the alternator enough time to fully charge the battery which has just been awakened.

Can You Jump Start A Car With A Bad Alternator?

Yes, it is quite possible to jump-start a car with a bad alternator. However, since its alternator is bad, the battery will not be able be to start the car should you turn the engine off. Advisedly, you should drive to the nearest service centre where you will have your alternator fixed so that it can eventually start your engine should you turn it off. (Read Also: How Far Can I Drive With A Dead Alternator? Find Out)

What Are The Symptoms Of A Bad Alternator?

There are pointers as to whether your alternator has issues if the car refuses to start even after confirming that the battery is working perfectly. The first sign that your alternator is sick may present itself as a dimming dashboard and interior lights when the car is running.

Secondly, your headlights may be seen to brighten up when you accelerate and dim whenever you decelerate which is a clear indication that your alternator has complaints. Sometimes, when the alternator has faults, you may hear growing sounds before it begins to show you any sign at all, which you will be right to call ‘the calm before the storm.’

Alternator malfunctions manifest differently and so the more symptoms of its sickness you know, the better able you will be at the correct diagnosis. In fact, it is known that in some instances, the alternator may begin to overheat and consequently give off the smell of burning rubber or wires as a sign that it should be replaced.

Though it is widely suggested that you can run the engine with the negative battery cable removed in order to ascertain any alternator problems, but you are advised against this procedure because it may lead to the damage of other electrical systems of the car.

Finally, if your alternator has any questions to answer, the procedures explained here are enough to figure that out. Use them as best you could, it’s worth it.

How Do You Extend The Life Span Of Your Car Battery?

On average, the battery of a car lasts for between two to five years, if maintained and used properly, especially in favourable weather conditions since adverse weather is known to affect your battery. This is because warm weather can cause battery electrolyte to evaporate fast thereby damaging the internal structures of the battery.

Despite all these challenges, however, are there ways we can extend the life span of the battery? Yes, there are, in fact. For instance, you do the life span of your battery a lot of good if you limit short rides which are capable of preventing the car’s battery from fully charging.

In essence, it is better to drive your car for extended and frequent periods so that the battery has enough time to charge. Alternatively, if you do not use the car quite often, you may invest in a portable car battery charger that can jump-start your battery without the need for a second car, in case you ever get stranded.

(Read Also: Does Revving The Engine Help Jump Start A Car? Find Out)

When you keep your battery tightly fastened so that you prevent it from vibrating which can cause damage to internal parts and short circuits, you are extending its life span as well. Check your battery terminals frequently, particularly if you drive on corrugated or un-even roads, to make sure that it is tightly and well-positioned in the mounting brackets.

Always turn off your headlights and other car interior lights when you are not driving the car which will otherwise take a serious toll on your battery and drain it. Allowing the battery to constantly get drained this way shortens its life span.

Since the battery terminals corrode with time, keeping them clean by scrubbing with a brush dipped in baking soda and water is another way you can extend the life of your battery. After scrubbing, you may use a spray bottle containing water to rinse the mixture on the terminals before drying them with a piece of cloth.

Testing your battery often to know its condition also helps in extending its life span. Do not use any car electronics, such as AC or radio, while idling as doing that will put more strain on the engine thereby causing avoidable wear and tear. Finally, take good care of the entire car by way of routine checks and tune-ups as well as parking the car properly after use every day.

Why Does My Car Die After I Jump Start It – Conclusion

Your car battery deserves every attention it can get from you judging by the significant role it plays to satisfy you. This is more important knowing that most battery complaints are not as a result of any battery defects or faults but rather that of sheer negligence and poor maintenance culture.

It is also very strongly suggested that all drivers should read the user manuals that come with their cars diligently as this will acquaint them with the ‘dos and don’ts’ to enable them to enjoy their cars for long and also enable them to take care of most common problems, if and when they need to arise.

Nothing frustrates and disheartens more than your car spluttering to a stop in the middle of nowhere and at an abominable time while you don’t know shit on what to do. If you have been there before, you will get to understand exactly what I mean, right?

Often times, these nasty problems are not much headache really, if we had only taken our time to prepare ourselves against them, but unfortunately, we usually haven’t and that’s the issue. So, take your time to prepare yourself just in case, if you get what I mean.

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