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What do you do when the car battery goes completely dead? If you have experienced this before, you will agree with me when I say it is a highly unpleasant experience, if you have not, then it is the best time to learn how to charge your battery back to life in this situation.
So, will jumper cables charge a battery? Yes, they can. It is not an uncommon thing to experience a dead car battery, especially when you fall guilty of leaving charge consumers such as the indoor lights turned on overnight.
Once the battery is left in this condition, it will be continuously drained out of charge and will not be able to charge by its alternator.
The jumper cable could quickly become a life-saving tool to have when you suddenly experience a dead battery in the middle of traffic or someplace far from civilization. If you are lucky enough to have someone stop and offer you help with their car, then a jumper cable can be used in this instance to jump-start the car.
The cable is only useful in the presence of another car with a charged battery. So, either someone else’s car or if you have a second car with a charged car battery, then this can be used to get the car with a dead battery turned on.
The jumper cable work by powering the dead battery using the charge the other battery which is charged while the car is running.
It may not necessarily get the car charged to full capacity; it can bring in enough charge capable of getting the car started.
I do not appreciate being caught unaware. However, a dead battery is something that is beyond your prediction, you will most of the time not see it coming. So, your only option is to stay prepared for it by always having with you a kit containing jumper cables amongst other emergency equipment.
How soon after connecting the jumper cables to your dead car battery should you expect to be able to start your car and return to the road? Let’s find out the answer to this question in addition to why the time duration varies.
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Table Of Contents
How long should the jumper cable charge the battery for before starting the car?
Assuming the dead battery occurred in the middle of the traffic or somewhere similar where you are required to quickly sort what your problem is and get the car moving, then you will need to find a quick solution to the dead battery as soon as possible.
Situations like this may bring up the question of how long the jumper cable will need to be connected to the dead battery before being able to get the car started.
I once shared my experience with a colleague about how my car went dead on me while in the middle of traffic. I soon realized the problem was with the car battery as I was somewhat a car expert. I got a good Samaritan to offer me his car to be used to jump-start mine.
Upon mentioning to my colleagues how my car got started almost immediately I completed the connection using my jumper cables, he was in awe of disbelief.
So, the reason for his reaction was based on his previous experience with his car, during which he had to leave the jumper cables on for quite some time (about 10 to 15 minutes) before his car was able to get started. So, why the difference? Why can one car get started just after or a few minutes after connecting the jumper cable while the other took longer?
When the variation duration the jumper cable will have to be connected before getting the car started is based on two factors. One is the quality of the jumper cable. Similar to any product out there, the cheap type of jumper cables is not as good a conductor as the high quality but slightly expensive type.
So, if the type of jumper cable you have in your car and make use of when your car battery runs dead is the cheap incompetent type, then you are likely to spend more time waiting for the jumper cable to manage to draw in sufficient charge into the dead battery before you can be on your way once again.
However, if you can sacrifice a few bucks and get yourself a high-quality jumper cable of good reputation, then, you will be able to know what it feels like to get your car started almost immediately it is hooked to another car via a jumper cable.
The second factor which may determine how long you will have to wait before being able to start your car is the type of car you drive.
The car differs in terms of the amount of electricity they need to function. For older cars, there is not much reliance or dependency on electricity compared to modern cars with a car computer system that literarily runs the car.
Computers in the modern car will require a minimum voltage level to be able to allow the car to get started. Until this level is achieved, the car may not be able to be turned on. Therefore, it is possible to experience a longer waiting period with modern cars than with older ones.
One of the primary reasons for allowing such a waiting period is so the dead battery can acquire some baseline charge before the responsibility of charging it further is handed to the alternator.
When the car is such that it has many high charge consumers, the car will not be able to be started immediately it is hooked to a jumper cable, rather, it will only get started once it has the minimum required voltage to power these accessories.
With some vehicles, you may have to try multiple times to get the car started, while with others, a single attempt will get the car engine running.
However, when the weather condition is very cold, this may contribute to the delay. When attempting to jump-start your car, make sure that all electrical accessories are turned off during this time.
If the headlights or radio or the car’s air conditioner are all turned on while the car battery is hooked to another car in an attempt to get it started, this will take a longer waiting time.
Depending on how well you are parked on the road, it may be important to notify other road users and make your car more visible with the use of warning signs and flashers.
Although flashers are also charged consumers because of a delay in starting the car engine, this is a delay worth having as nothing is more important in this situation than safety.
It will be ironic for a good Samaritan to end up in the same situation he was attempting to save you from. When a car is being used to jump-start another, the car engine must be kept running during the entire jump-starting process. this is to avoid its charged battery from being completely discharged while attempting to bring a dead battery back to life.
When the dead b battery is pre-charged to the level where the car engine can be started. The car should not simply be turned off immediately, rather, it should be allowed to run for a couple of minutes or be driven for some time to allow the alternator to take over the charging process.
So, at this point, you are now well aware that a car battery can be charged with a jumper cable especially when it goes flat, also, we have learned how long it may take to get a car connected to the jumper cable started and the variations experienced in this situation and the reason why that happens. So, let’s consider the guidelines to follow when using the jumper cables to charge a battery.
Guidelines on how to use jumper cables to charge a battery
Although the use of jumper cables to charge a battery is pretty straightforward and user-friendly, it pays to take some precautionary measures to ensure user and car safety.
Do not go into this completely ignorant of the basic precautions such as reading the manual for both cars to understand the right places to connect the jumper cables. The connection must be done appropriately with the terminals of the battery being connected to the right metal clamp.
Step by step guideline on how to charge a dead car battery
Before charging the battery, it should be checked for any cracks or leaks
Gloves and other precautionary measures should be observed and the clamps checked for corrosion
The car to be used to power the dead battery should be well positioned and the engine turned off
The terminals of the jumper cable must be appropriately connected with the negative ground.
The engine of the donor car should be turned on and allowed to run for some time. The car with the dead battery can now be turned on. The clamps are disconnected and the cables are stored in a dried place.
Will Jumper Cables Charge A Battery – Conclusion
The jumper is perfect for charging a dead car battery back to life. Usage does not require much knowledge or experience. It is a low-risk procedure but requires a few precautionary measures