You are getting late for your office and you rush to your car, turn on the car, but nothing happens. You try to jump start it. When you jump start your car, you are hoping that it will come to life so that you can get on your way again. But what happens when your car wont start after jumping? What made your battery stop working in the first place? Whatever it was, it seems to have really made your battery seriously dead.
A jump start is supposed to fix the problem and get things going again, but it is not happening. You had the right equipment – a pair of jump leads and another car with a strong battery. You did everything right – bringing the two cars together, placing the red and black cables correctly and then hoping that your car would start, but it does not.
What to do if your car refuses to start
Give your battery a thorough check
Check your battery properly and make sure that there is nothing wrong with your battery. Think back to when you bought your last battery. No two batteries are going to last the same amount of time. There is not a hard-and-fast rule for how long every single car battery is going to last but you can expect your battery to last between 3 and 5 years.
Maybe your battery is just old and needs replacing. Make sure that everything is off in the car such as radio and air-conditioning so that there is nothing draining the power.
Push-start your car
If you do not have jumper cables and you are in a place where there is not another car available, when your car wont start after jumping, there is something else you might want to try. You can jump- or push-start your car.
For starters, this is for manual transmission cars. It is always a good idea to have another person to help you with this, but if you do not, you can try it on your own, but only if your car is on a bit of a downhill slope.
To attempt this jump-start effort, you will need to turn on the ignition and put your car in second gear. You must keep your clutch depressed. You need momentum, so if you do not have anyone to help you push, you can try and push your car into motion at the start of the slope.
When the car has picked up a bit of speed, release the clutch and hopefully your car should jerk into life, and then you need to rev it up a bit.
What about a Multimeter?
If your car wont start after jumping, it can be so frustrating that you make up your mind to ensure it never happens again. You can test your car battery yourself with a multimeter that tests current in electrical systems, being easy to use.
If you want to make sure your battery does not get the better of you, investing in one of these is a worthwhile step. When a car battery is fully charged, it measures 12.6 volts or more and when the engine is running it is usually about 13.7.
If you do not have a multimeter, you can tell the voltage of the battery by simply starting the car and turning on your headlights. If they are dim, it is telling you that little charge is being produced by the alternator.
Revving the engine brightens them but this means the alternator is not producing enough current. If you do not have a multimeter, there are some battery test centers where you can have your battery tested free of charge. If you do a bit of research, you will find that apart from testing batteries, there are those that will charge your battery too while you wait.
Test your battery before a long trip
Car wont start after jumping can be terrible if you find yourself on a lonely road. And the truth is, a battery can die suddenly too without warning. If you are scheduled to go on a longish trip, have your battery tested before you leave.
Also, not only because of a battery, but your car can pack up for any reason, so always make sure that when you know you could be vulnerable if your car drops you, have the name of a reliable tow company in your cell phone contacts so that you can at least be towed to safety.