8 dead car battery tricks — quick ways to start your car
Discover tricks to revive a dead car battery and get back on the road.
The service life of car batteries depends on the duration of use and how they are used. Car batteries should last from three to seven years. If the lifespan of your battery is less than three years, the possible causes are low electrolyte levels, lack of use, corrosion, excessive recharging and discharging, charging problems, and damaged battery cells.
It is essential to ensure your battery is in a favorable condition before going for a drive. To avoid unforeseen circumstances, you can carry a battery bank with you or a second battery. If your car suddenly stops running due to a dead battery, and you have an extra battery, consider performing a few dead car battery tricks to help jumpstart your vehicle into motion.
However, you must be cautious when jumpstarting because some risks are associated. In this article, we will explore some dead car battery tricks you can perform.
How to avoid a dead battery
Vehicles should get driven regularly to allow the alternator to maintain the battery’s charge level. If you have to park your car for a long time, you should use a battery maintainer or a trickle charge. These pieces of equipment can restore a drained battery.
The first-rate models of these devices can not only replenish the battery but significantly extend its lifespan. Car batteries usually last three to six years, depending on the temperature and usage. Hot weather is bad for a battery’s life and even worse than cold weather.
Carrying out a routine inspection on the battery is very important. It would help if you were serious about servicing and replacing your vehicle’s battery to avoid getting stranded on the highway.
Your battery should be load tested annually after two years of age if you live in a warm climate and after four years of usage if you reside in colder weather. This procedure tests the battery’s ability to hold voltage while being used; the results will inform you if you need a replacement. It is crucial to maintain and replace your battery to avoid damage and the risk of being stranded on the road.
Simple dead battery tricks
A dead battery can be pretty aggravating, but with a few battery tricks, you can revive a dead battery and continue driving. Here are some dead battery tricks that can get you back on the road after a breakdown.
A can of Pepsi or coke
In most cases, your battery can have some charge left, but getting it to run can be a problem. Corrosion of older batteries can affect their effectiveness. A fizzy drink like coke or Pepsi can help eliminate corrosion on your battery.
The hydrogen gas released from the battery acid causes corrosion on both terminals of your battery. This deters the battery from conducting electricity. A fizzy drink contains carbonic acid that can remove rust or corrosion without prompting a reaction with the leaking battery acid.
It would help if you disconnected the battery cables and poured the drink on the terminals to revive your dead battery. Let the fizzy drink soak for about 10 minutes before starting your car.
Before carrying this out, you must remove your vehicle’s battery and open it up. Taking precautions is essential in this procedure because the battery acid can burn your skin and cause severe problems if it gets into contact with your eyes.
Your car can start running again after dripping aspirin tablets, two at least, into the battery cells. Wait a few hours to see if it gets enough charge to start the vehicle. This is the least option to take, especially in haste, because it has a massive downside. This procedure is better carried out on old batteries.
Vaseline or smear
Vaseline or any quality petroleum jelly can prevent corrosion of the battery terminals. Vaseline has a unique electrical property. It helps electric charges move from one point to another, which might help get sufficient current from the battery to the starter.
If this procedure doesn’t work for you, you can still coat vaseline over your battery terminal during the fall season, as it helps repel moisture and water throughout winter, and this will help keep your battery terminals free from corrosion.
Starter motor tap
The starter motor is impulsive when it starts getting bad. It can work for a few moments and then die again. It can quickly get stuck when receiving power from the battery. Upon the bad starter symptoms, you can make use of the good-old method for restarting it – tapping the starter.
The solenoid and copper coils inside the starter motor can get jammed, and you will hear a buzzing noise. You can fix this problem by giving the starter motor a whack with a wrench or hammer and then turning on your engine again.
Tapping the battery terminal
If your battery is getting corroded on the inside, tapping the terminals with a wrench can free up enough rust to release current through the starter kit and your terminals. It would help if you did not whack too hard to avoid further battery damage and damaging the cable clamps.
Push start your vehicle
You can push start your car if you have a manual transmission. This procedure requires someone to help move the vehicle while you are in second gear inside the car.
For this process to run smoothly, you must have a small battery charge. So if your battery is completely dead, you can’t push-start your vehicle.
Epsom salt solution
If the dead battery is caused by a low electrolyte level, using magnesium sulfate, an Epsom salt solution, can help revive your battery. This salt solution is a strong acid that contains a variation of hydrates and can help top the chemical balance and offer enough charge to start the engine.
Make a solution of this salt by dissolving it in warm distilled water. Add to each battery cell until the plates get covered by half or quarter electrolyte solution.
Use jumper cables
It is essential to have a set of jumper cables in your car. If you do, you will need another vehicle with a functioning battery to provide the jumpstart. Sometimes drivers wonder – can a car battery be too dead to jumpstart? Well, it is crucial to connect the wires correctly for a proper jumpstart. This way, you also won’t cause explosions or sparks. Below are some steps to appropriately jumpstart a vehicle.
- Locate the battery. If you do not know where the battery is, you can check your car owner’s manual.
- Park both vehicles close to each other so the bumper cables can reach both batteries.
- Connect one of the red cable clamps to the dead battery’s positive terminal.
- Fasten the other end of the red cable to the positive terminal of the working battery.
- Take the other end of the black cable and attach it to an unpainted metal surface of the vehicle with the dead battery. It can be hazardous to connect it to the battery itself.
- Start the car with the functioning battery and let it run for 10 minutes or less, then start up the car with the dead battery.
How to avoid experiencing a dead battery while driving
Get a regular checkup from a car technician
It is essential to hire professional technicians or car mechanics for routine check-ups. Their service will be helpful and can prevent you from getting stranded on the road.
Unplug car accessories and turn off the lights
If you leave your car accessories plugged or leave your lights on overnight while the car is turned off, you should expect to have a dead battery the next day. Ensure that your accessories are plugged in and your lights are switched off before leaving your vehicle.
Avoid parking in scorching locations.
Try to choose a parking spot with a covered garage at all times.
Take walks or ride a bike when taking short trips.
Your battery needs sufficient time to charge. If you continuously make short trips with your vehicle, the varying levels of the charge will affect your car batteries. If your destination is a few blocks away, you can choose to ride a bike.
If you are stranded in an isolated location and you cannot start your engine due to battery failure, it can be disheartening. It is essential to always have an emergency battery with you, especially if you want to travel a long route.
Carrying a jump start cable, distilled water, a lighter, aspirin, and other materials mentioned in the article can be of great use when you suddenly experience a battery failure.
How do you trick a dead battery to charge it?
There are several ways to trick a dead battery to charge it. Some tricks include using jumper cables to jumpstart the dead battery’s voltage, using a trickle charger that will charge the battery steadily, cleaning the battery terminals, and removing the battery cell caps
How can I start my car with a dead battery without another car?
You can start a car with a dead battery by setting your ignition key to the ‘on’ position and then putting your car into second gear. Get someone to push your car until it picks up speed, then discharge the clutch pedal. You can also connect your dead battery to a functioning battery using the given terminals and jumper cables
What household items can you use to jumpstart a car?
There are a few household items you can use to jumpstart your car. A can of Pepsi or coke, vaseline, distilled water, or Epsom salt can work effectively.