Harish Jharia

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27 October 2009

Car Driving Maintenance and Repair: How to Start Car with a Weak Battery?

© Harish Jharia

Driving car is a passion rather than a basic requirement of our daily life. When we board a car, we would always like to be on the driver’s seat, as occupying the drivers seat is a real pleasure in our life. We dream about a life where our first desire would to be an owner of a car. Car gives us comfort, luxury and status in the eyes of the onlookers.

We approach our car press button on the remote occupy the driver’s seat and drive away to our destination. We need not wait for the bus. We do not make ourselves a part of the crowd rushing to occupy a seat in local trains and metros. We feel ourselves the luckiest family having a prize possession that is a Car.

In spite of all the above we sometimes become targets of peculiar gaze of the onlookers when our car breaks down or we become a traffic-stopper and vehicles on our rear blare and honk on us. We sometimes land in a trouble because of minor faults in our car or due to our poor expertise in driving.

Let us discuss a common problem that we face with our cars and the probable ways to address it without taking help of some trained Motor Mechanic:

 Jump-start a car with the help of other car 

If our car battery is older than 18 months then its capacity for recharging and in turn providing adequate power supply to the self-starter to start the car, is considerably reduced. In such cases, the automobile workshops advise us to replace the battery with new ones. Yet, during the intervening periods, we need to know the ways to start the car.

We face similar problem when we keep our car unused for prolonged periods and the battery is discharged on its own.

1.    Push Start: 

There are two ways to start a car with a weak battery. The first one is our age-old system of ‘Push Start’. The user’s guide provided by the car-manufacturers along with the vehicles do not recommend this way of starting the car. Yet, we have to resort to this way if the car stops in a remote place where there is no other way to move vehicle and reach out for a safer place.

First, make adequate arrangements for moving the car manually. Here are the ways to move the car manually for ‘push start’. Place your car on a down gradient and let the car roll down for picking-up adequate speed for moving it in 2nd gear. The other way is to take help of someone to push the car from the rear for achieving a desired speed.

Now, before moving the car you need to occupy driver’s seat and take the following actions in proper sequence:

Move the gear lever to ‘2nd gear’; press the clutch paddle full; press the accelerator a little; insert the ignition key and twist it to ‘switch-on’ position; Now ask someone to push the car as described in the proceeding paragraph. Wait for the car to achieve the desired speed.  Then release the clutch until the engine starts. Your car engine will start running.

Push the clutch again and bring the gear lever to ‘neutral gear’.  Now either you run the engine in idle condition or else drive away to your destination.

2. Jump Start: 

The recommended way to start a car is by ‘jump start’ system. For this you need to have a well-charged battery or else you may use any other battery fitted on a car.  Now you need to have a pair of two-meter long thick electric cables strong enough to withstand 30amp load. There should be crocodile clips properly attached to both the ends of the cables.  Patented ready-made ‘Jump Start’ cables are also available in the market and it is advisable to have one pair of cables in our car for crisis management.


Foreign Resized

The ‘Jump Start’ procedure is simple. Bring the other car near to your car; connect the red cable to the Positive Ports (marked +) of batteries of both the cars; connect the black cable to Negative Ports (marked -) of both the batteries. By doing this you have connected the well-charged battery of the other car to your car. In other words, you are now using the battery of the other car for your own car.

Now occupy the driver’s seat; bring the gear lever to ‘neutral gear’; push clutch paddle full; insert ignition key in its slot and start your car as usual. For keeping the engine running apply hand break; let the car be in ‘neutral gear’; let the ignition key remain in its slot; open the window glass of driver’s door and come out of your car leaving the engine in ‘idle running’.

Remove the cables and keep them in your trunk. Shift the other car to its original place. Now you should drive away for recharging your car battery. Go for a long drive at least for 5 – 10 km possibly at lower gears and essentially without putting-on your AC.

In this way your battery will be recharged for your normal use.  In some types of batteries, you need to check the acid-level in the battery. If the level has gone down you may pour some distilled water by opening the caps with the help of a coin.

In general, Battery-life is specified between 18 – 24 months if your battery has crossed its 18-month life, then you have to be vigilant about your battery, as it would not recharge well and supply inadequate power output required by the self-starter to start your car-engine. Eventually, you should change the battery at right time. There are good exchange-offers in the market, so that you may exchange your old battery with a new one at a lower rate even before it is completely drained-out.

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Disclaimer:
This article is written based on my personal observations. My intention for publishing the same is to provide healthy reading and intellectual entertainment and not for educating the visitors. No literature or authentic books have been referred for writing the contents of this article. The visitors are advised not to refer the contents of this article for any research or testimony on scientific, geographical, political, civic or legal purposes. The visitors are further advised to consult relevant experts before adapting any information from this article. The author or the website are not responsible for any errors, mistakes, or omissions there in.
- Harish Jharia 
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