Did your car battery die on you? After a jump start, it’s best to drive the car around for a while to let the battery charge! In this article, we’ll explain how long to leave the car running after a jump, and why it’s important.
Your car’s battery cannot run indefinitely, especially given the varying heat and cold the vehicle may be exposed to. Usually, car batteries have a lifetime of 3-4 years and show signs of weakening when their expiry date approaches. If the battery dies on you abruptly, you can always use another car to jump-start it.
To make sure the battery doesn’t die on you before you reach the safety of a workshop or your home, it’s best to let it charge for a while.
TL;DR: It’s best to drive the car around or let it idle for at least 30 minutes after you jump start it.
When does your car need a jump start?
Some of the potential reasons your car could need a jump start include:
- Weak battery: Batteries can run out pretty quickly in cold weather conditions. If the car doesn’t run from a cold start, you may need a quick jump start to get things going.
- Malfunctioning alternator: Alternators help the car run all the electrical components like headlights, wipers, and electric steering, and also recharge the battery. A bad alternator can mean that the car will stall or die when you’re driving.
- Issues with the starter: Sometimes the issue might be with the starter system itself, which can be identified by a clicking noise when you try to start the car. This could be because of loose electrical connections, oil leaks, or corrosion from old age.
- Bad spark plugs: Spark plugs can malfunction if there is an oil leak in the engine or a fluid leak in other compartments.
How can you jump-start a car?
To safely jump-start your car, make sure you have the following equipment:
- The owner’s manual
- Jumper cables
- Heavy-duty gloves
- A flashlight
You can jump-start your vehicle in five easy steps, which we’ve given in short below:
- Line up both vehicles side-by-side so that the jumper cables can connect to each other.
- Locate the battery terminals in your car, which will usually be covered by plastic caps. Connect the red cable to the positive terminal and the black cable to the negative terminal.
- Connect both the other ends of the red and black cable to the respective terminals of the vehicle you are using to jump start.
- Ensure the cables aren’t touching any movable parts of the engine, and try to start the car.
- If your engine doesn’t fire immediately, keep the cables connected while letting the other vehicle idle for a while. Try again after 10 minutes.
- Once your car has jump-started, idle both vehicles together for a few minutes before unplugging
How long does it take to jump-start a car?
Once the jumper cables are connected, it will take you just a few minutes to jumpstart your car. You’ll be ideally up and running in as little as 5 minutes. In extreme cases, it may take up to 30 minutes, but no longer.
If your car doesn’t jump-start even after repeated attempts to do so, your battery may be dead.
How long should you leave the car running after a jump?
It’s best to drive the car around or let it idle for at least 30 minutes after you jump-start it.
Ideally, you should drive the car around for 30 minutes to allow the alternator to charge the battery to a good level. Even after that if you still have a flat battery, it could be an issue with the alternator.
How can I know if my battery isn’t charging?
When you’re driving your car regularly, you may notice a battery light blinking on your dashboard. This indicates that either the battery is faulty or that the alternator isn’t recharging the battery as intended.
It’s best to get your battery tested at an auto shop before it runs out completely.
How much will a new battery cost?
The average cost of replacing a car battery can vary from $50 to $500 depending on the kind of car, power, and size required.
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