In a perfect world, you’d always have a set of jumper cables or a jump starter handy for when your car battery dies. But life isn’t always that convenient. The question is: Can you jumpstart a car with household items? The answer is yes, with caution and the right knowledge. Tools like a cordless drill battery could do the trick. However, knowing what’s safe to use and what’s not is important. Let me explore for you these creative ways to jumpstart a car.
Household items that can jumpstart a car
Firstly, I’d recommend jumping a car with a drill battery because it can serve as a potential lifeline when you’re stuck with a dead car battery. A powerful drill battery, particularly those that are 12V or 20V, can help to jumpstart your car in some cases. If you are wondering if you can jumpstart a car with a 20v battery, here’s how you can do it:
- Identify the right drill battery: Not all drill batteries can be used to jumpstart a car. Ensure that the battery you’re using is powerful enough (preferably 12V or 20V).
- Prepare the connection: You’ll need wires to connect the drill battery to your car battery. Ideally, these should be insulated wires to avoid any potential accidents.
- Connect the batteries: Connect the positive terminal (usually red or marked with a ‘+’) of the drill battery to the positive terminal of your car battery. Then, connect the negative terminal (usually black or marked with a ‘-‘) of the drill battery to the negative terminal of your car battery.
- Important: Ensure the correct polarity. Incorrectly connecting the batteries can cause serious damage.
- Start your car: Once the batteries are connected, attempt to start your car. If the car starts, quickly disconnect the drill battery.
AA Batteries in Series
Here I will share with you how to jumpstart a car with AA batteries. Agree that you didn’t realize it was possible. In theory, you can achieve the 12V required to start a car by connecting eight AA batteries in series. However, AA batteries may not be able to provide the necessary current to start most cars. However, in some cases, I have been able to do so. Here’s the process:
- Get eight AA batteries: The 1.5V supplied by each AA battery will add up to the 12V needed to jumpstart your car when connected in series.
- Connect the batteries: Using electrical tape and wire, connect the positive terminal of one battery to the negative terminal of the next until all eight batteries are connected.
- Note: Ensure correct alignment. The batteries should form a chain where the positive terminal of one battery is connected to the negative terminal of the next battery.
- Attach to the car battery: Connect the positive end of your battery chain to the positive terminal of your car battery and the negative end to the negative terminal of the car battery.
- Start your car: Try to start your car. If it works, disconnect the AA batteries immediately.
Once again, I would like to point out that this method is more likely to work with small engines or motors and is not recommended for most cars due to the low current output of AA batteries.
What to avoid when jumpstarting a car?
Jumpstarting your car requires care and caution. Certain methods can pose serious risks:
- Jumpstarting a car using a wall outlet can cause electrical shock or damage to your vehicle due to the high voltage.
- Using random metal items can cause short circuits, sparking, or even explosions due to improper conductivity and high current flow.
- Lithium-ion batteries, found in laptops or power banks, shouldn’t be used as they can overheat, rupture, and possibly explode under high current.
- Similarly, small electronic device batteries can’t handle the required current, leading to potential overheating or rupture.
If you find yourself stranded with a dead car battery and wondering, ‘What household items can you use to jump-start a car?’ but none of these prove effective or are available, your safest option would be to seek help from a professional.
Why is the power (voltage and amperage) important in jumpstarting a car?
The power (voltage and amperage) is vital for jumpstarting a car as it determines the energy that can be delivered to start the car’s engine. The voltage needs to be high enough to overcome the resistance in the electrical system, usually 12V for most cars.
What should I do if none of these household items work or are available?
If none of these household items are available or work, your best bet is to seek professional help. Call a roadside assistance service or a tow truck.
Can these unconventional methods damage my car’s electrical system?
Yes, these unconventional methods carry the risk of damaging your car’s electrical system. Incorrect voltage or polarity can harm the electronics.
Are these methods recommended for every type of vehicle?
No, these methods are not recommended for every type of vehicle. The success of these methods depends on several factors, including the type of vehicle, the state of the dead battery, and the household items being used.