If stranded/helpless was an event, then an automatic car with a dead battery fits perfectly. You can’t push it, nor can you drive down a slope to push-start your vehicle.
The good news is; towing your automatic car is not always your escape route from a dead battery. With our guide, you can successfully jump-start an automatic car’s dead battery.
This article has detailed four practical steps you can follow to start your automatic car without a battery.
Why you can’t push-start automatic cars
Unfortunately, you can’t. You can only push start a car with a manual transmission. Manual vehicles are designed differently from automatic cars that work as a direct drive system. This means propelling the vehicle or its engine has a lot to do with the vehicle’s transmission.
The direct drive system explains why pushing a manual car or driving it down a slope can push-start that car. You can use the momentum gained from the moving vehicle to kick start a manual car when you press down the clutch of a manual car. The car revs but doesn’t move until you release the grip.
The movement (speed) is determined by the momentum already gained when the car revs. This means if you can get a manual car with a dead battery to gain momentum. Holding and releasing the clutch would crank up the engine when the car has gained momentum. You get the trick, yeah?
An automatic car has an open clutch that makes push-starting impossible. The function of the clutch in a manual car has been replaced with hydraulic power to shift gears. The pressure from the hydraulic system is used to change gears and bring the vehicle to a halt without stalling.
If it’s impossible to push-start your automatic car, what are your options? Jump-start your vehicle’s dead battery!
How to start an automatic car with a dead battery
A jump starter is a device that can crank up dead batteries. It functions exactly like a jump cable but has a slightly distinct mode of operation. A jump cable usually taps power from another vehicle. This means you either need another vehicle battery, or you could you a jump starter to start an automatic car with a dead battery. A jump starter is preferred since it is a handy device you can keep in your vehicle to jump-start dead batteries.
Now, how do you use this life-saving tool?
Step 1: Retrieve Your Jump Starter Kit.
The moment your automatic car’s battery is dead, get a hold of your jump starter. It’s as simple as you read it! A jump starter saves the day every time. After getting your jump starter kit from wherever it is, you kept it, and your jump starter is ready to get to work. However, you could experience one major setback: Your jump starter battery.
All expectations of this promising device can be cut short if you have not pre-charged it for emergencies such as this.
This is why you should consider the battery when you make a purchase decision for a jump starter. How long does it last on one charge? Since you will not need a jump starter until there’s an emergency involving a dead battery, you need a jump starter that can retain power for months without needing to recharge frequently. Your perfect jump starter should be able to hold a charge for months when not in use.
Just in case you’re a newbie and inexperienced with jumpstarters. We have used and tested several jump starters. There are many good products, but none comes close to JNC660 for sturdiness and battery capacity. You get a peak amp of 1700, 425 cranking amps, and industrial-grade hot jaw clamps. Users generally prefer the JNC660 battery because the battery is made of better materials. Instead of Lithium-Ion (LION), the batteries are made of Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM). Lithium-Ion batteries cannot hold a charge at cold temperatures slightly above or below 20°F. An AGM battery would still be able to do the same at lower temperatures.
Step 2: Safety Measures
Yes, a jump starter can save the day. It can also make things a lot worse for your car if you’re careless. You’re at risk of damaging your car’s electrical system or blowing up your car’s battery if you do things wrongly. Most of these events without the proper safety measures could bring consequences you do not want to deal with. For example, you could get badly hurt if things go wrong. Better safe than sorry.
What safety measures should you keep in mind when using a jump starter? First, the most likely point you can get it wrong is connecting the terminals. A jump starter works pretty much like a jumper cable. Take the following safety precautions when using a jump starter:
- Do not cross the positive cables with the negative cables or vice versa.
- Do not touch positive and negative leads simultaneously—the positive first, and then slowly the negative.
- Ensure your car’s ignition is off when connecting your jump starter.
- Always check your car’s dead battery for possible gas leakages before you jump start. Gas leakages could cause an explosion when you attempt to jump-start the dead battery.
- Position your jump starter away from movable parts of your car’s engine (fan, accessory belts, battery).
- Ensure that the jump starter you use has the capacity (power and voltage) to crank your car engine.
- Utmost care must be exercised when a car’s battery has access terminals that are difficult to access.
- Never use a jump starter or jumpercable for electric/hybrid vehicles.
Step 3: Connect the Jump Starter to Battery Terminal
Connect the positive clamp to the positive terminal and the negative clamp to the negative terminal of your battery. Don’t worry; this isn’t rocket science. The red clamp always goes to the positive terminal because it’s positive. In the same vein, the black clamp to the negative terminal because it’s negative.
A jump starter works a little bit differently from a jumper cable. A necessary safety precaution is to ground your jumper cable when you want to jump-start a dead battery. This is different with a jump starter. A jump starter already has safety measures/technology in place that makes grounding useless. You do not need to ground when using modern jump starters.
Although the battery is made of lithium ions, NOCO did an excellent job by creating an advanced design. Lithium batteries are unable to hold power at lower temperatures (around 20 degrees F). With the high discharge lithium technology in NOCO GB40, your battery performs optimally irrespective of the climate. Even better, almost anyone can easily find their way around using this jump starter. It’s easy to set up and use.
Step 4: Attempt To Start Your Car Again
After connecting the terminals to their correct positions:
- Attempt to crank up your car by igniting the engines.
- If it fails to start, try a few more times before you give up.
- Ensure that within successive trials, you give a few minutes break before another attempt.
You want to overwork neither your vehicle nor your jump starter.
When your car’s engine successfully starts, ensure you disconnect the jump starter carefully. It’s as simple as carefully disconnecting the jump starters’ clamps from your battery’s terminals.
If you’re using a modern jump starter that fails to crank your engine, there’s no cause for alarm. Check if the jump starter has enough power to crank up your car or if your vehicle falls in the specification range of the jump starter. If it’s within the specification of the jump starter, check the manual to perform a manual override.
Before you opt-in for a manual override, ensure that terminals were connected correctly during your previous try. Some jump starter manuals do not detail how to perform a manual override with this jump start. Nevertheless, with a manual override, you can jump-start your batteries with any jump starters as long as your vehicle falls within the specification recommended for the jumpstarter.
The manual override disables the safety technology. You must be careful to follow instructions to the letter. Place connections correctly and only do this with a 12-volt lead-acid battery.
To use the manual override of the NOCO GN40 is simple. Press and hold the Manual Override Button (a red exclamation point icon inside a red circle) for three (3) seconds to use the Manual Override feature. The white Boost LED will flash “On” and “Off,” indicating you have successfully entered into Manual Override and it is ready to jump-start your vehicle. Alternatively, you can jump-start directly from the battery of your car rather than the jump-starting posts.
It is possible to crank up your automatic car with a dead battery. A working jump starter and the necessary precautions are all you need to get your automatic vehicle back on track.
The best jump starters you could have with an automatic car are the JNC660 and the NOCO GN40. With these, you can be very confident that a dead car battery will not ruin your day.