The car won’t start, even with or after a jump: 8 reasons

Nobody likes it when it happens, but we just have to deal with it. If the engine fails to start, you might try several solutions and even consider jump-starting it. But sometimes, this doesn’t work either, and you find yourself without hope of getting your car working again.

There are a couple of reasons why this happens, and today we will explore 8 of them. In most cases, the battery is the main reason your car cannot start even after you jump it. These problems are particular to the cold weather and will happen more often during the winter. 

12’ Jumper Cables

In this case, you might have to consider replacing it. But there are more reasons why this can happen. Continue reading as we talk about why your car won’t start even with or after a jump. 8 particular reasons might be enough to identify and fix yours. 

Can you jump-start a completely dead battery, or can it be too dead?

If your battery is dead, there is no way to jump-start your car again. Regardless of how dead it is, the outcome will always be the same. You have to find another vehicle with a healthy and charged battery to start yours. You will also need jumper cables for this operation.

High temperatures will damage your battery and several other components. The battery will deplete quickly once exposed to heat, and one day you might find it hard to start your car. Strong vibrations are also causing this problem, as they can destroy the internal components of your battery. 

With the acid released, your other parts are also at risk of damage. Nevertheless, your car will not work again with a dead battery. Replace it as soon as possible, and you won’t have to deal with this problem again. 

Brand new and never used jumper cables

The car won’t start with or after using jumper cables.

If your car doesn’t start, you immediately think about using jumper cables and finding jump-starting your car. But when this doesn’t work, you might be worried about the integrity and functionality of your car. While this situation can be frightening, there are several reasons why it occurs.

Below, we explain 8 of them. Identify yours by checking for the scenarios that match your situation, and you can fix your problem better. 

  1. Empty gas tank

You will be surprised by how often this reason is responsible for cars that cannot start. We are humans, after all, and sometimes we forget to check the most important things. Without any gas in the tank, your car will not start even if you jump-start it.

Set weekly routines and create habits to ensure you never run out of fuel again. Refuel consistently, and you will not have to deal with this embarrassing situation.

  1. Neutral or clutch safety switch

There is a safety feature for the vehicles that feature an automatic transmission that will prevent you from starting the engine if the gearbox is not in the park or neutral position. The same system can be found in the manual transmission, where you must step on the clutch pedal before turning on the engine.

You won’t get any results if you jump-start the car while the safety switch is damaged. Even if you are pressing the clutch or putting your car in park, the faulty switch will prevent you from starting the car. You might have to check this part out and replace it if it’s broken.

  1. Faulty ignition switch

Another problem is related to an important electrical component. This switch is responsible for starting your vehicle, so it is quite essential. Wear and tear can damage this component beyond repair, and you will need to replace it with a fully functional one.

This situation can be assumed if you are sure the battery is in perfect working condition. You cannot jump-start your car with a faulty ignition switch, so you should check it first and ensure that there is no damage.

  1. Clogged fuel filter

The fuel might be full of contaminants and particles that can interfere with the proper functionality of your engine. This filter is essential because it ensures that only clean fuel will reach the engine. But all the debris that can build over time will get stuck in this filter and render it useless.

Change the fuel filter every 30,000 miles to ensure a long lifespan for your car. The model and the year of your car will influence how often you have to change the fuel filter, but you can check the owner’s manual for more information.

  1. Faulty alternator

If you suspect that there is something wrong with the battery but it is still brand-new, then maybe you should check the alternators. While the battery is in optimal working condition, it won’t be able to power your car’s electrical system without an alternator.

This part is essential for restoring the electrical power in the vehicle and supplying the necessary current to all of the systems within your car. When the alternator fails, the current cannot reach the system, and the entire electrical power is compromised. As a result, you won’t be able to jump-start your car.

  1. Faulty jumper cables

You need jumper cables to jump-start your vehicle, but you should only use high-quality ones. Cheaper models can get easily damaged, and you might ruin them from the first use. Invest in a good solution for your problem, and you won’t have to deal with additional costs in the future.

If you want to be sure that you are never dealing with faulty jumper cables, consider investing in a high-quality product. We searched the market for the best jumper cables that are also durable, and we found the best one. 

box with jumper cables

Energizer Jumper Cables for Car Battery, Heavy Duty Automotive Booster Cables for Jump Starting 

These jumper cables come in sizes ranging from 12 feet to 25 feet. You can choose the ideal length for your own needs. These cables are good for starting a dead or weak battery, and it works for trucks, SUVs, and mid-size cars.

They are being shipped in a sturdy case, allowing you to store and easily transport them. The cables are made from copper and aluminum, which can remain flexible even at negative temperatures. While customer satisfaction is already guaranteed for more than 18,000 global buyers, this company offers a 2-year warranty to increase trust further. 

Handles are coated with a thick layer of vinyl to ensure comfort when you jump-start another car. Safety features are also installed, and unfortunate accidents can be easily avoided. 

  1. Battery terminals

Check the battery terminals and ensure no loose or corroded terminal connections. They can easily block the flow from the other battery and ruin the entire jump-starting process. Usually, most people check the terminals before connecting the jumper cables.

  1. Dead battery

If nothing else seems to be at fault, it is time to consider that the battery is dead. While these are strong and durable components, they are not made to last forever, and you will need to change the battery now and then.

This component is essential for your car as it helps with proper operation. Replace the battery every 3 years, and you will no longer deal with jump-starting problems. 

Troubleshoot a car that won’t jump start

Jumper Cables, black and orange

If your car doesn’t start, there are a couple of things you can do to fix this problem temporarily. In the end, professional help from a specialized auto repair shop will be your best solution. But if you want to get your car up and running quickly, follow these solutions.

Perform systems check

You can perform a systems check by shifting your car into neutral and starting your car again. If there is no response, then it means that the Neutral Safety Switch is failing, and you will have to investigate the battery. A complete replacement might be necessary.

Check jumper cables

Take a look at the terminals of your battery because there is a lot to analyze, even if you are not an expert in mechanics. Signs of corrosion can appear if there is a green or white substance on the battery. In this case, you will have to clean the corrosion from the jumper cables, which might solve your problem.

Allow the battery to recharge.

Wait for a few minutes before you attempt to start the car again and see if you can restart the battery. A dead one will receive a small charge, so it will be hard to start it again. Patience is key in this situation, so it is recommended to wait as long as it is necessary for the battery to recharge. 

Can you jump-start a car with a bad starter?

If you have a bad starter, the problem is permanent, and any solution is temporary. You can jump-start a car with a bad start, but the issue will not be solved. The process will boost your car’s battery, and it will not fix the starter.

That is why it is recommended to fix the problem of your bad starter first. Replacing this part might be required, but you should ask a professional for help. A skilled mechanic can identify the problem and give you the best solution. 

The car starts after the jump but won’t start again.

While there are several causes for this scenario, the most common one is the high temperatures affecting your battery. The positive grid is sensitive and can easily get affected by extreme temperatures as they accelerate corrosion and cause damage. 

Other issues with your battery might include the following:

  • The battery is not installed correctly
  • Too many electrical accessories drain your battery too fast
  • The size and model of the battery are not compatible with your vehicle
  • The battery is not used for the purpose it was designed for. There are many types of car batteries, and you should choose the one intended for your own needs. 

How long should you drive after a jump start?

Jump-starting your car is a temporary solution. You should not continue like the problem is fixed. If you just jump-started your vehicle, you can expect to be able to drive for at least 30 minutes. This estimate assumes that there is no heavy traffic.

If you are stuck in traffic, consumption will be higher, and the battery will deplete quickly. Often, this temporary solution allows you to bring your car to an auto repair shop to recharge or replace your battery. 

Does jumping someone’s car hurt yours?

Performing a jump start for another car can be considered a safe operation, and there is nothing you should worry about. There isn’t any damage risk when your vehicle jump-starts another one. The only effect is on your car battery, which can always be recharged.

However, the starter motor might overheat if you keep this operation engaged for too long. If you follow the standard jump-starting procedure, your vehicle should be safe. This procedure is common, and many drivers do it to help their friends. 

When jump-starting a car, always remember.

There are several things you should consider when jump-starting a car. Here are some of the most important ones.

  • Wear the necessary protection, especially for your eyes.
  • Park the two cars close to each other but always ensure they are not directly touching.
  • One end of a positive cable should be connected to the dead’s battery positive terminal and the other end to the vehicle that provides the power.
  • The negative cable should be connected to the negative terminal on the vehicle providing the power and the negative terminal on the dead battery. 
Jumper cables

How to properly jump-start a car with another car

You can jump-start another car through a simple process of only 7 steps. As long as you follow each of them and respect the instructions, the procedure should be successful regardless of your mechanical and engineering knowledge and skills. 

Step 1 – Line up both of the cars.

Step 2 – Connect the red jump lead to the working battery’s positive terminal and the dead’s battery positive terminal.

Step 3 – Connect the black jump lead to the working battery’s negative terminal and to an earthing point, such as an unpainted metal on the chassis. 

Step 4 – Start the other car and keep the engine on for at least 3 minutes.

Step 5 – Start your car and let both vehicles run for at least 10 minutes.

Step 6 – Turn off the engines and disconnect the leads in the reverse order that they were connected.

Step 7 – Howto: How to properly jump-start a car with another car

FAQ

Can a bad battery cause a crank not to start?

Yes, the dead battery is the number one most common cause of this problem. Your vehicle will not start if the battery is not working properly. 

Can a car battery be dead, and the lights still work?

Some of the electrical components can still work even with a dead battery. That is because they require minimal power, which even a dead battery can provide. 

Why don’t you connect the negative when jumping a car? 

By not connecting the negative, you will avoid sparks from the battery that can ignite any flammable fuel or gas. The risk of explosion is therefore minimized. 

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