Jump-starting a car is an unnerving and frustrating activity, especially when you do it regularly. While jump-starting can help you start your car with a dead battery, doing it regularly is a sign of an underlying problem.
However, if you want to add extra time to your car’s shelf life, there are little things you need to know about jump-starting a car. This article will explain how many times it is okay to jumpstart a car, the consequences of jump-starting a car the wrong way, and the signs of a bad car battery vs. alternator.
How Many Times Can You Jump a Car Battery?
It’s okay to jumpstart a car battery once in a while. But jump-starting a car battery 3 to 5 times a week shows you have a weak battery that needs replacement or a parasitic battery drain. A pro tip; do not crank a car more than 3 times when jump-starting it.
Remember, several factors can cause your battery to drain and require a jumping or replacement. Car batteries last between 3 to 5 years. So, if your battery is this old and you have to jumpstart the car multiple times, it’s time to replace it.
Is it bad to jumpstart a car every day? Get a new battery if you find out you are jump-starting your vehicle every day. It’s a sign of a dead or weak battery.
However, car batteries are prone to self-discharge during cold weather. So do not panic if your vehicle requires more jump-start during cold mornings. With this in mind, it will be helpful to add a portable battery charger or jump starter to your emergency toolbox.
What happens when you jump your battery the wrong way?
What happens if you jump-start your battery too much? As explained earlier, if your car battery requires jump-starting more often, you have a weak battery, parasitic drain, or alternator issues. Jump-starting your car too much can cause you to do it the wrong way.
How to jump a car is quite simple. It is a simple process that any DIYer can do. You only need jumper cables and another vehicle with a recharged battery or just a separate battery. You only have to connect it from negative to negative and positive to positive. It’s that simple, right? But what if you get it wrong?
Jump-starting a car the wrong way will damage the battery, the alternator, the jumper cables, the fuses, and other system components.
Damage the battery
Placing the jumper cables wrongly when jumping a car can damage the batteries. It’s just like connecting the negative and positive battery terminals together. Since the electric flow has nowhere to go, it’ll damage the battery. The thing is, the damage can happen to your battery and the battery you are connecting to.
Most car batteries are lead-acid batteries. These types of batteries are built with hydrogen gas. If you disconnect the batteries, the hydrogen gas can discharge. And this can lead to an explosion in one or both batteries.
Damage the jumper wires.
Jumping battery cables can produce excessive heat that can affect the wires. If you use one of those cheap wires, they can get burnt or become less effective. The clamps may become weak. Disconnect the cables the moment you notice excessive heat. It could be a wrong connection.
Damage the alternator
Always turn off your electrical appliances before jump-starting your car, especially the headlights and the alarms. If you leave them on while jump-starting your vehicle, a power surge may occur and overheat the alternator. This can damage internal alternator components.
Damage to other electrical components
Jump-starting your car wrongly can cause a power surge and damage system components like fuses, sensors, and car electronics. It can also injure you.
Therefore, you should apply all precautionary measures when jumpstarting your car to avoid causing damage.
But is jump-starting car bad for your battery? Under perfect conditions, jump-starting your car is not bad for the battery. It only helps it start the vehicle so the alternator will recharge the battery.
Does jumping a car multiple times drain your battery?
The short answer is no. Jump-starting a car will not drain your battery because your engine is already running. The alternator will replenish any power used to start the other vehicle.
Keep in mind jumpstarting a car with a battery that is not in another vehicle will drain the battery if you use it multiple times. This is because the battery is releasing power to start your car, and nothing is replenishing the power back to the battery.
However, you need to ensure that your battery is in good condition before using it to jump-start another car. Also, you should consider the size of your battery and the one in the vehicle you’re jumpstarting.
If your battery is weak and not holding charge, don’t use it for a jump-start. The jumpstart can squeeze out the little power off it and make it fail earlier.
With everything working as it should, too much jumpstart will not hurt the battery on the vehicle you’re jumpstarting. Instead, it is the battery on the vehicle you’re using to jumpstart your car that takes the shot.
Never Do THIS When Jump Starting Your Car Battery YouTube Video
If my car needs a jump start every time I turn it off, it only shows the battery is weak. Change the battery if your vehicle needs to jumpstart up to 3 to 5 times a week.
If you have another car, swap the batteries and see if the issue continues on the car with the same battery. If it does, you have to replace the battery. But if the same car frequently needs a jump-start even without another battery, you have to check the charging system and other electrical system components. You likely have a weak alternator or a parasitic drain.