Imagine that you're on the tail end of a family road trip. You make one last pit stop to fill up on gas and snacks, but as you head out, your car won't start. And because you don't know how to jump a car without jumper cables, you have to wait for someone to help.
Whether that situation is common or not, it can be scary. And it can be even worse if you have to rely on strangers to help. Luckily, there are other options.
All you have to know is how to jump a car without jumper cables. Pretty soon, you'll be home and ready to sleep in your own bed.
How to Jump-Start a Car
No one ever plans for their car to refuse to start. Whether it's the weather or just an old battery, anyone who owns a vehicle should know how to jump-start it. Ideally, everyone would know how to jump a car without jumper cables.
But to figure that out, you have to know how to jump-start a car with jumper cables. Using jumper cables is one common way to start a car, and if you understand how jumper cables work, you can learn how to jump a car without jumper cables.
Yes, that sounds confusing. However, whether you use jumper cables or not, jump-starting a car requires very similar steps.
One thing you need to jump-start a car with cables is a second vehicle, specifically one that can start. You wouldn't use your dead laptop to try and charge your phone, right? Well, cars work the same way.
To power the car that won't start, it takes a bit of juice from the battery of another vehicle. If your car won't start when you're at home, you can ask a family member to help you out.
The same is true if you get stuck at work; hopefully, a coworker can lend a hand and some power.
However, if you're out running errands or otherwise on your own, you may not have a friend's car. In that case, you'll have to muscle up the courage to ask a stranger for help.
Now, if you can't convince a stranger, you could always try entering a nearby store and asking if an employee has some cables and a car you can use. Still, you may not always luck out, which is why you should also know how to jump a car without jumper cables.
Grab those cables
Let's assume you did find a friend or a kind stranger. Make sure the two vehicles are close enough together for the jumper cables to reach.
Now, you'll have to open the hood of both cars. Next, use the jumper cable to connect the battery terminals. Make sure to connect the positive terminal to the positive and negative terminal to the negative.
If you're not sure which is which or you can't see the battery clearly, connect red to red and black to black. Never, under any circumstances, connect red to black. This is capital B bad for your battery.
Once the batteries are connected, keep them connected until the dead battery has enough energy to start up. It helps to rev the engine a bit on the second car to supply extra electricity to the dead battery.
Once you have some juice, you should keep the car on. Then, you can try disconnecting the jumper cables. Ideally, you can head off in your vehicle without an issue.
You're Not Out of Luck
While a lot of drivers know how to jump-start a car, some may not know how to jump a car without jumper cables. What's more, some probably don't even know that's an option.
But it's a good thing that jumper cables aren't required to start your car. Because unfortunately, you might find yourself in a sticky situation without a second vehicle to power your dead battery.
When you don't have help
Maybe your roommates have all left for the day, and you're the last one at home and trying to get to work. Perhaps you can't convince a stranger to help you out. Or worse, maybe you stopped in the middle of nowhere to stretch your legs, and there isn't much traffic.
Knowing how to jump a car without jumper cables is essential if you don't have anyone to help you out.
For whatever reason, if you don't have access to another car to power yours, you'll have to find another option.
When you don't have jumper cables
While they can be extremely helpful, there may come a time when you need to know how to jump a car without jumper cables because you don't have what you need. Of course, you should keep jumper cables in your car for those worst-case scenarios.
However, not everyone does. Maybe you used your jumper cables and accidentally gave them to the friend you helped. Or perhaps you never had a set at all.
Whether you left your jumper cables somewhere or never had them in the first place, having access to another car doesn't always mean you can use that car to jump-start your own.
Don't think you're stuck just because you don't have any jumper cables on you.
When you can't wait
Imagine you're all ready to go to work, and your car won't start. You know a friend who could come help, and you have the jumper cables ready. But your friend says they won't get to you for a while.
Even if you have all of the tools to jump-start a car, you should still know how to jump a car without jumper cables. After all, you don't want to be late to work. You need to start your vehicle as soon as possible.
So, you head to your trunk and pull out a jump box, which has the battery you need to get your car going.
Of course, jumping your car will take more time than merely turning on the ignition. However, it will take less time than waiting for a friend or family member to bring their vehicle to you.
How to Jump a Car Without Jumper Cables
There are a couple of methods you can use to jump-start a car even if you don't have jumper cables. Certain methods work better for some cars than others, so consider your vehicle before you decide on how you want to start your car.
Even if you can use multiple methods, odds are one will be easier than another. So give one or more of your options a try. You never know which might work best.
According to Advance Auto Parts, push-starting is a good option for manual vehicles. This method is hard, if not impossible, to execute on your own. Not only that, but you'll need a friend with some muscle to help you out.
If you have a manual car, turn the ignition to "on," set the gear shift to second gear, and ask someone to push the car until it picks up speed. Once it starts to move, you can release the clutch pedal.
Hopefully, the car will have enough juice to start up.
But if it doesn't, or if you drive an automatic vehicle, push-starting isn't the best choice.
Use a Jump Box
The other best option you can use to figure out how to jump a car without jumper cables is to use the best car battery charger, otherwise known as a jump box. This has the same connectors you'd find on jumper cables.
However, instead of connecting them to another car, you connect them to what looks like a massive portable charger. If you already know how to use jumper cables, this will probably be pretty easy.
It works almost the exact same way except that you don't need a second car. So, how do you use the jump box?
Grab the battery pack
Instead of finding a friend with a car, all you need is the right battery pack. Of course, you can't choose just any portable charger. You'll need a portable battery that comes with the cables you need to connect to your car.
Luckily, many car battery chargers aren't too big, and a lot of them offer other features, like a flashlight.
Now, you want to make sure you maintain the charge for your battery pack. A dead charger won't do anything for your car. But once you charge it up, it will work very well for your car-charging needs.
Connect the cord
Now, connect the cord to your jump box and to the battery of your car. The cable will work pretty similarly to regular jumper cables. However, they're much smaller since they don't have to reach another vehicle.
After you plug in the cables, wait a bit and then try to start the car. If you have a passenger, it wouldn't hurt to ask them to hold the jump box so that it doesn't have to rest anywhere as you start the car.
But if you're driving solo, just make sure you place the jump box down carefully and securely. You don't want the box to fall off as the engine vibrates.
At this point, you should have enough power to start your car and head to wherever you need to go. However, it probably wouldn't hurt to schedule an appointment to get your car checked.
Even if you have a friend who can help start your car, a jump box has benefits that traditional jumper cables lack. For one, a lot of portable car battery chargers can also charge your phone and other electronics.
Some even have a wall outlet for those devices that don't use USB connectors. That can be especially helpful if you get stranded somewhere and need a phone to call someone for help.
Also, many jump boxes have a built-in flashlight. That can be extremely useful if you have to jump-start a car at night.
On the Road Again
A dead car battery can be one of the worst things to happen. Whether you're running late to work or just want to get home sooner rather than later, no one wants to be stranded.
If you rely on jumper cables to start your car, you need another vehicle and the kindness of a friend or stranger. But if you know how to jump a car without jumper cables, you don't need any of that.
All you need is your car, a jump box, and a small amount of time.
Did you know how to jump a car without jumper cables? Leave your thoughts in the comments!