How Many Times Can You Jump A Car Battery?

Hi, I'm Luis Johnson, an automobile technician, and power equipment professional. By profession, I'm a businessman and operate a car workshop. I have created this...Read more

Leaving the car in the garage with the electronics on is an easy mistake we all made at some point. The outcome is obvious: a dead battery that won’t start the engine.

In such a situation, jump starting the engine is the only way remaining, and it’s okay to do so.

But the question is, how many times can you jump a car battery? Will it weaken the battery or the engine down the line?

Well, a jump start doesn’t damage the battery or the engine. So, you don’t have any limitation on how many times you can jump a car battery. However, as for the tries in a row, you shouldn’t jump more than 2-3 times.

It’s the wrong process of jumping the battery that damages it rather than the number of it. So, avoiding the wrong process and knowing the right steps is what you need to know the most.

Let’s talk about it then!

How Many Times Can You Jump A Car Battery?

The primary concept of jump starting a car battery is charging a cold drained battery with another power source. To understand how it works and whether it’s bad or not, you should know how the process works.

How Many Times Can You Jump A Car Battery

What Does The Battery Do Anyway?

The battery in a car works to power up the starter motor that rotates the crankshaft to the desired RPM. After the crankshaft inside the combustion engine reaches its necessary speed (typically 2000), the motor rests.

This process drains the battery’s power significantly, so it needs to be recharged. Plus, when you’re running the electronics in the car, like the headlight, radio, GPS, etc., they drain the battery as well.

Recommended for you: How To Jump Start A Car With A Spare Battery? (7 Easy Steps).

How The Battery Drains Away

The engine has an alternator in place that recharges the battery using the engine power. This keeps the battery from draining away.

But when you don’t have the engine running, but the electronics running, or turning the engine off too frequently, the battery keeps draining.

Once the battery drains to a point where it can’t start the starter motor anymore, you have to jump start it using another battery.

So, How Many Times You Can Jump Start?

As you can see, jump starting is not a bad thing as you’re just charging your battery with another power source. So, no matter how many times you charge the battery this way and jump start, you’re not causing any issue to the battery.

How Many Times You Can Jump Start

However, too much sulfation of the battery can eventually lead to its death. Not finishing a cycle while charging it and discharging the battery to flat zero, both are bad for your car battery.

Plus, when jump starting, don’t do this more than 3 tries if the battery doesn’t charge up, even though you followed the right process. We’ll talk about the right jump starting steps in a minute. If it persists to be cold, chances are, the battery is probably dead anyway.

And, whenever you jump start your car’s battery, be sure to run the engine long enough to charge the battery to 100% again. This way, you can avoid the bad effect of sulfation down the line.

How Many Times You Can Jump Start Another Car?

Now you know that you can jump start a dead battery as many times as you can with proper steps. But, what if you’re the one who’s holding the good battery that will charge the bad one? How many batteries you can jump start before your battery goes out of charge?

Well, the answer lies in what you do, how you do it. If you’re holding onto a bigger battery (higher cold crank amps) and charging a smaller one, you can do that 2 to 3 times max. If it’s the same size for both batteries, you can’t really go more than one.

However, as the alternator charges the battery, if you’re running your engine at 2000 rpm or more, you’re practically charging and discharging. You can technically jump start a whole parking lot full of cars without any issues.

You’re not drawing much power from the good battery, just enough to recharge the bad one so that it can revamp the starter. And that takes no more than 2-5 minutes before you disconnect the batteries anyway.

How To Jump Start a Car Battery: The Right Way

If you can jump start the car battery properly, you can jump start as many times as you need. And doing it right is not that hard either! There are more than one way to do this as well. Let’s discuss them all briefly:

Jump Start With Another Car

The most commonly practiced way of jump starting a car battery is using another car’s battery. Here, the second battery will essentially charge up the dead battery through the second car’s alternator.

Jump Start With Another Car

First, have a look at the battery sizes for how much power it can crank out, also known as the cold crank amps.

You want to check these two things:

  • Cold Crank
  • Regular Crank
cold crank amps

If the charged (2nd) battery has less crank power than the one you’re about to jump start, the process will take longer as the dead battery can’t draw much power.

Once everything’s in place, take both vehicles close together about 18 inches away from each other. This is to make sure the jumper cables can reach both the batteries easily.

Now, take the jumper cables and do these steps carefully while having both cars turned off:

  • Connect the positive (red) end of the jumper cable to the first (dead) battery.
  • Put the negative part somewhere safe where it can’t make any ground connection.
  • Connect the other end of the positive cable to the good battery’s positive terminal.
  • Connect the negative end of this part to the negative terminal of the good battery.
  • Now, connect the other negative end to a thick metal part of the engine of the first car.

Once the connections are in place, start the second car and run it for 5 minutes or so. Then, disconnect the cables by reversing the steps and start the first car.

Have a look at how it’s actually done:

Jump Start With A Portable Starter

The process above is the most common but also is the most likely to lead you to an accident. A spark could ignite, and the battery can catch on fire if not done correctly.

Jump Start With A Portable Starter

Using an aftermarket portable jump starter is a little expensive ($100-$300) but also the safest option to avoid all sorts of accidents.

There are many jump starter models available in the market. Choose one that meets both your budget and battery requirements. Getting one like the GP2000 would do well under a $100 budget range.

You can find bulky big ones, as well as small ones that you can put in the bonnet. These jump starters are super easy to use.

All you have to do is, connect the red positive cable from the jumper machine while it’s turned off. Then, connect the negative (black) cable to the negative battery terminal and turn it on.

After that, you can go ahead and start your car as you would do regularly. No waiting time, no hassle of sparks or issues of an accident.

Does Jump Starting Damage A Car Battery?

This is a common thing to worry about, and a lot of people do get worried if either of the batteries will damage because of jump starting.

The truth is, there’s no chance of damaging your car battery if you jump start one with another. If you’re doing it right and following the steps properly without compromising safety concerns, you’re good to go.

Using a portable jump starter is your best bet if you’re not sure about the safety, or don’t have other people to help you jump start your car.

Car Won’t Start After Jumping Another Car

Have you helped a friend jump start his/her car and ended up with a dead battery yourself? Chances are, you just did this while having a cold battery yourself, maybe your car was sitting idle with a low battery inside.

Car Won't Start After Jumping Another Car

Now that you’ve ended up with a dead battery, and can’t start your own car, here’s what you should do:

While having the second car (that you just started) functioning, drive around for 10-15 minutes in high gear. Let the battery charge to full, and then you can jump start your own car with the second battery! Reverse charging, huh?

How to Check the Reason for Battery Draining

Another thing that could go wrong is, that you have a bad battery that has a draining problem. You must know the reasons why a car battery might drain too much power.

The most common reason for rapid draining is the age of the battery. Depending on the type and quality of the battery, you can expect around 4 to 7 years of service from a car battery.

If the battery is of mediocre quality and has been in service for more than 4 years, it might be just counting its last days.

Watch this video to understand the main reasons why your car battery might be draining too much.

Read Also: Can a Battery Drain with The Negative Cable Disconnected?

Final words

Getting your car with a dead battery started now should not be a thing to worry about for you. As you now know how many times can you jump a car battery, you don’t have to worry about getting it fried along the way.

Just be sure to jump start the battery with proper caution of not touching the grown terminal of the battery. That can potentially cause a spark and possibly ignite the hydrogen and electrolyte sitting on the surface of the battery lid.

Hi, I'm Luis Johnson, an automobile technician, and power equipment professional. By profession, I'm a businessman and operate a car workshop. I have created this site Batteryquery to help people purchase the right battery for their vehicles. The reason behind creating this site is to help my customers purchase the right car battery who often purchase the wrong one due to their lack of knowledge.

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