How to Jumpstart a Car Without Cables [3 Handy Tricks!]

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

Picture this–you’re driving in a busy city filled with countless people and vehicles, and your car battery suddenly dies. You can surely use jumper cables or seek roadside assistance without requiring a mechanic. But what if you’re all alone on a deserted road with no jumper cables?

With a bit of physical effort, you can push-start your car with helping hands by pushing it while you engage the clutch. Or, if your car has an automatic transmission, you can charge the battery with a portable battery charger. Besides, tapping a bad starter with a metal object can help too.

Keep reading to learn more about how to jumpstart a car without cables with these tricks in easy steps.

Things to Check Before Jumpstarting Your Car without Cables

Before trying anything, you must be sure your car has a flat battery for real. Sometimes, your battery just needs a little time to recover, and it’s not dead. You might be surprised to find that after taking a short walk and coming back, your car starts up without a hitch.

To be sure of a battery issue, take your time and check the following as well.

  • Turn the key on and look at your headlights. If they appear dim, your battery is likely the problem. However, if they look bright, you’ll want to inspect further to determine the problem.
  • Give the engine a try and find out if it churns slowly. You’re on your way if it does.
  • Insert the key into the ignition and inspect the lights and stereo on the dashboard, which should show signs of operation. If it doesn’t, the ignition might have an issue.
  • Press the key fob button to check if the doors unlock.
  • Check for battery damage before starting the car to avoid safety hazards. Wear safety gloves during inspection to protect yourself from electricity.

How to Push-Start a Car With Manual Transmission Without Jumper Cables?

If your car has a manual transmission, you can hopefully jumpstart it without cables or other tools. That said, you’ll need at least two people or a helpful bystander to help you with it.

How to Jumpstart a Car Without Cables

Also, make sure you practice push-starts in an open and non-traffic area. Here’s how:

Push-Starting Your Car on an Incline

Look for a small hill or some other elevated terrain. This will make the process much easier since gravity will keep the car rolling forward as you push it.

Step 1: Push the Car

If you’re alone, place the car in neutral and open the driver’s door to hold the steering wheel. Push from the incline’s top using your shoulder. If you need help, one person should sit in the driver’s seat and steer while others push the car.

Push the Car

Step 2: Shift into the Second Gear

Once the car starts moving, get in the driver’s seat, press the clutch, and engage the parking brake. Shift into second gear, but don’t start the vehicle. The key should be in the “on” position, right one step.

Shift into the Second Gear

Step 3: Release the Clutch

Quickly release the parking brake and the clutch when the car reaches five miles per hour. This should start the engine.

Step 4: Drive and Charge the Battery

Once the car starts running, let it run for a while to charge the battery through the alternator.

Push-Starting Your Car on a Flat Surface

Sometimes, you may find yourself stuck on a flat surface without an incline to jumpstart your car or drive to one. Don’t worry, you can handle this differently, but it will require some help from others. Here’s how.

Step 1: Get Ready for the Push

Have a friend or anyone who is willing to wait at the back of the car and be prepared to push when necessary. Make sure that they can easily see and hear you from the driver’s seat.

Step 2: Prepare the Car

Position yourself in the driver’s seat and start the engine. Engage the handbrake and engage the clutch. This step is essential to avoid putting too much stress on the engine during the start-up process.

Prepare the car

Step 3: Shift to the Second Gear

Quickly shift to second gear, step on the brake, releasing the handbrake. Make sure that your foot is off the gas pedal.

Shift to second gear

Step 4: Start to Push

Release the brake pedal and allow your helpers to push the car from behind.

Start to Push

Step 5: Release the Clutch

When you reach around 5mph, let go of the clutch quickly. This step will help engage the engine and get it started. It’s normal for the engine to splutter, and the car may jump slightly, indicating that the engine is engaging.

If the engine doesn’t start on the first try, repeat the steps above at a slightly higher speed. Keep trying until the engine starts. Once it does, keep the car running for a few minutes to let the battery recharge.

How to Jumpstart Your Automatic Transmission Car Without Jumper Cables?

If you have an automatic transmission car, you won’t be able to push start it like a manual transmission car.

But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck; you must have a portable battery charger handy. Doing it this way is much simpler; you’ll be stuck without it.

Jumpstarting a Car with a Portable Battery Charger

A portable battery charger is an inexpensive yet efficient tool for jumpstarting your vehicle.

It uses an alternator to charge the battery, almost like your car does, and you can use these chargers anywhere, even in the middle of the night.

It’s essential for all automatic car drivers to have a portable charger in their emergency toolkits so you’re prepared for situations like these.

The process is straightforward: simply plug the charger into your cigarette lighter. It usually takes between 10 to 20 minutes to replenish your battery, and you can resume driving afterward.

Jumpstarting a Car with a Portable Solar Panel

For recharging your car battery without jumper cables, a solar charger can be another solution.

You can place the solar panel anywhere in the car where it receives enough sunlight, and once it’s fully charged, you can plug it into the cigarette lighter. This is an ideal option for charging car batteries without cables in cars with automatic transmissions.

How to Jumpstart a Car with a Bad Starter without Jumper Cables?

Whenever you turn the key and hear a clicking noise or completely nothing, it’s often a surefire sign that your starter has failed. When this happens, jumper cables are not enough to get your car started, and the good news is, you don’t even need them.

How to Jumpstart a Car Without Cables

All you’ll need is to tap the starter with some metal object while someone holds the key in the “start” position.

Here’s how it works:

Tap the Starter, Holding the Key On

When you turn the key to the “start” position, electricity flows from the battery to the starter, which then turns the engine over. If the starter is bad, it might not be able to turn the engine over, so the car won’t start.

However, by tapping the starter with a metal object while someone else is holding the key in the “start” position, you’re basically giving the starter a little extra help.

When you hit the starter with the metal object, it can sometimes jostle the internal components of the starter, allowing it to make a connection and turn the engine over.

Does this Method Really Need a Helping Hand?

The reason it’s better to have someone else hold the key in the “start” position while you tap the starter is that this ensures that electricity is flowing to the starter while you’re hitting it.

This can increase the chances of success, as the electrical current can help jostle the internal components of the starter.

It’s important to note that this is just a temporary fix and that a bad starter will eventually need to be replaced.

But if you’re in a pinch and need to get your car started in order to get to a mechanic, this technique can be a helpful trick to give up your sleeve.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have further queries regarding jumpstarting a car without jumper cables, the following answers to some of the most frequently asked questions may help.

Can I Jumpstart My Car Without Cables?

Yes, if your car has a manual transmission, you can push-start it. It requires help from another person who will push the car while you start the engine. For automatic transmission cars, you need to use a portable battery charger or a solar panel to jumpstart the car without cables.

Can I Jumpstart My Car With No Battery?

No, you cannot jumpstart your car without a battery. Jumpstarting is a process that requires power to be transferred from one battery to the other, so without a battery, it will not be possible to jumpstart your car. Besides, it isn’t safe to even try.

What Safety Precautions Should I Take When Jumpstarting A Car Without Jumper Cables?

First, always turn off the car’s engine before attempting to jumpstart it. Secondly, avoid pushing the car with your foot to avoid injury, and instead, have a helper push it. Lastly, turn off the headlights and any other electrical components in the car to prevent a power surge.

How Long Should You Let The Car Run After Jumpstarting It?

After jumpstarting the car, it’s advisable to allow it to run for at least 30 minutes for the battery to get fully recharged. This ensures that the car will start when you try to start it again. The faster you take your car for a drive after jumpstarting it, the better it is for the battery.


Jumper cables are necessary for anyone who loves driving cars and wants to be prepared for whatever life throws their way. However, they are not always available or possible to use, so knowing how to jumpstart a car without jumper cables can be a lifesaver.

Whether you’re using a portable battery charger, a solar panel, or pushing the car, being aware of different options can help keep you safe and get you back on the road faster.

Yet, if you suspect an issue with your battery or starter, we recommend visiting an auto shop as early as possible. Doing thorough inspections and probable repairs can save you time and energy in the long run.

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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