How To Start Car With Low 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

Perhaps you forgot to switch off the car’s lights or didn’t fully close the tailgate before you went to sleep. Whatever the case is, a low battery can be an exceptionally aggravating concern that goes beyond simply trying to start your car.

The only thing you might conceivably visualize in such a scenario is how to start car with low battery. If your car has a low battery, it doesn’t indicate the end of your day. Jump-starting your vehicle is simple and efficient.

However, you must know the proper way to deal with a car with a low battery. Don’t worry, we have gathered some effective methods and expert tips to start a car with a low battery. Stay with us.

Low Battery Vs Dead Battery – Are They Similar?

There’s a substantial distinction between a low battery and a dead battery. A low battery still has some charge left but isn’t able to generate enough power for your vehicle to start out.

This is due to your car having to use a great deal of energy to energize the starter motor, as well as generate electricity for all onboard devices and electrical components. You can potentially recharge a low battery with the alternators of your vehicle.

In contrast, a dead battery is merely a drained power supply and possesses no residual power left. More often than not, a dead battery will have a dead cell that continuously drains the cells of other power.

Dead batteries will not be able to recharge and therefore require an external engine jump-start.

How To Start Car With Low Battery

We just have mentioned the jump-starting method as the prime choice in the beginning. However, this might not be a universal solution when you’re stuck with your car.

How To Start Car With Low Battery

There are some additional tricks and methods that we found quite effective depending on certain scenarios. So, we have discussed them below.

1. Check the Battery Life

When you’re facing difficulty starting your car, and you’re sure that the battery is responsible for this, the first thing you should do is check the battery condition first.

This is because you don’t know whether the battery is completely dead or has a bit of charge in it (low battery). You will find different tools dedicated to testing battery life. Keeping one of these can be helpful at any time.

2. Release Some Load from the Battery

Another trick you can apply before heading on to start your car is by means of either push start or jump-start (discussed in the upcoming sections).

In this case, you should try starting your car naturally but keep electrical accessories such as AC, music system, and headlights turned off. This will help you to stop additional battery drainage.

If you crank the engine frequently even when it’s not starting, alternator stress may burn out the battery. So, wait at least 10 minutes before cranking the engine again. The break is good for setting the battery.

3. Neutral Start

A simple, effective, but less-known way to start a car with a low battery is to take the gear in the neutral position and try starting. Even though this method might not be helpful for starting all sorts of vehicles, you can try it once to see whether it works.

In this method, you have to keep your vehicle neutral instead of parking or first gear. This helps to override certain security features and let your car be started.

4. Push Start

If your car has an automatic transmission and the battery is low, push starting is a way to get it started. Jumper starting with another car, or jumper cables, is the safest and easiest method to kick off your vehicle’s engine.

Push Start car

However, if you don’t have either of these things or another vehicle close by, push starting can be accomplished merely with your keys and another individual to do the pushing. Here’s how to push start your car when the battery is extremely low:

Check Surroundings and Confirm The Path is Safe

The very first thing you need to do before initiating a push start is to make sure the pathway is secure. It isn’t safe to push start a car on a rugged incline because you may lose control of the vehicle if it doesn’t work.

A tiny pitch can assist the car get started, but anything too steep is dangerous for you to put into practice. Steering and braking your car may be difficult while forcibly pushing to start the vehicle. Steer your vehicle such that it avoids hitting risky obstacles, such as trees, as well.

Insert the Key

Now insert the key into the ignition. Yes, it may feel just like you’re starting the car, but because the battery is very low, the engine won’t start. This is just a way to unlock the steering wheel so that you can steer freely.

Do not forget to turn the “on” key when you start otherwise your car won’t be started after pushing as the clutch will drop.

Set the Gear at Two

The least complicated gear position while push-starting your car is the second gear. You may kick-start it by turning on the first or third if you run into an issue with the second gear.

First, however, has a lot of torque, which would result in your vehicle bucking suddenly. So, press the clutch with your left foot and then reposition the shifter lever as far right as you can and configure the transmission into second gear.

Disengage the Parking Brake and Press The Clutch and Brake Pedals Simultaneously

Now you have to disengage the parking brake. Depending on what kind of car you are driving, the parking brake may be either a foot pedal on your left or a lever on the central console.

As you have disengaged the parking brake, press the brake and clutch pedals simultaneously. In case it seems to be difficult to attain instructions for the location of the parking brake, consult the owner’s manual for your vehicle or the website of your car’s manufacturer.

Tell Your Friend to Push the Car

Push the Car To Start Car With Low Battery

If you have done the preceding steps in the best manner, inform your buddy that he should start pushing your car from the back.

Be sure to remind your friend that he should not push on the back of the vehicle in the nose cone or door frame as opposed to the trunk or bumper. Additionally, headlights, fins, spoilers, and windows are not secure areas to push on.

As your friend starts pushing, wait to take your foot off the gas pedal until afterward. Yes, one individual is often sufficient to help bring most cars to go, but a couple more people will make it significantly easier.

Wait for Gaining at Least 8 km/h (5 mph) and Drop the Clutch

Remove the foot from the clutch suddenly to cut off the car’s interaction with its engine after it’s moving at or above five miles per hour (eight kilometers per hour). Pull your feet away both from the clutch and the brakes.

This procedure causes the engine’s crankshaft to link to the spinning wheels, resulting in the engine starting to turn. Your vehicle’s engine will start more quickly as you are driving it forwards because there’s more torque with the engine off the clutch.

Since the engine will rev up as you accelerate, consider releasing the clutch. Be mindful that you set up your engine so that it doesn’t rev up.


It is strongly recommended that this procedure be undertaken only with cars equipped with manual transmission. Attempting to initiate the forcible operation of a vehicle with an unwavering manual transmission may lead to extensive damage to the car. Moreover, you should remember:

  • To get the best rides possible, drive the car only once you have inspected your surroundings. If you’re on a hill, you may not be in the position to halt the car before it begins business activities.
  • Before you make a move, you need to release the parking brake and use the gears to shift to a lower speed. Sit in the front as your friends push the vehicle.
  • Keep directing the steering with your car as long as the ground you are passing over moves to the lower degree.

5. Jump Start Your Car

We have previously mentioned, the better way to begin a vehicle with a low battery is to make use of a conventional jump start. However, it’s only when you may be able to take some energy from a healthy battery into your dead one.

Jump Start Your Car To Start Car With Low Battery

Moreover, we have seen many people hesitant about whether they can jump-start their car if the battery isn’t completely dead. The answer is “yes”, you can. Here’s the process explained step by step below:

Prepare for Jump-Start

Before you start the main process, make sure you have arranged all necessary items on hand. These include

  • Jumper cables
  • Another car has a healthy battery with a matching voltage

Set up Two vehicles

In the first step, you should confirm the voltage of all the vehicle’s batteries. You must ensure that both batteries are the 12 V variety or the 6 V variety and that they will power the vehicle quickly with the jump start.

Now, park the donor car (the car has one healthy battery) in front of your car you’re going to jump-start and open both hoods.

After that inspect the batteries to guarantee that they are okay and that no damage has been revealed. Turn off and close both automobiles. Both cars need to be turned off and in parking gear.

Connect Both Batteries to Each Other

Now the time has come to connect both batteries to each other. Be sure you follow the instructions carefully when connecting the batteries of two different vehicles. If you make a mistake, you could possibly damage either one or both of the cars that are connected to them.

So, start with the red jumper cable, clipping it to the car’s positive terminal of the dead battery. Then, hook the other red jumper cable to the positive terminals of the donor battery. The black jumper cable will then be attached to the negative terminal of the donor battery.

Attach the other end of the red jumper cable to the exposed metal in the engine bay of the vehicle. Typically, you should attach it to one of the metal pieces found below the battery.

Turn Both Engines On Sequentially

The earlier you finish the last step of the process, the sooner you can start the donor car. Let it stay running for a few minutes. Now, get into the car you’re facing difficulty starting and turn the ignition switch on.

If it doesn’t function, give it a few minutes and attempt first grade again. In case, the vehicle still refuses to turn, there might be a different problem that has nothing to do with the battery.

Provided the dead car turns on, let the battery drive for a couple of minutes. It’s also recommended to capitalize on a short-term drive slowly and load the battery and alternator by going around.

During this, the battery should be sufficiently charged, and the engine should start automatically.


Prior to jump start your car, remember to keep the ignition switch and all other electronic accessories turned off. Taking care to set up the parking brake is an effective way to safeguard your security and ensure your operation goes smoothly. Besides, keep in mind:

  • Never come into contact with the terminals directly with your hands.
  • Don’t connect the red and black cables at the same time.
  • Make sure that positive and negative connectors are kept apart as getting red and black cables in touch is extremely dangerous.


Now, have a look at a set of frequently asked questions related to car enthusiasts not being able to start their cars due to a low battery. The questions appearing in this next category will assist you in pinpointing recurring topics that car buffs reflect.

Can a low battery prevent a car from starting?

The electrical system of your vehicle may be damaged by a low or defective battery, which can prevent it from being restarted. This may leave you stranded in the middle of an intersection.

Does starting a car with low battery damage the starter?

If a battery’s capacity has dropped too low, it will not damage a car’s starter immediately but constantly trying to start it will wear out the starter quickly.

When a battery drops too low to function the starter, some amps can still surge through the brushes and armature of the engine. Unfortunately, the armature will not rotate, so it may cause damage to the field coils of the starter or damage to the contact point of the brushes.

Why would a car battery be low?

The vehicle’s alternator might not have enough power or might be faulty in the event that a battery becomes flat. It can also be caused by things like the extra draw of sound systems, AC, alarms, auxiliary lights, fuses, and many others.

What should you do if the battery is low in the car?

Jump-starting is the best course of action when trying to deal with a dead battery. To jump-start your car, you just require a jump cable and a working battery. Be aware that you should not try to jump-start your car if the battery is broken and leaking acid.

Final Words

Whenever you face a situation where your car isn’t starting, you should check the battery first. If it’s confirmed that the battery is responsible, don’t panic.

We covered almost everything regarding how to start a car with a low battery in our guide. So, you just need to find out which one is suitable for you.

However, you should try to begin with the easiest method. Don’t forget to check whether corrosion is built up around the battery terminals. And of course, try to follow the cautions we have mentioned above.

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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