Do These Simple Steps If Jumping Your Car Doesn’t Work

Have you ever found yourself stranded with a dead car battery, only to discover that jump-starting it doesn’t seem to work? Knowing how to jump-start a car is an essential skill for any driver, but sometimes, even the most experienced individuals can encounter issues with this process. 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some common troubleshooting steps to take when jump-starting your car fails, as well as what you can do to get back on the road as quickly as possible. So, buckle up, and let’s dive into the world of automotive problem-solving!

What to Do When Jumping a Car Doesn’t Work

Here’s a step-by-step guide on what you can do if jump-starting your car doesn’t work;

1. Check the Jump-Starting Process

Before diving into more complex solutions, it’s crucial to ensure that you’ve followed the correct jump-starting procedure. Here are some key points to verify during the process:

A. Verify That the Jumper Cables are Properly Connected

Incorrectly connected jumper cables can not only prevent your car from starting but also cause damage to your vehicle’s electrical system

To avoid issues, make sure the cables are connected in the following order:

  1. Connect one red clamp to the positive (+) terminal of the dead battery.
  2. Attach the other red clamp to the positive (+) terminal of the booster car’s battery.
  3. Connect one black clamp to the negative (-) terminal of the booster car’s battery.
  4. Attach the other black clamp to an unpainted metal surface on the dead car’s engine block, away from the battery.

B. Ensure the Booster Car’s Engine is Running

The booster car’s engine should be running while attempting to jump-start the dead vehicle. This ensures that there’s sufficient power being transferred from the booster car’s battery to the dead one. Additionally, revving the booster car’s engine slightly can help increase the power output.

C. Double-check the Battery Terminals for Corrosion or Lose Connections

A poor connection between the jumper cables and the battery terminals can prevent the required power transfer. Inspect the terminals for any signs of corrosion, dirt, or debris. 

If necessary, clean the terminals with a wire brush and tighten any loose connections before attempting the jump-start again.

After checking these steps, try jump-starting the car once more. If it still doesn’t work, proceed to the next section to explore other potential issues.

2. Inspect the Car Battery

If the jump-starting process has been done correctly and your car still isn’t starting, it’s time to take a closer look at the battery itself. 

There could be issues with the battery that prevent it from holding a charge or providing enough power to start the engine.

A. Look for Visible Damage or Leaks

Inspect the battery for any signs of physical damage, such as cracks, bulging, or leaks. If you notice any of these issues, it’s likely that the battery is no longer functional and needs to be replaced.

B. Check the Battery Age and Consider Replacing it if Necessary

Car batteries typically have a lifespan of 3-5 years. If your battery is nearing the end of its life or has already surpassed it, the chances of it holding a charge are significantly reduced. In this case, it’s best to replace the battery with a new one.

C. Test the Battery Voltage Using a Multimeter

A healthy, fully-charged car battery should have a voltage of around 12.6 volts. To test your battery’s voltage, use a multimeter set to DC voltage and connect the red probe to the positive (+) terminal and the black probe to the negative (-) terminal. 

If the reading is below 12 volts, the battery may not have enough power to start your engine and may need charging or replacement.

If your battery appears to be in good condition, but your car still isn’t starting, move on to the next section to explore other possible causes.

3. Examine the Alternator

The alternator is responsible for charging your car’s battery while the engine is running. If the alternator is malfunctioning, it may not be providing enough power to keep the battery charged, resulting in a dead battery even after attempting a jump-start. Here’s how to inspect the alternator:

A. Look for Signs of a Failing Alternator

Some common symptoms of a failing alternator include dimming headlights, a battery warning light on the dashboard, or a whining noise coming from the engine compartment. 

If you notice any of these signs, it’s an indication that your alternator may not be working properly.

B. Check the Alternator Belt for Wear and Proper Tension

The alternator is driven by a belt connected to the engine. Inspect the belt for any signs of wear, such as cracks or fraying. Additionally, make sure the belt is properly tensioned. 

A loose belt can prevent the alternator from functioning correctly and may require adjustment or replacement.

C. Test the Alternator Output Using a Multimeter

To test the alternator’s output, start the car (you may need to jump-start it again) and let the engine idle. 

Set the multimeter to DC voltage and connect the red probe to the battery’s positive (+) terminal and the black probe to the negative (-) terminal. 

The reading should be between 13.5 and 14.5 volts. If the voltage is outside of this range, the alternator may be faulty and require repair or replacement.

If your alternator appears to be functioning correctly, but your car still won’t start after a jump, continue to the next section to investigate other potential issues.

If you’re interested in learning more about the effects of jump-starting your car on a daily basis, you can check out this informative blog post about jump-starting your car every day. It explores the potential consequences and provides some helpful tips to maintain your car’s battery health.

4. Investigate the Starter Motor

The starter motor plays a vital role in getting your engine up and running. When it malfunctions, your car may struggle to start or not start at all, even with a successful jump-start. 

To examine the starter motor, follow these steps while keeping the brand voice in mind:

A. Listen for Clicking Sounds

When you turn the key or push the ignition button, pay close attention to any unusual noises. If you hear a single loud click or a series of rapid clicks, it could indicate a problem with the starter motor. This friendly advice might save you from a headache down the road.

B. Check the Starter Motor Connections for Corrosion or Looseness

Pop the hood and locate the starter motor (usually found near the transmission). Inspect the connections for any signs of corrosion or looseness. 

Our Expert Tip: A clean, tight connection is essential for the starter motor to function correctly. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, and make sure everything is in order.

C. Test the Starter Motor

Sometimes, a gentle tap can work wonders! If the starter motor is stuck, carefully tapping it with a hammer or wrench can help free it up. 

But remember, use caution and don’t go full Thor on your vehicle – a gentle tap should do the trick.

If your starter motor seems to be in good shape, but your car still refuses to start, don’t lose hope! Continue to the next section to explore other possible culprits.

And remember, we’re here to guide you through every twist and turn of this automotive adventure.

5. Evaluate the Ignition System

The ignition system is your car’s secret weapon for transforming battery power into a roaring engine. If something goes awry within this system, your car may not start despite a successful jump-start. 

Let’s take a closer look at the key components of the ignition system and troubleshoot any potential issues, keeping the brand voice in mind:

A. Check for a Blown Fuse in the Ignition System

Fuses play a vital role in protecting your car’s electrical components. Locate your vehicle’s fuse box (usually found under the dashboard or hood) and inspect the ignition-related fuses for any signs of damage. 

Our Pro Tip: Keep some spare fuses handy in case you need to replace a blown one.

B. Inspect the Ignition Switch for Any Signs of Wear or Damage

The ignition switch is the gateway between your car key and a running engine. Over time, it can wear out or become damaged, causing starting issues. 

If you notice any difficulties turning the key or if the switch feels loose, it might be time for a repair or replacement.

C. Test the Spark Plugs and Ignition Coils for Proper Functioning

Spark plugs and ignition coils are the dynamic duo responsible for creating the spark needed to ignite the fuel-air mixture in your engine. 

To ensure they’re working correctly, remove the spark plugs and check for any signs of wear, such as cracks or deposits. Additionally, examine the ignition coils for signs of damage or wear. If anything seems amiss, it’s time for a replacement.

There are more possibilities to explore. Continue to the next section, and remember, we’re here to help guide you through this automotive journey with a friendly and informative approach.

6. Consider Other Potential Issues

Even after examining the most common culprits, you might still find yourself in a pickle with a car that refuses to start. 

But don’t throw in the towel just yet! Here are a few other potential issues to consider as you continue your troubleshooting quest:

A. Fuel Delivery Problems

A lack of fuel reaching the engine can prevent it from starting. Inspect the fuel pump, fuel filter, and fuel injectors for any signs of malfunction or blockage. Sometimes, even a seemingly minor issue can leave you stranded.

B. Security or Immobilizer System Issues

Modern cars often come equipped with advanced security features that can prevent the engine from starting if they detect a problem. 

Consult your owner’s manual for information on resetting or bypassing the security system if you suspect this is the cause of your troubles.

C. Damaged or Worn-out Timing Belt

The timing belt synchronizes your engine’s critical components, and a damaged or worn-out belt can lead to starting difficulties. 

If you haven’t replaced the timing belt according to your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule, now might be the time.

7. Seek Professional Help

If you’ve exhausted all possible DIY solutions and your trusty steed still won’t start, it’s time to call in the cavalry. Reach out to a professional mechanic or a knowledgeable friend who can lend a hand and provide expert guidance. After all, sometimes it takes a village to get a car back on the road.

Car Jump Starting Alternatives

If you find yourself with a dead battery and jump-starting or calling a professional isn’t an option, don’t worry! There are other alternatives to get your car back on the road. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Portable Jump Starter: These handy gadgets pack enough power to jump-start your car without needing another vehicle. They’re compact, easy to use, and a great addition to your emergency kit.
  2. Push Start (Manual Transmission Only): If your car has a manual transmission, you can try push-starting it. Ask some friends (or kind strangers) to help push your car while you release the clutch in second gear. With a bit of luck, the engine will come to life!
  3. Battery Charger: A battery charger can slowly recharge your dead battery, given you have access to an electrical outlet. It might take a few hours, but it’ll save you the hassle of finding a booster car or buying a new battery.
  4. Battery Swapping: If you have access to a compatible, charged battery, you can temporarily swap it with your dead one. This will allow you to start your car and drive to a nearby mechanic or auto parts store for further assistance.
  5. Roadside Assistance: Many insurance policies and vehicle manufacturers offer roadside assistance services as part of their coverage. Give them a call, and they’ll send a professional to help jump-start your car or tow it to a nearby service station.


Car troubles can be frustrating, but with patience, determination, and a little help from your friends at, you’ll be back behind the wheel in no time. 

Remember to approach each step with a friendly, informative attitude, and don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance when needed. 

We’re confident that, with our guidance, you’ll soon be back on the road, ready to tackle your next automotive adventure!

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