When your car experiences a bad alternator, then your car battery does not get recharged properly or at all. The alternator needs to be functional in order to successfully recharge the car battery and keep it charged. There are so many electrical components in vehicles now and they all demand power from the alternator. As a result, your alternator is likely going to go bad a lot sooner than you think.
When this happens, you may try to jumpstart the battery because you think it is the battery’s fault and not the alternator. Unless you’re trained to notice the signs of a bad alternator, you may not know which one of these components is truly at fault. In any event, you can still jumpstart your battery even if the alternator is what’s bad. Just be careful not to turn on any of the electronic accessories afterward.
The jumpstart will be enough to power your fuel injectors and engine control unit. These are the only vital components that need to be powered for your vehicle to move again. But it won’t move for very long, so don’t just drive back home and forget about it. After you jumpstart your vehicle, take it to the nearest auto mechanic and have them determine whether the alternator or battery is to blame. If it turns out to be a bad alternator, then have it replaced immediately.
Okay, so how do you jumpstart a car with a bad alternator? Well, if you already have experience at jumpstarting vehicles, then you should be able to grasp these steps quite well. There are just a few small differences in doing this when you’re dealing with a bad alternator. We’ll go over them now.
Below are the 5 steps for jumpstarting a car with a bad alternator.
1) Find Someone with a Good Car Battery – Anytime you need a jumpstart, you need to find someone who is willing to give you a jumpstart using their car battery. It is important that their car battery is fully charged and in great shape. Whenever you jumpstart with a bad alternator, your battery is going to draw a lot more power away from the other car battery. That is why this battery needs to have a good charge.
2) Let the Second Car Run for 5 Minutes – Don’t jumpstart just yet. After you’ve found a person who will let you do this with their battery, connect the jumper cables from your battery to theirs. Ask them to keep their vehicle running for between 3 and 5 minutes. During this time, your car should not be on. After the 3 to 5 minutes are up, try starting your vehicle.
3) Make Sure All Unnecessary Electronics are Shut Off – If your vehicle turns on, you should immediately shut off all unnecessary electronic accessories and devices if they’re not already shut off. This means making sure your DVD player, radio, GPS, and so on are turned off. Otherwise, they’ll draw too much power from the battery. In fact, you should try to avoid turning your windshield wipers and headlights too. If you must, wait until it is sunny and clear outside before you jumpstart.
4) Drive to the Nearest Auto Mechanic – If the jumpstart was successful and the engine is running, drive your vehicle straight to your local auto mechanic. You only have about 5 minutes to make it to the mechanic before your battery runs out of power again. And whatever you do, don’t go on the interstate or any fast-moving roads.
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5) Use a Jumper Pack (Optional) – It is a good idea to have a jumper pack in the trunk. This will be useful if you need to give your battery a second jumpstart while on the road. Sometimes 5 minutes is not enough time to make it to the mechanic, especially if you live far out of town. The jumper pack can give you that extra valuable time you need.