Imagine you’re in a rush, jump into your car, turn the ignition key, and nothing happens. You suspect a dead battery, so you get a jumpstart from a helpful passerby, and your car comes back to life. Jump Started Car Drove 15 Minutes Then Won’t Start, so what should we do?
How Does Jumpstarting Work?
Jumpstarting a car is a method of starting a vehicle with a dead or discharged battery by using the electrical power from another functioning vehicle. The process involves connecting jumper cables between the two vehicles, with the positive terminals (+) connected to each other and the negative terminals (-) connected to a metal part of the engine block on both cars. The functioning vehicle then transfers its electrical energy to the dead battery, providing the necessary power to start the engine.
Reasons for Jump Started Car Drove 15 Minutes Then Won’t Start
1. The Engine Isn’t Running Long Enough
In some cases, the engine may not have run long enough after being jumpstarted to allow the battery to recharge fully. Jumpstarting provides a temporary boost of power, but if the engine is not driven for a sufficient amount of time, the battery may not have had enough opportunity to recharge. As a result, after 15 minutes of driving, the battery may still be low on power, causing the car to fail to start again.
2. The Battery is Old or Weak
If the car fails to start after 15 minutes of driving, it could indicate that the battery itself is old or weak. Even with a jumpstart, an aging battery may not be able to hold a charge effectively. After a short period of driving, the battery may have depleted its remaining power, leading to a failed start. In such cases, replacing the old or weak battery is necessary to ensure reliable vehicle performance.
3. Faulty Alternator
The alternator is responsible for charging the battery while the engine is running. If the alternator is not functioning correctly, it may not provide sufficient power to recharge the battery adequately. As a result, even after jumpstarting the car, the battery may not receive enough charge during the 15 minutes of driving, leading to a subsequent failure to start. A faulty alternator should be inspected and repaired or replaced to restore the proper charging of the battery.
4. Damaged Starter Motor
The starter motor is responsible for initiating the engine’s combustion process. If the starter motor is damaged or worn out, it may not be able to consistently engage and start the engine, even after a successful jumpstart. The initial jumpstart may have provided enough power to temporarily overcome the starter motor’s issues, but after driving for 15 minutes, the motor may fail to restart the engine. Replacing the damaged starter motor is necessary to resolve this issue.
How to Avoid Needing to Jumpstart Your Car
Don’t Crank for Too Long
One way to avoid needing to jumpstart your car is to avoid excessive cranking of the engine when starting. Cranking for an extended period puts a strain on the battery and can drain its power. Instead, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for starting your car, which typically involve short bursts of cranking followed by brief breaks. If the engine doesn’t start after a few attempts, it’s best to seek professional assistance rather than continuing to crank the engine.
Maintain Your Car
Regular car maintenance plays a vital role in preventing situations that require jumpstarting. Make sure to keep up with routine maintenance tasks such as regular battery inspections and replacements when necessary. Additionally, maintain proper fluid levels, ensure the charging system is in good condition, and keep the battery terminals clean and free of corrosion. Proper maintenance helps ensure that all components of the starting system are functioning optimally, reducing the likelihood of a dead battery.
Don’t Keep Trying to Jumpstart
If your car doesn’t start after a jumpstart attempt, it’s essential not to keep trying to jumpstart it repeatedly. Constant attempts without addressing the underlying issue may indicate a more significant problem with the battery, alternator, or starter motor. Instead, seek professional assistance to diagnose and fix the problem accurately. Continuing to jumpstart the car without resolving the root cause can potentially cause further damage to the electrical system.
Why does my car work after I jump it but won’t start again?
When you jumpstart your car, the electrical energy from the functioning vehicle’s battery is used to provide the initial power needed to start your engine. However, if your car won’t start again after being jumped, it could indicate that your car’s own battery is not holding a charge. Once the engine is running, the alternator in your vehicle should take over the power supply, charging the battery as you drive. If your battery is old or faulty, it may not hold the charge provided by the alternator, causing the car to stall or fail to start again.
Why won’t my car stay running after a jump?
If your car stalls or won’t stay running after being successfully jumpstarted, it could indicate an issue with the charging system or electrical components. One possibility is that the alternator, which is responsible for charging the battery and powering the electrical systems while the engine is running, is not functioning properly. If the alternator is faulty, the battery may not receive sufficient charge to sustain the electrical needs of the car, resulting in a loss of power and engine shutdown.
Why won’t my car start if I jumped it wrong?
Jumpstarting a car incorrectly can cause damage to the vehicle’s electrical system. If the jumper cables are connected incorrectly, it can lead to a surge of electrical current that can damage sensitive components like fuses, relays, or even the car’s onboard computer. In such cases, the car may not start or exhibit abnormal behavior. It is essential to follow the correct jumper cable connection procedure and ensure that the positive and negative terminals are connected properly to avoid any electrical damage.
Why is my battery dead again after the jump-start?
If your battery dies again shortly after a jump-start, it is likely an indication that the battery itself is faulty or at the end of its lifespan. Jump-starting provides a temporary charge to the battery, allowing you to start the engine. However, if the battery is unable to hold a charge or is unable to be properly recharged by the alternator, it will quickly lose power and become discharged again. In this case, it is advisable to have the battery tested and replaced if necessary.
Jumpstarting a car can be a temporary solution to get you back on the road, but it may not address the underlying issues causing the battery to die or the car to stall. It is important to have your car’s battery, charging system, and electrical components thoroughly inspected by a professional if you experience repeated starting problems. By diagnosing and addressing the root cause, you can ensure reliable vehicle performance and avoid being stranded unexpectedly.