Why does a car need a battery to start?

In most cars if you turn on the ignition key, and if something goes wrong, car battery will give you about 30 seconds of chance to run an engine. After 30 seconds of trying to start the engine, battery will go useless, without any more chance to start the car engine. So, our common sense will ask the question, why does a car need a battery to start? Why they didn’t build something else to last a lot longer? Well, there are a bigger batteries, but those are uses in electric cars such as Tesla cars. But this is the question about normal cars with an internal combustion engines, so we need answer for those kind of batteries.

Back in the old days, cars didn’t have batteries. They were simply start car engines with a crank by hand power. So people got tired of starting cars that way, and they seat down and figured out car batteries and starter motor. Since then this is the preferred way of starting an car engine. Simple answer is that batteries are needed in order to start the car engine because starter motor requires electric power to turn on car engine, that power comes from battery. So, hand power crank is replaced with car battery and starter motor.

Can you bump start a car without a battery?

In theory you can, and that is something that you must try it first in order to see it for yourself, because every car this days is different in one way or another.

You must pay close attention to is your car with manual or automatic transmission. Because only with the manual transmission you will be able to bump start your vehicle.

Nowadays everything in cars is electronically regulated, so the battery is a must. You might wondered can a car run without a battery once started?

Some cars might work without battery just by bump start, and they can work out of the alternator itself.

All in all this is not recommended, because running car engine out of the alternator, and without car battery is very dangerous.

This way your car will be exposed to a large amount of electric power from the alternator and may damage car electronics entirely.

And battery serve as a load for that kind of electrical shocks, and also battery smooth out the power output to the car electronic system.

Without one your car will be at a great risk. As you can see car battery isn’t just use for starting the car engine, it’s also continue working and deliver the smooth electric power to the car.

So be careful if you must drive car without a battery, and do it just if you don’t have any other alternative, and drive just a small route if you can.

Can you push start with a dead battery?

So, your battery is completely dead and you wonder how you can start your vehicle just by pushing it?

The great news is only to the owners of the cars with the manual transmission, because if you have car with the automatic transmission and dead battery you can forget about push starting your vehicle, because it’s not possible.

Depending of your car weight you might need a couple of people to help you pushing your car. Or better way is to find a hill and roll your car downwards to help you keep going.

So the answer is yes, you can push start with a dead battery.

One advice is if you have a dead car battery into your car, do not try to disconnect it from the system or remove completely if you plan to push start your car, battery serves as a load dump for an alternator high power current, it will prevent your car electronic system from damage it.

Can a car run with a dead battery?

With a dead car battery you can’t even start an engine, so you can’t run for sure.

But, if you jump start or push start your car, you should be able to run your car no question.

Now, it depends on that when is your car manufactured, in what year. Newer vehicles are depended on sophisticated electronics and need to run smoothly.

And the only power source that can provide that smooth electric power is a car battery. There is a great chance that you don’t own latest vehicles, and you  ask yourself does car run off alternator or battery?

So, you might run your car out of the car alternator, once you jump start or push start your vehicle.

Be aware that if you must drive your car with a dead battery not to disconnect or remove your battery, because your battery serves as a load dump for electrical shocks that alternator will provide.

In case you remove your battery or disconnect terminals from battery while engine is running, your car electronics will be in great danger from getting damaged out of the electric shocks.

Can a bad battery stop a running car?

As long as an alternator is good and charging your battery, no matter how bad your battery is, that should not stop your car from running.

Bare in mind that if you have a bad battery you should replace it, because bad batteries can cause car alternator to fail. Alternator that charging a bad battery is in a great stress and can easily fail in that situation.

But, you should be able to drive for awhile with a bad battery just to get to the safe place.

So, if you were been in situation where your car stops for no reason there can be for couple of things. One of which is, for example:

Your battery is not bad, but your alternator failed. So, alternator stops charging battery and car drawn all electric power from a battery and simply stop itself from running.

Because there are no other electric power sources in car except from the alternator and battery, engine shuts itself off.

What happens if your battery dies while driving?

There are a couple of scenarios what will happens if your battery dies while driving. First if you are close to the destination point you will probably get there safely, without any problem.

Second scenario is if you drive long enough and your battery dies while driving, alternator will try to compensate for lack of a healthy battery and will work harder and put a lot of stress on themself.

Alternator will most likely fail completely, and will resulting a car that you can’t start or run until problem is fixed.

The most likely reason why your battery die is because there is some kind of problem with the alternator not charging the battery.

Also it can be a loose serpentine belt, which don’t have tight connection with the alternator.

And of course if your battery dies while you driving a car, the car engine will shuts off and car will stop.

What can cause a car to lose power while driving?

If you have been in a situation where when you accelerate, your car starts losing its power instead of gaining power, this can be as simple as not enough fuel in the cars tank.

But, it can also be a numbers of other things that you can’t think of.  It can be mechanical problems, failed sensors, and failed actuators.

Also if you have petrol or a diesel car engine it can be a different kind of problems, but both share a lots of similar problems that can occur.

In both cases you need to know where to look for a problem.

This is a list of the most common problems that cause a car to lose power while driving:

  • Worn Spark Plugs
  • Faulty Fuel Pump
  • Faulty Fuel Injectors
  • Low Level of Compression
  • Exhaust Pipe is Clogged
  • Faulty Air Filter
  • Faulty Ignition Coil
  • Camshaft Position Sensor Malfunction
  • MAF Sensor Malfunction (Petrol Engine)

How long does it take to jump a dead car battery?

To jump start a dead car battery usually takes anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on a dead battery circumstances.

Proper way to do so is to bring two cars nose to nose at a close distance, for about 18 inches apart, well away from traffic.

Make sure that both car engines are turned off, if it’s a manual transmission put gear in neutral and pull park brakes firmly.

If it’s a automatic transmission, put gear in parked and pull park breaks firmly. Usually placed under the hood you can look for the battery.

Sometimes battery is placed into the trunk. Find positive terminal and connect jumper cables colored in red from one battery positive terminal to the other battery positive terminal.

Do the same for the negative terminals too with the jumper cables colored in black. Make sure that engine bay is clear and nothing is in there.

Start the car engine with a good battery and allow it to run for about 5-10 minutes. Rev the engine slightly by pressing on the gas pedal lightly.

Then after that time start the engine of the car with a dead battery. It may take more than one try.

Never try for more than 3 times. And there you go, now you know how to jumpstart the dead car battery, and proper way to do so.