Is it bad to keep jump starting your car battery?

toyota
start
camry
batteries

#1

I have a 98 Toyota Camry and recently had to jump the battery for no apparent reason. Then, a week later I left my lights on and had to jump the battery again. Will repeat jumps on the battery bring it to an early demise? I don’t plan on doing it again, just wondering if I already caused damage or will if it happens again. Thanks!


#2

It’s impossible to know how much damage you have already caused, but repeatedly running down a battery will definitely bring it to an early demise. It will eventually also damage your alternator, which was not designed to run your car and fully recharge a dead battery at the same time.

If your battery is more than 4 years old, it would be a good time to replace it before you end up stranded somewhere, especially if you live where the winter is cold.


#3

Running a battery down time and time again will damage it eventually. Jump starting a dead battery continuously does not do it any good either because it’s not fully charged. The other problem is that the odds of reversing polarity increase with each jump. That can damage your vehicle electronics including your alternator. Keeping a battery fully charged is the secret to long battery life. Others may disagree but that’s been my experience.


#4

It’s not the jump start that hurts the battery. What’s bad for the battery is letting it get run down so far it needs a jump. Especially if this happens time after time.

If you have to jump the battery “for no apparent reason” I suggest you have the charging system tested. Maybe it’s not keeping the battery fully charged, and that IS bad for the battery.


#5

Thanks for all the quick feedback! Guess it wouldn’t hurt to have it tested:)


#6

Car batteries aren’t designed for deep-cycling, which is what’s happening here. Doing that does reduce the life of the battery.

The alternator can also burn out if it’s asked to recharge a deeply discharged battery too often.

A charging system test doesn’t cost much, so it would be a good idea to have that done.


#7

Guess it wouldn’t hurt to have it tested

Yea, and many auto part stores will test the battery and the charging system for free.


#8

I always recommend more professional charging system testing than the quality you get for free " at many auto parts stores". I think Joseph and myself have just learned to live with our difference here.

One thing we see many times with “chain auto parts stores” and their warranty service is repeated replacement of the same component. We get posts from people that are on their 5th starter or alternator, a common parameter of these posts is that the OP’s are dealing with a auto parts store that doen’t put a halt to this parts changing like a real mechanic would.