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Jumping a Very Dead Battery

The story: My boyfriend moved to South Africa for the past year and left his 1997ish Vauxhall Corsa behind. In the past year, we’ve moved and need to move the car from the old apartment to the new one. He’s comeing back in a month and I want to have it moved before he returns.

My question: is it worth it to try and jump the car to drive it to the new apartment, or is the battery so dead that I should just hire a tow truck?

Many thanks!

Do you know for sure the battery is dead? If so, can’t you just buy a new one and install or have a friend install? It’s cheaper than towing it.

If the car hasn’t been started for a year you may want to have a mechanic check it out first. All the oil has drained down from the engine into the oil pan. At the very least the oil should be changed before starting it.

Hook up a battery charger to it for 24 hours.

Which may mean taking the battery out and bringing it home to charge it.

Definitely the battery should be charged before you attempt to do anything else.
If you simply “jump start” the engine and then try to let the car’s alternator recharge the battery, you will wind up killing that expensive alternator.

You can probably get away with jumping it if you connect the battery cables and then let it charge with the donor vehicle running for at least 15-30 mins. before trying to start it. Make sure all power hungry accessories on both cars are off–eg. lights, fan, etc. Only try it once and if the car still won’t crank, you will need to hook the battery to a proper battery charger, possibly replace it, or do the tow truck option.

You should not try to use your cars alternator as a replacement for a battery charger, this idea should govern your decision.

Remove the dead battery. Take it to a repair shop and attempt to have it charged and tested. Re-install it or replace it, depending on it’s condition. Be VERY careful to maintain proper polarity when connecting the battery cables. Mark them clearly.

Just jump-starting it SOUNDS quick and easy, but as others have pointed out, it the battery is shot, it can damage your alternator and if the jumping process is not done correctly, even more damage can be done…