Will giving another vehicle multiple jump starts damage my battery?



My step-father’s car needs to have a jump start every cold morning; which ends up being a least 3 days a week. I am concerned that constantly using my car to jump start his will damage my battery.


It will wear your battery out more rapidly. Why doesn’t step-dad just get a new battery?


To me, the issue isn’t the battery. The issue is apathy, and the exploitation of your willingness to help.

Your stepfather needs either a new battery, a charger, or a booster so he can resolve this issue himself. You should put your foot down and make him deal with the problem once and for all.


Kind of wonder if step dad would give you or someone else a jump start every couple of days?

It doesn’t hurt your battery, but if you make a mistake sometime and cross the wires up it could knock out your alternator or PCM. Is step dad going to pay for those kinds of repairs?

If he can’t buy a new battery then you should buy a jump start pack and keep it charged and handy. Use that to fire up jump his car.

If you keep doing this service for him he won’t need to ever buy a new battery. The risk of damage to your vehicle goes up every time you do him this “favor”.


Is it too late for a holiday gift or too early for his birthday ? It would be gift the both of you could certainly appreciate.


If you are a little sleepy some morning and misconnect that jump, you might just do some damage. It is not helping your battery any, but it is not doing much damage either.

It is a good time to borrow pop’s car and get a new battery in there.


You guys are not directly answering the OP’s question,willey may take offense. You are not being asked to offer relationship advice.

Hey my comments are "tounge in cheek’ as I know we here on CarTalk routinely divert from the OP’s direct question and try to get to the root of the problem, as we should.


In all fairness, often the problem is mixed car and relationship. Just as I would with a co-worker, friend or family member, I would try and address both parts of the question. They can then make up their own mind on how they want to proceed.


You guys are not directly answering the OP’s question,willey may take offense. You are not being asked to offer relationship advice.

You want us to advise a “co-dependent” on how to maintain their perceived problem ?
I pass then ! :slight_smile:


Thanks for the advice so far. It is a relationship issue as well, but I think enough is enough. I’ll print out a booster for him to buy and let him know that the constant jump starts are draining my car’s battery and any possible mishaps will be more expense then him being a booster or getting a tune-up.


All kidding aside, I’ve seen the results of a battery explosion on a co worker’s face when everything was done correctly. In spite of the inconvenience and possible damage to your car, it’s a safety issue and battery jumps should be done “infrequently”. I feel that no one should be perpetually jumping a car if a new battery is the alternative. Please think of your safety as well.


So The Point Is… Don’t jump a car that has not been fixed. You do it once or twice as a friendly person might. Then at some point say NO. Just say NO.


Oldschool, I hope you learn to tell the difference between me and willey.


All is clear Whitey


I will say that the question of alternators going out very soon after giving a jump start has been the subject of several extremely long threads on this board (which you could probably find and peruse with the search function).

I myself am somewhat agnostic to the idea: I can’t really imagine what the mechanism is, but there seems to be a great deal of anecdotal evidence that it does indeed happen (including once on a truck of mine). On my Honda (where the alternator change procedure involves removing a driveshaft) I will charge someone else’s battery or give a jump with my engine off, but I won’t jump with the engine running.

Anyways, so my “relationship” .02 cents. What happens if the $200 alternator on your truck goes out because your step-dad was too cheap to buy a $60 battery? Even if the constant jump starts weren’t actually the cause, it sounds like a recipe for discord to me.


Ah, I get it now. You weren’t talking a bout me in the first place.

I’m good cop. He’s bad cop.