How to Jump a Car Battery Without Cables

by Chris Deziel

Almost everyone has had the experience of jumping in the car and turning the key, only to find that the lights were left on and the battery is dead. If you have access to jumper cables, you can use them to draw power from the battery of another car. If you don't have cables or there are no other cars around, you may still be able to start your car, especially if you are near the top of an incline and there are one or two strong people to help you. You can even do this if the vehicle has an automatic transmission.

Manual Transmissions

Step 1

Shift into neutral and release the hand brake.

Step 2

Push the car to the top of an incline, if there is one nearby. If your car is small enough, you may be able to do this yourself, but it's easier if you have help.

Step 3

Point the car downhill and engage the parking brake. Sit in the car, turn the key on, push in the clutch and set the transmission to second gear.

Step 4

Release the hand brake and let the car start to roll. You may need a small push to get it started. When the car reaches 5 miles an hour, release the clutch and quickly push the gas pedal. As soon as the engine turns over, push in the clutch and press down on the brakes. Keep pushing the gas pedal to rev the engine until you are sure the engine will keep running.

Drive the car for a few miles to charge the battery.

Automatic Transmissions

Step 1

Put the car in neutral and roll it to the top of an incline. Set the hand brake.

Step 2

Put the transmission into second gear and release the hand brake. When the car reaches 5 miles an hour, try starting the car by turning the key. As soon as it starts, press the brake and give it gas.

Step 3

Leave the key in the "On" position and keep pressing the gas while the car is rolling if it doesn't start the first time.

Drive the car for a few miles to charge the battery once you get the engine running.


  • If you aren't near a hill, you can probably still get enough speed on a level surface if you have enough strong people to push the car. You can also get a push from another car.


  • Disengage the clutch as soon as the car starts with a manual transmission. If you leave the clutch engaged, the engine will stop again.
  • The car may start with a jerk, so hit the brake immediately to avoid losing control.

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