This ultimately prompts the motorist to resort to jumper cables, with the hopes that they would ultimately find another vehicle in order to help jumpstart the vehicle.
But what happens when you don’t have any jumper cables and there isn’t another vehicle on sight? kenyagist.com spoke to a mechanic and car expert Boniface Otiende who pointed out a few hacks a motorist can use without the need for jumper cables.
Figure out the problem
Otiende advised that the first option is to identify the problem, whether it’s a weak battery, a faulty starter motor, or a bad ignition switch.
He pointed out that the motorist can run particular tests to figure out the key issue. In the case of a bad battery, It’s not going to be able to fully power the vehicle’s electrical components such as headlights.
“Turn the ignition on, check the headlights to see if it’s dim or not. Also, check other electrical components and see if they function properly,” Otiende stated.
Faulty Starter Motor
The starter is the component that draws the most amount of electric current in your vehicle. Due to this, thick wires are attached to it from the battery.
The starter is usually located on the driver’s side of the motor just below the left bank of cylinders.
“If the problem is the starter motor, you can remove the motor and check to see if the brushes make contact with the commutator, most of the time the brushes are worn out,” Otiende pointed out.
Solution: Use a screwdriver to bypass the starter relay. It can be used to join the brushes with the commutator.
Bad ignition switch
The ignition switch is an electrical component that goes at the back of your ignition lock – the part where a motorist turns the key in order to start the vehicle.
It routes power from the battery to the different control modules on the car.
According to Otiende, a problem with the ignition switch is usually identified when a driver turns on the ignition lock and the lights don’t appear on the dashboard. It means that power is not being sent to your solenoid terminal to the signal post of your starter.
Solution: Go to the junction box and locate the starter relay. (At the back of the junction box, a diagram contains the different components hence it’s easy to locate the starter relay).
Find a four or five pin relay which is labelled 30 and 87 and connect them to the corresponding terminals on the junction box.
However, Otiende advised that for this case, it’s best to take the car to a mechanic as a driver with inadequate knowledge of engine and transmission parts may damage their vehicle.
Otiende detailed how motorists using a manual transmission can start their car if it has a weak battery.
Solution: turn the ignition on, push down on the clutch and while holding the clutch down, put the transmission in second gear, have someone push the car for you from behind, and pull down the parking brake. Once the car builds momentum, release the clutch quickly and the car ultimately gets going.
In the case of an automatic transmission, he advises drivers to seek expertise from a mechanic.