How do you start a car with a dead battery?

If my battery is dead, what's the best way to start my car? I live in upstate New York. When I went out to my car this morning, I thought it was just too cold to turn on. It’s warmer outside now, so I think the battery is the problem. How can I start a dead car battery to get myself to the auto parts store?

Eric Schad · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
“Bummer! Fortunately, there are a few things you can try to zap some life into your dead car battery: charging your battery with a car battery charger,
jumpstarting your car
with another vehicle, or doing a push start.
If you don’t have a charger or another vehicle nearby, you’ll have to do a push start. First things first, recruit a couple people to help you out. Then, follow these steps:
  • Insert the key in the ignition and turn it to the on position.
  • Ensure your parking brake is off and put your car in gear.
  • Ask your helpers to push your car.
  • Once it gets to about 5 mph, turn the key to start the engine.
Keep in mind that this is far more effective for manual cars than automatics. In fact, in many automatic vehicles, it’s altogether impossible. So you may need to call roadside assistance or get a ride to an auto parts store to pick up a new battery.
With a roadside assistance membership from
, you’ll never have to worry about being stranded again. Jerry partners with Urgently to provide roadside assistance, including jumpstarts, lockout service, key replacement, and towing for only $50 a year.”
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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