How long should I leave my car running after a jump?

How long should your car run after you jumpstart it? I was about to leave a friend’s house when my car wouldn’t start. Fortunately, my friend was able to jump my car with his, but neither of us knows how long we should keep it running.

Answer
After a jump, you should leave your car running for at least 30 minutes.
Optimally, drive it around as opposed to letting it idle, so the battery can fully re-charge. Otherwise, you might need to jumpstart it again in the near future.
If it does die on you again, keep the following in mind before attempting another jumpstart:
  • Read your owner’s manual. It will have safety tips, as well as specific instructions for optimal results.
  • Don’t try to jumpstart a frozen battery. This is extremely dangerous—as in, it could explode!
  • Ensure that the battery isn’t dry by checking individual cells for fluid levels. If any seem low, add water. Refer to your owner’s manual for further instructions.
  • Clean off any corrosion on the battery with a wire brush. This looks like a white or greenish powder. It is toxic—so don’t touch it with your bare hands. Be sure to cover your nose and mouth while doing so, as well, to avoid inhaling the toxins.
Your friend was around to give you a helping hand this time, but that might not always be the case. Never worry about being stranded again with Jerry’s roadside assistance membership. Jerry provides industry-leading roadside assistance, including jumpstarts, lockout service, key replacement, and towing, for under $5 a month.
Hana Sabah
Answered on Oct 20, 2021
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