How Many Amps Do I Need To Jump Start My Car?

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When you jump-start a car, you need to provide enough current to get the battery going. How much current does it take?

Jump-starting a car has always been the top option for most motorists whenever their car batteries let them down. This practice has even become more prevalent thanks to the introduction of jump starters to the automobile industry. You can buy and charge your jump starter to jump-start your car. The jump starter battery lasts too long even to jump-start a vehicle normally from 20 to 30 times. But the big question remains to be:

How many amps do I need to jump-start my car?

A good number of motorists know how to use jump starters. But, not all of them are familiar with the required amps to jump-start a vehicle. As you may know, different cars have varying engine sizes. As a result, the amps that might be used to jump-start a saloon car might not be the same required to jump-start an SUV. You should always check the owner’s manual before jumping a car battery. If you don’t know how many amps your vehicle requires, you can use a multimeter to measure the voltage at both terminals.

In the article below, you will find a complete guide on the total Amps needed to start different types of vehicles. This information lets you choose the right jump starter for your car. If you are looking to find the best lithium-ion jump starters, you should choose the correct amperage and sizes of jump starters as needed for your car.

The Average Amps Required To Jump Start A Car

Jumpt-starting a Car

Before we dive into the specifics, you should know that the required amps to start most car engines is 400 amps to 600 amps. This is mainly for small and standard-size vehicles. But in the case of SUVs, Trucks, and cars with bigger engines, you will need about 1000 amps. The bigger the engine, the more amps you will need to jump-start the vehicle.

Note that there are some jump starters that will automatically detect the amps required, and you thus won’t have to do the calculations. Investing in such a jumper is a great idea. However, knowing the amps needed to jump-start a car is equally important.

Jump-starting Diesel Engines?

We have talked so much about the size and weight of engines. But what if it runs on a diesel engine? How many amps do you need to jump-start such an engine?

One thing you need to know is that diesel engines need more amps to start. If you compare a 2.0L diesel engine to a 2.0L petrol engine, the latter will require lesser amps to start. Also, diesel engines are most common in bigger vehicles such as tractors and industrial machines. Therefore, higher amps are needed.

Therefore, smaller diesel engines will require at least 400 amps. However, to jump-start a bigger diesel engine, you will need more than 1000 amps.

Amps Needed to Jump-start a Car during Summer and Winter

Changes in weather also affect the required amps needed to jump-start a car. For instance, when it is hot, a 2.0L petrol engine will draw from 60 to 200 amps. This is when both the engine and oil are warm. However, when it’s colder, the amps required might double. Meaning that you will need more.

And since diesel engines require more powerful engine starters, you can expect to use over 500 amps to jump-start a small diesel engine.

Are 300 Amps Enough to Jump-Start a Car?

When calculating the required amps to start a car, you should always consider the engine size and weight. If you have got a 400 amps jumper starter, then there are some cars that you might be able to jump-start. They include the likes of economical and city cars. For such cars that feature a 1.0-liter engine, 300 amps are enough juice to kickstart it. However, if the car in question has a bigger engine, then this may be impossible.

Substituting Your Car Battery with a Smaller One?

Another alternative to using jump starters could always substitute a car battery with another one. However, this isn’t still recommended because different batteries have varying factory specifications, especially when it comes to amps.

If your car requires 740 amps and you substitute it with 680 amps, it will jump-start your car. In the long run, it may affect the engine performance. It will wear and tear the starter engine, and making such repairs can be very costly.

Alternatively, replacing your dead car battery with a bigger one might not affect performance but will require changes in the engine compartment so that it can fit there.

How Many Amps Does a Car Use While Running?

Now that you know the average amps needed to jump-start a car, why leave it there? You might probably be wondering how many amps a car uses while running. Well, the answer might not be that simple. This is because when you jump-start the car, the engine pulls power from the battery, and the alternator is automatically switched on.

Cars differ completely when they are running, even if they belong to the same model. The number of devices you are running also contributes to the overall amps used by a car when it’s running. You might be listening to the radio, or your AC could be turned on. Using indicators and other devices in your car also contribute to the amps used. Therefore, there is no definite answer to this question.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that the amps needed to jump-start a car depend on the size, weight, and fuel used by an engine. Smaller engines will need about 400 amps to 600 amps to jump-start the car, whereas bigger ones will require 1000 amps. If you do not have a jump starter around and wish to jump-start your car using another motorist’s battery, you should also confirm the amps of their batteries. If you are driving a small vehicle such as a saloon car, you can ask a motorist with a similar vehicle or a bigger one to kick start your vehicle.

Bonus Tip: You can always use a car battery tender to maintain a charging level, hence increasing the car battery life.