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Can You Jump Start a Car in the Rain?

jump-start-a-car-in-the-rain

Jump starting your car seems pretty much like a simple task, however, the rain can quickly complicate the situation. There’s a common fear that electricity and water don’t mix, hence many are skeptical about jump starting their car in the rain. So can you jump start a car in the rain?

The answer is yes, you can jump start your car in the rain. However, there are precautions you need to take to do it safely.

Rain can have an adverse effect on battery health, thereby making it likely to quickly run out. The car electric system has a very low voltage, hence you can jump start your car in the rain without harming yourself.

However, before jump starting your car in the rain, you should at least have some knowledge about it. This is to ensure that you don’t cause further damage to your car. Before jump starting a car in the rain, there are precautionary methods you should take to protect yourself and your car.

This article highlights all there’s about jump starting a car in the rain and shit how to safely go about it.

Factors That Can Cause A Car To Break Down In The Rain

Damo from wet weather affects the engine and electric system in older vehicles. When you drive in heavy rain, the water can get into the engine, thereby weakening the battery and causing the car to break down.

Additionally, driving through deep standing water can lead to engine failure. Although there are technological improvements to protect the car from water, cars aren’t waterproof and damage can happen when you drive through deep water.

car stopped in rain

How To Jump Start A Car In The Rain

There’s nothing dangerous about jump starting your car in the rain. However, there are precautionary measures you have to take to protect yourself. 

Below is the process you should follow in jump starting your car in the rain.

Turn Off All The Electrical Items

Firstly, ensure you turn off the car’s electricity. Your flat battery needs all the power it can get, so turn off everything including the lights, air conditioning, windshield wipers, and radio.

Bring Out The Cables

You will need car jumping cables to jump start your car. Clamps are a common tool you carry in your car just like the wheel spanner. If you don’t have jumper cables I. Your car, you can try to borrow from other motorists.

Ensure Personal Safety

Before jump starting your car in the rain, you should ensure the cars aren’t facing each other. Ensure the vehicles are well parked and the engines are off.

Connect The Clamps

If you’ve jump started a car before, you should have no trouble connecting the clamp. The red clamp represents positive while the black clamp represents negative.

car jump starting in rain

Firstly, connect the red clamp to the positive of your car then proceed to connect the other red clamp to the positive post of the other car. After connecting the red clamp connection, you should repeat the process for the black clamps.

While connecting the cable, ensure that you don’t cross-connect the cables. Accidentally connecting the positive clamp to the negative terminal, or the negative clamp to the positive terminal can cause a short circuit which is very dangerous. 

Start The Car

After connecting the clamps, you can start the car. The car should start at once, however, if the car doesn’t start, adjust the clamps. If your car still fails to start, you should ask the other car to run the engine.

If after doing all these and your car doesn’t start, it might be that the battery is incredibly low and needs time to charge. To save time, you can use the other car’s battery to directly start your car. Then put back your battery without turning off the engine.

Note that you shouldn’t turn off the engine until you have gotten to your destination or after giving the alternator enough time to recharge the battery. 

Keep The Engine Running

If you’re able to successfully jump start your car, you should keep the engine running. This is to ensure that the alternator gets enough time to recharge the battery.

Disconnect The Cables

You can disconnect the cables safely, you should disconnect them in the order you connected them.

First, disconnect the negative from your battery and then the negative in the other car. After that, disconnect the positive from your battery then disconnect it from the other car.

It would be good if you can use an umbrella while jump starting your car in the rain. The umbrella will keep you dry and ensure your hands aren’t slippery while working. This is why it’s advisable to have an umbrella in your car during the rainy season.

jump starting Your Car In A Thunderstorm

We have examined jump starting your car in a rainstorm, however, jump starting your car in a thunderstorm is a different story.

Thunderstorms have an element of lightning hence it’s perfectly reasonable to be concerned about jump starting your car in such a situation.

So the question is it safe to jump start your car in a thunderstorm? The answer is yes, however it isn’t advisable. Staying outdoors during a thunderstorm can be dangerous especially as you can be at risk of lightning.

It’s advisable that you stay indoors and wait out the thunderstorm instead of exposing yourself to risk. Thunderstorms usually last for around thirty minutes, so you can wait it out and jump start your car when the lightning stops.

jump starting A Wet Battery

Your car engine can get wet when it rains and this will also wet the battery. With the water on the battery, it’s reasonable if you’re concerned about introducing electricity to the battery.

Contrary to common fear, you can jump start a wet battery, however, you should clean off the water before connecting the jumping cables. Using an umbrella will reduce the wetness and make the job faster.

jump starting A With Wet Jump Starting Cables

The cables connect the dead battery and the battery to charge it. A wet cable can be a source of concern in jump starting your car, however, it’s safe to jump start your car with wet cables.

However, after using the cables ensure they dry before storing them. Jumper cables are mostly rubber coated so the wires are safe. However, the clamps aren’t covered and they can get rusty if stored wet. 

Corrosion on the clamps will affect their functionality and gradually damage the cables. So after using your jumper cable in the rain, properly dry and store them to preserve their quality.

What To Do When Your Car Breaks Down In the Rain

If your car breaks down in the rain and you’ve no idea what to do, you might be wondering what you should do next. Here are some tips you can use if your car parks up in the rain.

Slow Down

The road can be very slippery in the rain, so when you suspect a fault in your car, slowly hit the brakes. Slowly drive to a safe spot where you can park the car and call for help.

Remain Visible

If your car breaks down in the rain, the rain can make it hard for other drivers to see you. It’s important that you remain visible to these drivers to avoid accidents.

It’s advisable that you have a caution sign in your car which you should place in front of your car to alert oncoming traffic of your presence. Additionally, don’t try to get out of the car and instead remain in the car while you wait for help.

Resist The Urge To Restart the Engine

When driving in the rain, the water can get into your engine and cause some damages that can lead to a breakdown. In such a situation, you will likely be frustrated and you will be desperate to get home.

It’s important that you resist the urge to restart the engine to avoid causing further damage. Instead, wait by the roadside till help arrives.

Don’t Open The Hood

It can be difficult to sit idly and do nothing when your car breaks down in the rain. You can get the temptation to pop the hood and check out the engine.

hood of a car on a rainy day

However, you can cause more damage to the car because water can enter the engine and damage something. If you find yourself in this situation, try to exercise some patience and wait till help arrives.

Conclusion

Having a flat car battery in the rain can be a very frustrating experience. You can successfully jump start your car in the rain as long as you take the necessary precautions.

If you’re not sure of your ability to jump start a car or the weather is too harsh, you should wait till the weather improves or call for help.

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