Does A Jump-Starter Charge A Car Battery?

  • By: Jeremy Jacobs
  • Date: November 21, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.
Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Well now that you have got that brand new battery jump-starter; what can it do?  You may have a flashlight, USB charger, air compressor, power outlets, and the list goes on. But can your battery jump-starter charge your battery?

Sadly, the short answer is ‘No’; your brand new battery-jump starter will not charge your car battery.  The jump-starter is designed to give your battery a quick boost of power allowing your car’s engine to start. Then it’s job is done.

A battery charger is specifically built to charge your battery over many hours.  Perhaps though you don’t have a battery charger and your car battery is dead and all you have is a jump starter.

There could be several questions going through your head about your jump-starter and your dead battery. Such as:

  • Can a completely dead battery be recharged?
  • How long after jumping a car do I need to let it run?
  • How Long Do You Need to Drive A Car To Recharge Dead Battery?

So, let’s take a quick look at some of these questions.

Not interested in using jumper cables? Check out my article on the best battery booster packs for cars.

Learn how to bring any battery back to life again

How Long After Jumping A Car Do I Need to Let it Run?

Whether you are using the correct size jumper cables or using a battery jump-starter, you can’t just take off down the road as if nothing happened.  You need to give your car battery some time to recharge.

A minimum amount of time you want to let your car run after giving it a jump is 5 – 10 minutes. Perhaps even revving the engine up a little bit (2000-2500 RPMs).

A tow truck driver from Triple-A used this as his rule of thumb.  He would jump-start a car and allow it to run for five minutes.  

Then he would turn the car off and let it rest for ten seconds.  After that, he would restart the car, if the car started everything was good.  If the car didn’t start, he knew there was a problem with the battery and would direct the customer to the repair shop.

Do You Need a Battery Charger?

If you are not looking for a jump-starter but a battery charger check these out at Amazon.

Why Do I Need to Let My Car Run After Jump-Starting It?

The battery is in a discharged state, which means that it has no power left in it.  That is why it is not starting your car.  

Your car battery basically has one job and that is to start your car.  After that, the alternator becomes the electrical powerhouse of the car. 

One of the jobs of the alternator is to recharge the car battery.  So as the car is running, not only is it powering your headlights, radio, windows, etc.; it is also charging your battery.

To give your battery time to recharge, let the engine run for a few minutes after a jump. Revving the engine, as discussed before, allows the alternator to produce more electricity. Thereby, causing your battery to charge faster.

How Long Do You Need to Drive A Car To Recharge A Dead Battery?

Driving the car around is basically doing the same thing as letting the car run.  It is giving your alternator time to recharge your battery.

In my personal experience, I usually drive around for five or ten minutes before I turn the car off and try to start it again under its own power.

For lack of a better term, this is a little more ‘natural’ way to recharge the battery.  Instead of revving the engine in an idle position, you are putting a natural load on the engine, allowing the alternator to do its job the way it was intended.

If you are going to drive your car around to recharge the battery, make sure you get to someplace safe before you decide to turn the car off again.  If the battery is not holding a charge, you don’t want to be in danger.

I like to return to the spot where I jumped the car initially.  This way if I needed a tow or someone to come to get me I was in someplace familiar.  

Can a Completely Dead Battery Be Re-Charged?

I would like to preface the answer to this question by first saying that all batteries have a shelf life.  Depending on the quality of the battery you buy, that shelf life can be three to five years.

After that time, no amount of charging is going to help a battery.  The battery simply can’t hold a charge any longer, and it’s time to replace the battery or recondition it.

With that being said, a battery that has been drained by leaving the headlights or interior lights on can be recharged by having it jump-started.

Just because it won’t turn your car on doesn’t mean it is completely dead, unless of course, it is at the end of its life. There may be another option:

If reconditioning a battery isn’t your thing and your battery is not holding a charge. It may be time to replace your car battery. Check out the article Best Car Batteries for Winter over here; it doesn’t need to be winter for these batteries to work.

Final Thoughts…

So, will a jump starter charge your car battery, the short answer again is ‘no’.  The jump-starter is there to provide a quick burst of power.

However, a jump-starter will give your car the ability to charge the battery itself by means of the alternator. Then after a jumpstart, you should be good to go.

Sometimes you may be in a situation where you need to have your battery properly charged.  This is not done in an emergency situation, but with some forethought.

With a little battery pack or a quality set of jumper cables, you should be all set if you find yourself with a dead battery.

Safe Travels…