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Batteries for hybrid cars just like the normal non-hybrid cars can be drained flat leaving you unable to start or even open the doors manually!
Because of the differences in electrical systems between hybrid and non-hybrid cars, there is a perceived danger to the hybrid’s electrical systems when jumping it or using it to jump another car.
Is it safe to jumpstart the hybrid from another car?
Is there a proper way to do it?
Can you even jump it?
So, in this post, I’ll share answers to these questions to help you jumpstart your hybrid from another car safely, make the right decision in case you’re asked to jump another car using your hybrid’s battery, and also discuss the risk involved in jumpstarting hybrid cars.
Can You Jumpstart a Hybrid Car?
Yes, you can jump-start a hybrid car. Hybrid cars also have 12V batteries albeit of smaller capacity than non-hybrid cars.
This battery is used to start the car and power the car’s electrical systems. Just like in the non-hybrid vehicles it can be drained flat from self-discharge or if the accessories are left on.
This battery can be jumpstarted like the normal non-hybrid car batteries however there are risks to the battery and the hybrid’s electrical systems if not done properly.
Where Is the Battery in the Hybrid Located?
Depending on the make and model of the hybrid, the battery may be located in the trunk. In some models, the battery can be found under the back seat.
To access the battery terminal for making the cable connections to jump the car, open the hybrid car door manually and release the hatch for the hood and open it safely.
You can access the starter battery terminals from under the hood. (Consult the owner’s manual for where the battery is located).
For this reason, care must be taken not to place any items that can spill and damage the battery. In the event that they spill through the seats, dry the spill quickly and contact a hybrid car technician.
What are the dangers faced when jumpstarting a hybrid?
The main danger you face when jumping a hybrid car is damage to the hybrid’s electrical system when:
- the polarity of the jumper cables is accidentally reversed. Make sure the battery cables are connected the right way.
- non-hybrid car draws excessive currents that the hybrid car’s battery can handle
Method #1. How to Jump a Hybrid Car
What you need:
- Car owner manual to locate the positive and negative terminals to connect the jumper cable clamps to.
Note: The positive terminal is usually located in under the fuse cover when you open the hood.
Next, refer to the manual to locate the recommended posts for the positive and negative terminals.
Connect the jumpstart box negative lead to the recommended point on the car’s chassis and the positive clamp to the positive point usually located in the fuse box when you open the hood and the fuse cover.
Lastly, start the car.
Method#2. How to Jump a Hybrid car using another Hybrid Car’s Battery
What you need
- A good set of jumper cables
- Hybrid car manual to determine where to connect the red jumper and black jumper battery clamps in both hybrid cars.
What to avoid
Accidentally crossing the red jumper and black jumper cables (reverse polarity)
CAUTION: Take your time when making the jumper cable connections. Identify the positive and negative terminals in each car and confirm that the positive red cable goes to the positive terminal and the black cable to the negative terminal in either car.
Crossing them can damage either car’s electrical system
How to Connect Jumper Cables to a Hybrid Car
Order of Connecting Jumper cables
- For the hybrid car with a good battery, first, connect the red (positive) clamp of the jumper cable to the positive terminal (Consult your owner manual where to find this).
- Connect the second red clamp of the jumper cable to the positive positive terminal of the hybrid car with a dead battery
- Next, connect the black clamp to the negative terminal of the hybrid car with a good battery.
- Finally, connect the second black clamp of the jumper cable to the negative terminal of the hybrid car with the dead battery.
Allow the dead battery to charge for about 5-10 minutes and then attempt to start the car with the dead battery.
Let the car engine of the car with the dead battery run for about minutes to charge some more and then disconnect the jumper cables in this order.
How to Disconnect Jumper Cables to a Hybrid Car
Order of Disconnecting Jumper cables
- First, disconnect the black clamp of the jumper cable from the negative terminal of the hybrid car with the dead battery.
- Next, disconnect the black clamp from the negative terminal of the hybrid car with the dead battery.
- Then disconnect the red clamp of the jumper cable from the positive battery terminal of the hybrid with the dead battery
- Lastly, disconnect the red (positive) clamp of the jumper cable from the positive battery of the good battery.
You may also be interested in: Can jumper cables go bad? (Causes + Fixes)
Can you Use a Hybrid Car’s Battery to Jump another Car?
You should only use the hybrid car to jump-start another hybrid car.
Do not use the hybrid car battery system to jumpstart a non-hybrid car as the part replacement costs are usually high should the hybrid car’s electrical system suffer damage.
Non-hybrid cars use starter motors to crank the engine and require high currents when starting which the smaller hybrid starter battery can struggle to handle.
These excessive current draws are harmful to the battery system and can damage the hybrid converter too.
Yes, you can jumpstart a hybrid car should the battery go flat. It is best that you use a jump starter box to jump your hybrid.
If you must use another car, it is safest that you use a hybrid as non-hybrid cars can draw high currents that damage the car’s electrical system.