Start Your Car With a Rope (Dead Battery Life Hack)

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Introduction: Start Your Car With a Rope (Dead Battery Life Hack)

About: Innovative Projects, Diy's, Life Hacks

In this Instructable, I demonstrate a way to start a manual transmission car with a dead battery.

We won't use jumper cables or push the car.

This trick is great for situations when you need to start the car, but there is nobody to give you a push or a jump start.

What's needed:

  • Manual transmission car
  • Jack
  • Rope

If you are Interested in the video version of this Instructable and the embedded video does not appear on your mobile device, here is an alternative link

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Step 1:

Jack up one of the front wheels (if front wheel drive car)

Step 2:

Pull the handbrake and put the car in 3rd gear.

Step 3:

Turn the key in the ignition to ACC or On position (depending of the car)

Step 4:

Wrap a rope around the wheel lifted and pull.

If you are (strong) lucky enough, the car should start.

PS.

It will work best on petrol cars.

I did try it on a diesel, but it was too hard to pull the wheel.


Updated:

☠ Warning ☠
As mentioned in the video, It will NOT work on any car. Trying to start the car this way can be Dangerous.

Use this Instructable at your own risk.

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    253 Discussions

    0
    br1ght
    br1ght

    2 years ago

    That is incredibly dangerous... Should the jack fail/car falls you are going to be under your vehicle as it stalls leaving you trapped...

    IF you are desperate enough to NEED to do this method lets do it as safely as possible so our paramedic friend isn't needing to attend to your crushed body.

    1st) use reverse as the gear ratio is better for starting and wind the rope accordingly --It's also much less likely you'll end up under the vehicle should the jack fail...

    2nd) chock the other tires so if it the jack fails the car will be apt to stall instead of heading into nearest ditch/car/fence or person that just came out of their house to give you a hand...

    0
    MikeB195
    MikeB195

    3 years ago

    Calling BS, he put car in neutral, that disengages the wheel from drive train.

    0
    AktivniP
    AktivniP

    3 years ago

    Hand brake blocks all four wheels. It is not possible to turn around. I am a European, we all have manual transmissions.

    0
    Dombomb123
    Dombomb123

    3 years ago

    My uncle has a manual corola with no battery, i might try it out on that.

    0
    alzie
    alzie

    3 years ago

    Yeah, i like it it.

    Beats pushing it by the drivers door,

    hopping in, and popping the clutch,

    0
    booung
    booung

    3 years ago

    Modified from my previous comment...

    Ever been alone out in the deep bush (no
    cell reception) come back to your car and found you left something on
    that drained your battery, this would be a lifesaver. Stop all your
    winning
    about safety ! Only things I would add is jack up both front tires in
    case of creep. Just don't put your hand through the eye of the strap or
    wrap the end around your hand for a quick release in case car starts
    quickly and the strap wraps back around the tire, also don't wear gloves
    when pulling strap. Simply shift into neutral and lower car.

    I
    always carry a 4 meter x 5 x 1 cm. tow/recovery strap, this would give
    excellent grip as well as a long pull for a cold engine.

    Great instructable , thank-you Very much man from Spain.

    0
    booung
    booung

    3 years ago

    Ever been alone out in the deep bush (no cell reception) come back to your car and found you left something on that drained your battery, this would be a lifesaver. Stop all your winning about safety !

    Great instructable , thank-you Very much man from Spain.

    0
    Lovetra
    Lovetra

    3 years ago

    WOW! There were a few times I could have used this "back in the day" when all we had were "Manual Transmissions". Of course then we also had fewer idiots who knew how to sit a jack so as not to get hurt, Patience to think through safety precautions, lots of common sense and experience of being in "lonesome situations" where we had to come up with our own "How toos" were the name of living. At eighty, I would not be afraid too try this. HOWEVER I would take into consideration location of my vehicle --- Mostly what sort of slope or slant (forward, backwards, side ways, and prepare), for that before pulling the rope having given careful thought to the possible movement of the car in ANY direction. Yes! With a driving wheel up it's motion is limited.

    0
    ClaudeA2
    ClaudeA2

    3 years ago

    Great video. BTW in the 60s you could buy a pulley to add to your VW Beetle motor so that you could start it by pulling on a rope, like a lawnmower or an outboard. Obviously works only with reasonably low compression motors.

    0
    nstvstv
    nstvstv

    Reply 3 years ago

    Additionally old Beetles did have limited slip differentials, so would drive off the jack and probably keep going even in third gear, if you used the rope method. Unless both rear wheels were raised securely off the ground. Same for the early VW buses, transporters and Karman Ghias.

    0
    mamod
    mamod

    Reply 3 years ago

    Older model Beetles DID NOT have limited slip differentials

    0
    nstvstv
    nstvstv

    Reply 3 years ago

    I'm pretty sure my 1957 model beetle did, along with the other transaxle ones.
    Also had a DAF 44 belt drive auto with lsd.

    0
    Chris W.J
    Chris W.J

    Reply 3 years ago

    You both are correct. I owned several Beetles and a Thing and one of the beetles had it but it was rare. You can still buy them on ebay

    vw.JPG
    0
    mamod
    mamod

    Reply 3 years ago

    None of the vehicles you mention had LSD A quick perusal of the vehicle manufacturers specifications will confirm that. In the case of the DAF the belt drive system comprised two vee shaped pulleys linked by a fixed length belt. The engine end pulley being split vertically with the outer half having centrifugal weights attached which depending on the engine RPM would cause that pulley to move sideways thus altering the diameter of the contact area of the belt at that end and thus creating varying rpm ratio.

    0
    nstvstv
    nstvstv

    Reply 3 years ago

    Quick perusal of om spec should have revealed one belt to each wheel, which with the CVT system has same effect as lsd, so the wheel with least resistance does spin most, but the load bearing wheel still moves. That's why the little 44 was so good in snow and mud, it kept going. The 2 engine end pulleys are linked to the engine by a prop shaft.
    The point was you wouldn't start one with this method.
    As for the old beetle, the loaded wheel did continue to creep, this was my experience from the time, apparently confirmed 50 years later. If it wasn't a full lsd it did a good imitation.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4q_6YjPQ3k

    0
    mamod
    mamod

    Reply 3 years ago

    What the early Beetles were fitted with was the ZF Type B-70 sliding pin and cam differential which was an automatic locking type differential, not a limited slip type differential.

    Automatic locking type differentials have certain similar operational characteristics to a LSD But are designed to perform a different function.

    T

    0
    nstvstv
    nstvstv

    Reply 3 years ago

    Didn't the loaded wheel move then? I was sure that's what caused mine to fall off the jack, but it was a few years ago now, about 1971 when I had the oldest Beetle, a 1958/9 model. Also seemed to keep both wheels turning in snow, sand, mud, etc.
    Either way, as I said with the Daf, you couldn't apply this method of starting, which was the point.

    0
    ButchD2
    ButchD2

    3 years ago

    I have done quite a bit of sport flying and believe me, this is far less dangerous than swinging the propeller to start an aeroplane's engine. And yet with reasonable care I have done that hundreds of times despite not having had specific training. Of course after a while you might get careless and an accident could happen.

    In the case of an emergency start of a vehicle, it would be sufficiently unusual for people to take extreme care as I did the first time I swung the propeller of an aircraft.

    0
    tjado11
    tjado11

    3 years ago

    Not a bad idea, just make sure to also look for two large stones to place in front and behind the back wheels!!! LOOOOOOL!!!

    1
    DaRealSnakebyte
    DaRealSnakebyte

    3 years ago

    LOLOLOL, for all the folks that say "This is so dangerous". Well, no kidding!?!?! Really. Obviously it's more dangerous than turning the key and starting your car, but I'd have to say, it's somewhat less dangerous than:

    1) Cutting off your leg with a swiss arm knife because a tree fell on you

    2) Walking through several feet of snow with your family to try and get to safety

    3) Jumping out of a building to escape a fire

    4) etc.

    Point is, this would be a last ditch effort (as mentioned in several other people's posts), and obviously there is a risk in doing this. That being said, if I were in a situation where pushing my vehicle were not an option (mud/snow/odd angle/etc.) I'd much rather do this than sit and wait for someone to come along. Yeah, if your in the city, prolly not a great idea, call a tow truck, but being a deep woods camper, I can't count he number of times I'd have been in deep trouble if my Jeep hadn't started. I take precautions for this, but not everyone does.

    Do we REALLY need to append every instructable with "If you're a really dumb person, and common sense eludes you, then don't do this". Sadly, I guess so, but to the writer of this instructable, great idea. I'm sure it will help someone at some point, and likewise, probably kill a person that couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag. We can chalk that up to Darwinian theory I guess. :)