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Jump starting a VW van

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Jump starting a VW van

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ElephantBoy57ElephantBoy57 Forumite
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My works VW Crafter van has a dead battery, the last time I tried to start it with my car I failed.
The battery is under the seat, there is a positive terminal near the engine, I seem to recall putting the negative cable on the body.
If I do it that same way, but leave the car running for a while, will it charge the battery from those connections?
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  • mattyprice4004mattyprice4004 Forumite
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    Yes - it should do, however the last time I failed to jump start anything was because I had weedy, useless jump leads. 
    If the cable is only as thick as the cable on your household kettle I wouldn't bother trying - invest in a good set, and you'll start it no bother. 
    The thickness of the cable on my 'commercial' leads (found in Aldi, of all places!) is about 1.5cm, and they're fairly weighty too. I've jump started a Sprinter with them a few times with no bother. 
  • ElephantBoy57ElephantBoy57 Forumite
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    The thickness of the cable on my 'commercial' leads (found in Aldi, of all places!) is about 1.5cm, and they're fairly weighty too. I've jump started a Sprinter with them a few times with no bother. 
    They are quality cables, but around 40 years old.

  • neilmclneilmcl Forumite
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    You need to let your car run for a bit before trying to start the van, especially if the battery is completely dead.
  • edited 1 June at 8:40PM
    Norman_CastleNorman_Castle Forumite
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    edited 1 June at 8:40PM
    If you cannot put the negative onto the engine block I'd use the battery terminals. If the vans diesel and the car is petrol you might struggle as the alternator output is lower. If it keeps failing to start and the vans battery is completely dead I'd borrow or buy a charger.
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  • oh_reallyoh_really Forumite
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    If its got previous and is being used, I'd be looking at the work fitting a new battery after confirming charging circuit performance.
  • Paula_SmithPaula_Smith Forumite
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    Have you checked the connectivity between each end of each jump lead. The last time we failed to jump start a car was because one of the leads had a bad connection at one end - we remade the connection and all was well again.
  • mcpitmanmcpitman Forumite
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    The thickness of the cable on my 'commercial' leads (found in Aldi, of all places!) is about 1.5cm, and they're fairly weighty too. I've jump started a Sprinter with them a few times with no bother. 
    They are quality cables, but around 40 years old.

    @ 40 years old, they may have broken down or deteriorated
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  • Mutton_GeoffMutton_Geoff Forumite
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    If you cannot put the negative onto the engine block I'd use the battery terminals. If the vans diesel and the car is petrol you might struggle as the alternator output is lower. If it keeps failing to start and the vans battery is completely dead I'd borrow or buy a charger.
    The issue is the capacity of the battery, not the alternator output of the car since you won't be attempting to start the van with the alternator of the car, but it's battery. Start the car, connect the jump leads and leave the car on fast idle for 20 mins (or better moneysaving, buy a charger). Then attempt to start the van after you've delivered some charge to the battery.
    Look at the battery capacity of the van (diesel?) and the car (petrol?). That is the issue.

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  • AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    Certainly alternator output is irrelevant - but the issue isn't even battery capacity. A cheap eBay LiIon jumpbox has a capacity of maybe 10Ah, yet will start damn near anything 12v.

    It's voltage, pure and simple. The reason crappy jump leads don't work is simply voltage drop over high resistance connections. And voltage drop worsens as you try to pull more current down high-resistance connections.
  • ElephantBoy57ElephantBoy57 Forumite
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    I have tried and failed. I left my car running probably over 30 minutes, it got power to the ignition, but not enough to turn over the engine.
    It ended up just nothing, which is what happened last time, months ago. I think the computer must have sensed an issue, not a clue really. Something came up on the dashboard.
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