How To Bump/Push Start A Manual Car: A Step-By-Step Guide

Bump Start The Car

It is a bad thing all of a sudden your car stopped on the highway due to a faulty starter motor or a dead battery.

You tried many times to start the car but your car refuses to crank. By looking around, you do not have another car to jump-start the car. Fortunately, you can still start the car by yourself with the bump/push start method with a dead battery or bad starter motor.

In this powerful “Do It Yourself” (DIY) guide, you will learn to bump or push-start a manual transmission car with a dead battery or bad starter motor by yourself.

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How To Bump Start A Car

Bump-Starting The Car
Bump-Starting The Car

Jump-starting and bump-starting are two different things. They are usually mixed together. But in reality, jump-starting is a method of starting the car in which the car’s dead battery is supplemented with electric power from an external power source such as another car’s battery via jump leads.

While a Bump Start also, known as Push Start, Clutch Start, Roll Start, or Crash Start is a method of starting the car using the momentum (motion) of the car rather than using the electric starter motor or external electric power source. It is preferred, with manual transmission.

The bump-start motion can be achieved by pushing or pulling the car on a clear road, especially downhill or in a slightly steep area. In bump-starting, the car is made into a running state meanwhile, the transmission is engaged with the engine, to be spun to start the car. Push starting is more useful when you do not have another car or jump leads, and both your car battery and starter motor lose their job.

In that case, you can bump-start the car by pushing or pulling.

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How To Push Start A Manual Car

Man Pushing The Car
Man Pushing The Car

In this section, we will discuss how to bump/push start a manual car dead battery without another car by yourself.

Step-By-Step Procedure Of Bump/Push Start Manual Car

Here are the three quick and easy steps to Push/bump start a manual car dead battery or with a bad starter motor.

Step 1. Get Prepared

  • Set into the driver’s seat
  • Turn the ignition switch to the “ON Position” with the parking brake engaged.
  • Press the clutch in and shift the gear into 2nd gear.
  • Press the brake pedal until you become ready.

The second gear is best for push-starting a car. If you could push the car faster, you can put the transmission into the third gear.

Step 2. Getting Into A Running State

Push-Starting The Car
Push-Starting The Car

Now have someone push the car to some speed so that the car takes momentum to get rolling from a dead stop while releasing the foot from the brake pedal.

This is a Tip:
The more motion the car builds up during a push-start, the easy for the transmission to start the engine.

This is a Tip:
If no one is to help you push to start the car, you can also allow the car by yourself to roll without having someone bump/push-start. You can push the car in the reverse direction using your back muscles on a slightly inclined area like a moderately steep hill where the car can freely roll on the downhill slope.

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Step 3. Release The Clutch

Clutch Pedal
Clutch Pedal

Once the car picks up a little motion at almost 5-7 miles per hour (mph), release the clutch suddenly, you may feel little jerks as the engine engages with the transmission, which indicates that the transmission took over the engine and start the car.

As the car has started, immediately press the brake and clutch, and let the car start for 15 minutes to charge the battery.

This is a Danger
Remember, while performing a push/bump start method on a downhill road, having the electrical power steering, power brake (ABS), or other electrical power consumers, it becomes hard to steer or brake due to the low power present in the battery. Be Careful.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Push Start A Car With A Bad Starter

Pulling The Car
Pushing a car does the same job as the starter motor does. The function of the starter motor is to spin the engine until it can make enough full cycles to run the engine on its own power.
Similarly, by push starting a car, I mean by moving the car and releasing the clutch while the transmission is in 2nd gear, the moving transmission forces the engine to spin and make enough full cycles to stand the engine on its own power.
The answer is, Yes, you can push start a car with a bad starter.

Can You Start A Manual Car In First Gear

Yes, you can push-start a manual car in first gear. A manual car can be pushed-start while engaged in any gear. You can push start a manual car by putting the transmission into the 1st gear. But due to the low gear ratio and high torque, the first gear will spin the engine slower. So, it is a little difficult for the transmission to turn the engine in 1st gear.
The second gear is best for push-starting a manual car. If you could push the car faster, you can put the transmission into the third gear.

Can You Push Start A Manual Car In Reverse

A car can be pushed-start in two ways.
Pushing the car forward and in the reverse direction. But push-starting a manual car in the reverse direction is a little challenging. It is because the reverse gear speed ratio is even lower than the first gear speed ratio.


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