Can a Hybrid Jump-Start Another Car?


If you are new to electric cars and hybrids it will interest you to know that they both come with two batteries, but only the hybrid car by design has more than one way of powering the engine. The main battery in a hybrid and electric car which most of us never get to see, unless you work at Tesla, it is a huge pack of a lithium-ion battery under the car seats, while the secondary battery is a 12-volt battery use to power the car AC and small motors in the car.

The big question here is can a hybrid car jump start another car (internal combustion engine)? The answer to this question is: not only is it theoretically and practically possible for a hybrid car to jump-start another car “internal combustion engine”, but your internal combustion engine car can also jump-start your hybrid.

Unlike electric cars, hybrid cars are a cross between a fossil-fueled car and electric cars, something like a cyborg human. All hybrids can either run on fuel or both fuel and battery, except for a plug-in hybrid which has quite a big battery and can run on battery power alone.

That is the advantage the hybrid car has over the electric car when you have run out of battery juice you can rely on your internal combustion engine, and since there are more gas stations than charging stations, you will be safe wherever you are.

But generally, the internal combustion engine has its downside. One common problem every owner of the gas-powered car has encountered is a dead battery. A dead battery either in the middle of winter or your battery is weak, dead batteries are generally experienced across all gas car models.

The secondary battery in your hybrid car can also run out of juice as does the battery in your regular internal combustion engine. Nevertheless, jump-starting an internal combustion engine from a hybrid is quite different from jump-starting from an internal combustion engine car.

Let’s dig in to find out how this is done.

What is meant by a jump start?

A jump start is also termed as a boost, is a way of starting your vehicle when the battery is dead or below the threshold needed to start the vehicle, you can jump-start a car with a hybrid car just as you will jump-start other vehicles but with a little difference.

The main aim of jump-starting a car is to get external electricity supply from the battery of one car (hybrid car) to the battery of another car. There are several ways of jump-starting a car which you can find here, but for this post, we will deal with the jumper cable method.

Can you jumpstart a car with a hybrid car?

A hybrid car can be used to jump-start a car, just like the way we jump-start any regular internal combustion engine. A few things you ought to know is that jump-starting any type of car is dangerous, especially if it is a hybrid because you have a higher risk of being electrocuted with a high voltage if you do not do it right.

Furthermore, you should also know that your hybrid car has two batteries, the main battery is not used to jump-start another car This large battery is a 650-volt battery, depending on the car model. The second battery is what you will use to jump-start a car, and it is also not easy to find inside a hybrid car.

Before you jump start your hybrid car, you need to get some things ready, which will be mentioned below

Tools needed to jump-start a car with a hybrid

If you own a car there are some important kits you should always have at the back of your vehicle such as

  • Tire sealant
  • Jack
  • Wheel spanner
  • Jumper cable
  • Owner’s manual
  • Fire extinguisher

One item that is very important on the list, is your jumper cable, to jump-start your car with a hybrid.  You also need gloves, a car manual and a source of electricity (hybrid car), the hybrid car is the source of electricity you are going to use.

Now that you have all the tools you need, how are you going to jump-start a car with a hybrid?

Signs to check before you jump start your car with a hybrid

It is very disappointing when you get into your car in the morning turn the ignition, and the engine will not start. Before you get all pumped up and try to jump-start the car, it is best to double-check if your car battery has discharged too much before you cause any more damage to your car.

Here are a few likely signs that will tell you, that there is something wrong with your car battery so that you can quickly get a replacement.

  • The engine does not crank, no lights on the dashboard

This is a sign that you left something ON in your car, maybe the headlights, and it totally drained your battery, a quick jump start will help in this scenario.

  • Car engine makes a sound but doesn’t start

This usually happens, when your battery is going bad, and it is not charging to the full capacity required to turn the ignition and start the engine; a jump start is required here as well

  • Check engine light

If your car check engine light appears on your dashboard, then you do not need to waste your time doing anything, that is a sign that there is something wrong with your battery.

Steps on how to jump-start a car with a hybrid

Once you have all of your tools on hand and you are sure that the battery just needs a boost, a jump-start will get your car running.

  • Step one

The first thing to do after you are sure your car battery needs a jump start is to wear a pair of hand gloves and take out the jumper cables.

  • Step two

Park both cars opposite to each other, so that both hoods are facing each other, be sure to set the emergency brake and turn off the engine of all cars.

  • Step three

The hardest part is locating the 12-volt battery of the hybrid because hybrid cars are somehow different from the old fashion internal combustion engine. Most hybrids have it protected with a plastic enclosure which may be hard to notice when you check the trunk of your car.

If you are having a problem locating this auxiliary battery in your hybrid, try going through your hybrid car manual. This will save you time.

  • Step four

Once you have found the location of your smaller hybrid car battery, look at the terminal signs on the battery heads of the car with a dead battery, and connect negative to negative and positive to positive. Then do the same to your hybrid car.

  • Step five

Now start your hybrid car and wait for a few minutes, five minutes tops, then start the car that has the dead battery.

  • Step six

Once the car with a low battery has started running, you can now turn off the hybrid car and remove the jumper cables, while doing all this make sure that the ends of the jumper cables do not touch each other.

Can you jumpstart a car with an electric car?

The best answer to this question is, it is not safe to do so due to the fact that most electric carmakers make it clear in their manual to not use the electric car to jump-start another vehicle, because of safety issues.

However, it is perfectly safe to jump-start an electric car with another car. When the 12-volt battery inside your electric car is dead and you need to get the car running, you can use an internal combustion engine to jump-start an electric car, however, I will not recommend using a hybrid because of the complexities involved.

Can you jumpstart a hybrid with a car?

There could be a need to jump-start a car which is hybrid. This time around we are talking about the old-fashioned gas-powered car to jump-start a hybrid. Although the main battery in a hybrid is a 650v, which is used to run the powered elements of the car, the user interface runs on a simple 12-volt battery that is similar to the type that is used in a regular gas-powered car.

So if the 12-volt battery inside the hybrid is faulty or has discharged because it has been left running with the lights on or whatnot, your 12-volt battery will run down, and you will need to jump-start it to start the hybrid car because a poorly discharged battery will lack the power to energize the ignition and to get the car running.

It has been widely reported on forums that users of hybrids experience weak battery that won’t start the car unless they jump start it, so practically speaking, it is possible to jump-start your hybrid car.

Abdullahi Dattijo

Abdullahi is a member of the Nigerian society of engineers he holds a degree in electrical engineering and a strong passion for electric cars, he writes quality SEO articles on topics bordering along electric vehicles, he also ghostwrites, ghost editing and ghost scripting for youtube channel, his educational background has broadened his understanding of electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles and internal combustion engines’ you can confirm his writing skills through upwork. Linkedin Profile

Recent Content