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Can a Car Jump Start a Truck?


Trucks are bigger than cars, so their batteries also vary in size. While you can easily use a car to jump start another car of similar size, can a car jump start a truck?

Yes, absolutely. A car can jump start a truck without causing any adverse effects to the car or the truck. There’s no inherent risk for the car jump starting the truck.

However, if the truck has some defects beyond the flat battery, such defects might be passed to the car through the jumping cables. In any case, this is a common risk in jump start which is not peculiar to trucks alone.

The only difference in jump starting a truck with a smaller car is that the smaller car will require more time to run and provide the truck with the power needed to boost its battery.

The Right Jump Starting Cables To Use For Trucks

You can use most jumper cables to jump start a truck. However, some brands have a reputation for having top quality in comparison to others.

Car Mechanic with Jumper Cables For Truck

If you purchase your truck new, it should come with suitable jumping cables. However, if it doesn’t, you will need a very strong and reliable jumper cable that can transmit the power current needed from the car to the truck. For trucks, it’s safer to use 1- or 2-gauge jumping cables.

Some of the top brands you can consider include Energizer, Voilamart, and Cartman.

Jump Starting A Truck With Two Batteries

Jump starting a vehicle with one battery is a pretty straightforward task. However, what happens if you have a truck with two batteries? Can you jump start a truck with two batteries?

Yes, you can jump start a truck with two batteries. In fact, most diesel trucks come with batteries because of their engine size.

There’s nothing wrong or dangerous about jump start a truck with two batteries. The batteries are usually positioned next to each other and all you need to do is jump start only one of the batteries.

It’s advisable that you jump start the battery that’s most accessible to the jump starting cables. If you have jump started a car before, the process is the same and it shouldn’t present you with any problems.

However, for better comprehension, this is how you jump start a truck with two batteries.

  • Park the truck and the other car in a good spot. You should also put the gear in park or neutral.
  • Switch off the electricity in both vehicles. Switch off your truck AC, radio, wiper, and other things that can consume energy. This is to ensure that the battery retains all the power it can get to start the engine.
  • Connect the red clamp on the positive terminal of the battery which is indicated with the “+” symbol.
  • After that, connect the second red clamp to the positive terminal of the battery of the other vehicle. 
  • Connect the black clamp to the negative terminal of your truck’s battery which is indicated with the “–” symbol.
  • Attach the second black clamp to the negative terminal of the other vehicle.
  • Start the engine of the vehicle with a good battery and let it run for a few minutes. This will charge up your truck’s battery.
  • After some minutes, start cranking up your truck’s engine. It might take a moment before it responds, especially if the battery is really flat.
  • Once your truck starts, you should leave the engine running while you remind the clamps on the order you attached them. Ensure the positive and negatives don’t interact when on to the terminal.
  • Finally, allow your truck to run for about thirty minutes so the alternator can recharge the battery.

What to Do if Your Truck Breaks Down On The Road

Your truck can suddenly break down even without displaying any faulty signs. It can be very frustrating if your truck parks up when you’re in transit and even a little far from help. In such a situation, you need to concern yourself about how to keep you and your truck safe.

truck drive worried for breaks down his truck on road

It’s not advisable that you leave your truck on the road and hitch a ride. Neither is there a guarantee that you might even find someone willing to give you a lift.

So what is the best thing to do in such a situation? Here are some tips you can follow if your truck breaks down in the middle of nowhere.

Stay On The Right Side of the Road

The first thing you should do is to move to the right side of the road. You should signal to the other drivers to notify oncoming vehicles of your movement. Failing to do this can lead to an accident.

After getting to the right side of the road, you can turn on your hazard light and probably pop the hood open to attract attention.

Contact Your Insurer

This is one of those times you will thank your stars for having insurance cover. Dealing with such a situation without professional assistance can be very challenging for some.

If you have an insurance cover on your truck, and the policy covers the risk you’re experiencing, you can contact your insurer to send help. Your insurer will have the necessary protocol to handle such situations and you will be able to get the assistance you need.

Assess Your Surroundings

If you find yourself with a broken truck in the middle of nowhere, you should access your surroundings. If you have a phone network, try looking up your location and how far you’re from the nearest auto service.

Take a few minutes to study the environment. This will help you know how safe it’s and if you should come out or remain in your car.

If the surroundings seem safe, pop up the hood of your truck and stand in front. This way, other drivers might notice you need help and someone might be touched to stop to help you.

Make Yourself Visible

If your truck breaks down at night, it’s very important that you make your truck visible to oncoming traffic. Firstly, place a hazard sign in front and behind your car.

If your battery still has the strength to power your hazard light, switch it on. You can also switch on the light inside the car to create enough visibility for other vehicles.

Get Help

Don’t just sit idly if you find yourself in such a situation. Instead, try to get help. If you have a cellular network, try contacting a mechanic or even call 911 if you have no other option.

If there’s no network, try coming out of your car and flagging down other drivers for help. There might be someone willing to help you.


Don’t Leave Your Truck Unless You Find Help

It’s not advisable that you leave your truck in the middle of nowhere especially if there are valuable things in the truck. Staying in the truck will also protect you from harsh weather, animals, and the danger of walking in an unknown environment.

Stay Calm And Hydrated

If your truck breaks down during the day and the sun is bearing down on you, this can easily lead to dehydration and exhaustion. Help might take hours to arrive and it isn’t healthy for you to stay in the sun for too long.

Trying to find a shed where you can stay safe and hydrated from the sun. You should try to find a shed from where you can watch your car.

Vehicles are sometimes unpredictable and you might never know when they will pack up. Although vehicle breakdown is an undesirable and frustrating experience, panicking won’t solve the problem.

If you find yourself in this type of situation, try to stay calm and follow the tips above. You will be able to keep yourself and your truck safe till help arrives.


Jump starting your truck with a car is like jump starting a car with another car. The only difference is that the car will have to run for a longer time to charge the truck’s battery than it would for a car of a similar size.

In jump starting your truck, you should ensure you follow the standard process in jump starting a vehicle. This will protect both vehicles involved.

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