# Car jumper cable wire size

Today the car wouldn't start at a friend's house who had no jumper cables. He had some electrical wire though. We were just starting to jury rig something when his wife showed up with cables in her trunk.
If we did jury rig electrical wires, we were unsure of what size would work.
How can we determine what size electrical wire would work to jump a typical sedan in an emergency?
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There is no real way to do that and the quite minimal wire that some power bank starters is no real indication given that those are much shorter than normal jumper cables. And what works really depends on how fucked the battery in the car that wont start is too. Sometimes the problem is just that the voltage with the battery in the car which wont start sags too much to provide enough voltage to see the spark plugs firing well and that the reason it doesn’t start. So you don’t necessarily need a lot of current thru the jumper to the car used to start it, its not actually turning the starter motor over.
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Rod Speed wrote:

Yep, someone gave my wife a pair of "ridiculously cheap"-looking jumper cables. And they worked when she needed them. In fact, looking back they have worked for us twice. But it took about 10 minutes of "revving" before the would turn over.
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That’s different again, using the extra car to charge the battery in the car that wont start. You don’t need much in the way of cable between the cars to charge its battery that way.
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On 4/10/2019 3:03 AM, Bill wrote:

BTW, not to change topics, but twice recently I was able to start my big Ford V10 (RV) with a dead battery and a power bank (Li-ion). These things are great. I have one in each car.
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right, the answer is "it depends" as is the answer to so many interesting questions..
if the battery is good but just needs to be charged, a thin wire carrying a handful of Amps for a few minutes will recharge it enough to start the car. The actual starting current comes from the recharged battery, not via the cables.
but if the battery or connections are actually defective, and the current to actually start the car needs to come directly via the cables, heavy wire will be needed.
m
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On Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 9:16:02 AM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

He specifically said jumping a car to get it started. To me, that doesn't imply charging it, it's when you've left the lights on in a parking lot or have a battery that is going bad and use someone else's car to jump start it right away.

The problem there is that if you are really "jump starting" it, to me that means connecting it to another car's battery/alternator or similar capacity source. If you do that with a dead battery or mostly discharged battery like you can expect to find and a thin wire, it's going to melt the wire, because there is nothing to limit the current to just a few amps.

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Yep, you actually are that terminal a fuckwit.

But in that case it works fine to use the jumpers to charge that battery.

Just one of the possibilitys.

But in some situations the problem is that the car that wont start will turn the engine over fine but the voltage sags enough so that the ignition cant supply a good enough spark to get the engine to fire and all the car that is helping to start it needs to do is supply enough voltage to get the engine to actually fire and that doesn’t require much current.

Yes, but when you are using house wire, as the OP was planning to do, its not going to be thin enough to melt.

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On Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 1:52:47 PM UTC-4, Rod Speed wrote:

I'm throwing the bullshit flag on this. It has always taken more power to turn an engine over mechanically than to get a spark plug to fire.
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Thanks for that completely superfluous proof that you have always were that terminal a pig ignorant fuckwit.

Yes, but the difference is that with a flat or sulphated battery, the engine can still be cranked over, albeit very slowly, but the battery may well be producing a much lower than normal voltage that isnt enough to produce a decent spark to get the engine firing in the worst weather conditions in a car with an old well fucked distributor and plug leads and spark plugs.
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.. made me wonder how old the car would be - if it has a distributor - early 1990's ? or even older ?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributor
John T.
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On Wed, 10 Apr 2019 17:11:32 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.ca wrote:

Computerized electronic ignition is even fussier. Many will not provide a spark (oe fire the injectors) below 9 volts - and some will not produce a spark below about 600 rpm cranking speed (ones with inductive pickup instead of hall effect)
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wrote:

Yep . but how old for a distributor ? .. my old memory banks are asking .. My 1980 F100 had one ; I think my 1990 B2200 had one .. not sure. .. after that dunno. John T.
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On Thu, 11 Apr 2019 18:12:30 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.ca wrote:

Distributor?or points? By 1975 all American manufacturers had switched to electronic triggers from points. It took untill the late 90s for didtributorless ignition to virtually take over from distributor ignition. Not sure exactly which car was the last to loose the rotary distribution spark system
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On Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 8:44:14 PM UTC-4, Clare Snyder wrote:

The last one was Rod's kangaroo car.
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On Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 5:10:20 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.ca wrote:

Yes, indeed. Another example of the kangaroo's ass not knowing what he's talking about. He thinks cars still use distributors. Like you say, those were gone in cars decades ago.
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wrote:

Yes, that is true - but you can run the flag down the pole. If the battery "sags" from the cranking current there is not enough VOLTAGE left to make a good spark. That's why on Kettering ignition (typical points and condenser type of years gone by) there was often a ballast residtor that ewas shunted out of the circuit for starting. The coil was designed to run on 7 or 8 volts - about the voltage available from the battery when cranking a cold engine. Once running the resistor in the circuit limited the coil current to what it would be at 8 volts.
This was done because a 12 volt coil running on 8 volts coukld not fire the plugs reliably.
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On Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 9:51:40 PM UTC-4, Clare Snyder wrote:

Huh. I spoke too soon. I can see how cranking could drop the voltage enough to cause other problems, I hadn't thought of that.
I will fold that flag and save it for later. Shouldn't need to wait long, with this crowd.
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On Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 1:52:47 PM UTC-4, Rod Speed wrote:

More BS from the kangaroo's ass. The OP never said "house wire" He said "electrical wire", which comes in all sizes, not just those used to wire houses.
Are you as sure about jumper cables and cars as you were about:
How can one dope be wrong on so many things?
737 is a heavy (It's not even close)
The 737 MCAS doesn't rely on just one AOA sensor (It does)
The FAA would never approve that design (They did)
The data from the FDR on Lion Air has not been released (It was in Oct/Nov)
Boeing doesn't know what caused the Lion Air Crash
The 737 can't be trimmed mechanically (It can)
It's impossible to have a design where it's both electrical or mechanical trim (BS because all 737s and most other planes have both)
The Cessna 150 can't stall (It can, stall speeds are listed by Cessna)
Denies that it's common for FAA to put out directives soon after a crash, requiring inspection of what they believe caused the problem in all similar planes in service. (Of course it's common)
The AOA sensors were a known problem with the 737 Max and were already being replaced at the time of Lion Air crash (total lie)
The FAA didn't ground the 737 Max, Boeing did. (Trump announced the FAA grounding we have it on video)
Pilots are required by law to read the manual in an emergency, before taking action. (speaks for itself)
You have a 50" CRT TV (posted lame pic of a much smaller TV, no tape measu re, no model, nothing to verify it
Electric pole transformers can glow orange hot, it's not uncommon (Still waiting for the pics of some of those)
Former leaders have no say in the details of their state funeral (beyond st upid)
The tax rate on capital gains was 93% after WWII (It was more like ~45% max and in the 50s was reduced to just 25%)
No one was buying US manufactured goods just after WWII. (ie the US didn't have a huge advantage as a manufacturing economy with much of the rest of the world des troyed following WWII. Obviously more total lies and stupidity)
Investment isn't for capital gain.
Then you wont have any difficulty listing all those countrys buying US manufactured goods just after the war had ended. (implying that the US wasn't exporting manufactured goods after WWII, as much of the rest of the world was in rubble and rebuilding)
Digital Equipment Stock DEC, was never sold for a capital gain.
The 911 terrorists didn't need flight training, anyone can fly a 767, just use a PC simulator to learn.
you don’t even know that there even was a doctor involved with Obam a's birth certificate. (it's signed by Dr. David Sinclair)
No doctor signs the birth certificate, fuckwit.
What a total moron!
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On Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 2:30:00 AM UTC-4, Rod Speed wrote:

Sure there is moron, just apply Ohms Law and consult a wire gauge table. An even simpler way is to just look at some jumper cables and select a similar wire size. More problematic is how to connect that wire to the batteries, ie people typically don't have giant size alligator clamps or similar laying around.
and the quite minimal wire that some

He said jumper cables moron.
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