Start your car with rope if the battery is dead or starter motor broken

Flat car battery or starter motor broken? Don’t panic! Start your car with rope and get yourself out of a tricky situation if your car battery is dead and you’re on your own. It will only work on cars with manual transmission (and will probably work better in petrol engines which are easier to turnover from cold) but only requires some rope and a jack.

How to start your car with rope

As you can see from the video below, you need to carefully carry out the following procedure at your own risk to  car with rope – don’t blame me if you cut your arm off:

  1. Jack the car up on one side connected to the drive (front wheel drive cars are usually easier to start)
  2. Put the car into 1st gear
  3. Make sure that the handbrake is fully engaged
  4. Switch on the ignition to the start position
  5. Take a long length of rope and wrap it around the wheel, as per the video
  6. Pull the rope as hard as you can. All being well, the engine will start
  7. One the engine is running, take the car out of gear
  8. Allow the wheel to stop rotating (or put your foot on the brake to stop it)
  9. Lower the car to the ground
  10. Drive away!

How does it work?

By putting the car into gear and then spinning one of the wheels connected to the gearbox, you are manually taking over the place of the starter motor. By turning the wheel quickly, you turn the driveshaft which is connected to the gearbox, which is in turn connected to the engine. As you turn the wheel, that energy is transferred to the engine and cranks it over; just like a starter motor.

As long as you put enough energy into spinning the wheel (which is where the rope helps) and as long as your car is otherwise mechanically sound, the engine should start.

It’s just like the old fashioned method of starting a car using a cranking handle.


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