Can a Jump Starter Damage a Car?
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Can Jump Starting a Car Cause Damage?

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Can a Jump Starter Damage a Car in San Diego, CA

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At one time, jump starting a car was a common practice if you needed to give your battery an added jolt to get going. However, modern engines are designed differently than what was common even a decade ago. These days, it’s best not to jump start your vehicle. The experts from Altra Insurance Services, a premier insurance agency providing car insurance Chula Vista drivers can rely on, explain why below.

Jump Starting Can Lead to Costly Damage

Jump starting a modern car yourself has the potential to leave you with costly damage to your vehicle. Possibilities include a blown engine control unit, or ECU, from the surge created by the jump start. Additional problems that can result from attempts to jump start a modern car with a much more complex engine include:

• Compromised traction control systems
• Power steering damage
• Start and stop systems damage
• Power steering damage

Have Jump Starting Done Professionally (if Possible)

We realize it’s not always practical or possible to do this. However, if you’re able to contact a local service center or garage, wait until qualified technicians arrive to assess the situation. Doing so allows jump starting to be done safely if there are no other quick fixes to get you back on the road or to a place where your car can be properly repaired.

Avoid Damage while Jumpstarting

Given the availability of roadside assistance services today, there’s typically no real reason to jump start a vehicle. Still, there are times when you may have no other option available.

If this is the case, avoid attaching the positive terminal to the negative terminal and vice versa. Crossed wires could severely damage wires in your car or even result in a vehicle fire that severely damages your entire car. You could also create shorts in wires or have other vehicle damage that becomes evident when you start your vehicle again.

Also, positive terminals should be attached first for the sake of safety. The reason this is the standard advice with jump starting today is because it reduces the risk of accidentally touching the negative cable to the positive one. If this happens, wires in your car could become damaged.

Understand Possible Insurance-Related Problems

Technically, you don’t have to report the fact that you jump started your vehicle to your insurance company. However, if attempts at jump starting result in damage to your vehicle, you may have to file a claim to pay for the costs associated with repairing your vehicle. Even if you cover the damage yourself, it could affect the overall value of your car to some extent. Any of these insurance-related issues could contribute to higher premiums and other things most vehicle owners like to avoid. 

With modern cars, it’s best to avoid DIY attempts that involve things like jump starting. By opting for professional service, you’ll be achieving the following goals:

• Keeping any warranties related to your car valid
• Avoiding potentially costly damage
• Reducing the risk of having higher insurance rates 

It’s never fun to come out to a car with a dead battery, and neither is getting into a car accident without having adequate car insurance. If you’re looking for affordable, reliable auto insurance, look to the professionals at Altra Insurance Services. We can cover many of your insurance needs, including motorcycle, homeowners, renters, and business insurance. San Diego residents should call one of our friendly agents at (619) 404-6311 for a free quote.

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