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How to light a car

Как правильно прикурить автомобиль

Lighting is a slangy name for the method of starting a car engine with a discharged ("sat down") battery from a donor car. Practiced, as a rule, in the cold season.

The period of winter cold is a kind of test for motorists and their cars. One of the difficulties that many will face is a discharged battery in the morning. And here it is always necessary to come up with a mind to solve the problem and properly lit a car. And the most important thing to remember is what to do, and what can not be done categorically.

The easiest way to start the engine in this case is to connect another battery. Motorists call this method a "light". Need wires for "lighting", having a sufficiently large cross-section, a car with a similarly fallen into "trouble" engine volume and a "live" battery.

Principle of operation

Starter Cables

When "smoking" the batteries of two cars are connected in parallel ("plus" to "plus", "minus" to "minus") with the help of special starter cables - thick wires. Such cables have a sufficiently large current carrying section and are equipped with terminals for connection to batteries.

It is not recommended to start the engine while the car of the donor car is running. This is due to the fact that when starting the starter consumes a very high current. The starter battery is designed to give off a current of great strength, the car generator is not designed for a large current of hundreds of amperes. The generator and battery work in parallel (in the buffer), but the voltage given by the generator is slightly larger than that of the car battery (the generator outputs voltage through the rectifier and the voltage regulator is within 13.7-14 volts, the car battery is 12-12.5 volts When a car is lit, a large current flows through the generator of the donor car, it is not calculated at all, and a rectifier and voltage regulator can fail. It is much better if, after paralleling the batteries, work vigatelem donor 10-15 minutes at medium speed in order to recharge the vehicle's battery shrunken triggered. Also, when several failed launches should be borne in mind that if you start the engine of the donor, then it begins to charge the generator just two dead batteries and can be dangerously overloaded.

Precautionary measures

К положительной клемме присоединён провод с «крокодилом»
To the positive terminal
wire connected
with the "crocodile"

"Smoking" is considered an unsafe start-up method and if the safety measures are not observed, it is possible to damage the electrical equipment of both the vehicle being launched and the donor car.

Therefore, you should follow the precautions:

  • When lighting it is very important to observe the polarity of the battery connection, as well as avoid short circuits that are possible, for example, if you accidentally touch two clamps of the car body. Always connect + first, then -. Disconnected first -, then +;
  • When the engine is started through the wires, current is on the order of 200-400 A, depending on the type and power of the engine, therefore it is necessary to check the marking of the starter cable. If the cable is not rated for the appropriate current, it may ignite the insulation;
  • It is necessary to make sure that both cars have the same on-board voltage. In passenger cars this is usually 12 V, the cargo can be 24 V.
  • The discharged battery of the start-up vehicle must be in good order. In case of its malfunction (electrolyte leaks, closing of plates, etc.), the battery may overheat, or even burst;
  • The minus terminal must be connected only to the "mass" (car body or crankcase), and not to the battery terminal.
  • Do not disconnect the battery from the vehicle's mains when "smoking". In most modern cars, the battery voltage is used as the "reference" in the voltage regulator circuit of the car generator, and in its absence the generator can give out any voltage, several tens of volts - and this will inevitably disable all complex electronics.


Зарядно-пусковое устройство для автомобильных аккумуляторов
Charging and starting
device for
car batteries

"Smoking" is used not only by car enthusiasts. Starting the engine from an extraneous non-standard source of electricity can be used (and applied) on all wheeled and tracked vehicles (including tanks and special vehicles), and any power source that is suitable for voltage and power, up to mobile electric generators, autonomous power plants or industrial plants - current converters.

Alternative start-up methods:

  • Using a start-up charger.
  • Running "from the pusher" or "from the tug".
  • Start-up of the starting handle (if provided by the design).

How to light a car

Как правильно прикурить автомобиль

Instructions for lighting:

  1. Cars should be installed as close as possible, but so that they do not come into contact.
  2. Using the wire, carefully connect the positive terminals of both batteries.
  3. The second wire one "crocodile" connect to the negative terminal of the "live" battery, and the other "crocodile" to the cylinder block or other mass.

It is not very desirable to connect the wire to the negative terminal of the discharged battery. Then the energy will go to charge this battery, not the starter. Although if you connect both the negative terminals of the two batteries with a wire and wait for half an hour, then maybe the seeded battery is recharged and will be able to start the engine.

If, nevertheless, you can not start the car with the described method of connection, the minus terminal will have to be removed from the discharged battery and attached to it directly by the "crocodile" of the wire coming from the "minus" of the "live" battery. Do this carefully, so as not to accidentally touch the positive terminal and do not get a short circuit. The probability of starting the engine will increase.

After starting the car engine with a discharged battery, do not disconnect the wires immediately, but let the engines of both cars run a few more minutes. The first to detach it is necessary "minus" wire, and then "plus", preliminary having included heating of a back glass of just got car. This will reduce the peak voltage when the wires are disconnected. Headlights are best not to include, as these voltage peaks can disable bulbs.

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