mechanic doing jumpstart

After a Jump Start, How Long Should You Keep Your Car Running?

In the world of automobiles, several unforeseen challenges can leave us stranded and hunting for solutions. Most people have access to cars, but the sheer number of electrical and mechanical components inside the vehicle makes it impossible to know everything about all of them. One such component is the battery. We all know what it does, and how it does that, but most of us will fail to address the complications that may arise in a battery. We’ve all encountered a dead battery once in our driving lives. It can occur because of leaving the lights on overnight or in cold weather conditions, and jump-starting the vehicle is the only viable solution. After successfully jump-starting the vehicle and the engine is vrooming to life, how long should we exactly leave the vehicle running?

The fairly straightforward question seemingly has more significance than we might think. The total duration for which the vehicle keeps running after a successful jump start can significantly affect the battery’s health, fuel consumption, and overall performance.

This blog will delve into the details of post-jumpstart engine running times. Let’s explore the various factors that influence the decision. Understanding this can help you save time, money, and trouble during your commute. Let us unravel the mysteries of post-jump start engine running time.

What Factors Affect the Post-JumpStart Running Time?

Before we understand the specific time recommendations, it is important to understand certain factors that can influence the duration for which the car must be run. These factors are:

  1. Battery Condition:
  2. The condition of the vehicle’s battery is a crucial factor in determining its performance. If the battery is in prime condition, it is easier to recharge it and recharge it quickly. A weakend battery, on the other hand, will take much longer to replenish its charge.

  3. Charging System:
  4. The charging system includes a large number of components like an alternator, voltage regulator, and wiring. The efficiency of this charging system and its condition affect how quickly the battery recharges. A recharging system in optimal condition will enable the battery to recharge faster while a deteriorating charging system will slow down the process.

  5. Weather Condition:
  6. Weather conditions can severely impact the performance of a battery, whether hot or cold. In colder weather conditions, the batteries tend to discharge more quickly and will take longer time to recharge completely. Hot weather conditions cause the battery to have increased reactions leading to corrosion inside the battery.

  7. Battery Size and Capacity:
  8. Battery size is another important factor that impacts the charging time of a battery. Different vehicles require different batteries of varying sizes and capacities. Larger batteries often require a longer time to completely recharge. Therefore the type of vehicle you drive can impact the recharge times.

Guidelines on Post-Jumpstart Running Time

Now that we’ve understood the various factors that affect charging times, here are some guidelines on how long the car should be kept running after a successful jumpstart:

  1. About 15-30 Minutes:
  2. In most cases, the appropriate running time after a successful jumpstart is between 15-30 minutes. This is a good starting duration since it provides enough time to recharge the battery sufficiently. However, this time should be adjusted depending on the factors mentioned earlier.

  3. Monitor Battery Voltage:
  4. Using a battery voltage meter can be useful for knowing when a battery is fully recharged. Use a battery voltage meter to check the battery’s charging. When the reading reaches 14 volts, this is an indication that the battery is completely charged. You can safely turn off the engine after this.

  5. Rev The Engine:
  6. Revving the vehicle engine can help in speeding up the charging process. This happens because the alternator can generate more charge at higher engine speeds. Make sure to rev the engine at 2000 RPM to charge the battery faster. Avoid over-revving the engine.

  7. Take the vehicle for a long drive:
  8. As soon as you charge the battery, avoid any short trips. Instead, take the vehicle on a long trip to avoid any battery issues down the line. Use a battery charger to charge the battery if you can only take a short trip after a successful jumpstart.

Some important considerations

While the guidelines above are suitable for most situations, certain cases always require special considerations. These are:

  1. Older Car Batteries:
  2. Older car batteries or car batteries that get discharged frequently require special attention since they may require longer running time to recharge completely. It is advised that the vehicle is kept running for an additional 10-15 minutes.

  3. Extreme weather conditions:
  4. A normal increase or decrease in temperature does not affect the battery as much. However, extremely hot or cold weather conditions can cause the battery to discharge rapidly. It is advised that the vehicle is kept running for an additional 10-15 minutes to charge the battery adequately.

  5. Manufacturer’s Manual:
  6. Modern vehicles come fitted with advanced battery management systems that help in optimizing the process of charging the battery. These battery management systems vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. It is in your best interest to read the manufacturer’s recommendations after a successful jump start.


Jumpstarting a vehicle is a fast way of getting it back on the road. But how long must the vehicle be allowed to keep running after a successful jumpstart? It is crucial to determine various factors like battery condition, charging system condition, weather conditions in the surroundings, and battery capacity to determine the charging duration of your vehicle. It is crucial to monitor the battery voltage to ensure that the battery is fully charged.

Understanding these guidelines and taking special circumstances into account can help you make informed decisions and keep your car’s battery in good condition. Now you know exactly how long to keep your car running and if you need to jumpstart the battery.