Need ways to start a car with a dead battery.- 92 Civic Auto.

I have been thinking of a good way to prevent stranding myself from a dead battery. It happened twice. Once at a beach from leaving my lights on. The other was at a college
campus which the stereo and the dome light ran down the battery. Unlike the beach, the college campus have lots of helpful students with beat up cars that have jumper cables. Now, I have a new idea. Once my battery runs dry, I remove my alternator belt and wrap a rope around the alternator pulley. I then pull the rope so it'll turn 10 revolutions per pull. I keep doing this for about 20 times.
What is the possibility that this will supply enough charge to start the car. If not, can somebody think of a clever idea to start an automatic?
Thanks
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Sam Nickaby wrote:

I don't think that a) you will spin the engine fast enough to start it or b) that if the battery is dead you will be able to generate enough juice while doing as you suggest to power up the engine electronics, fuel pump, etc. You *certainly* won't with the alternator belt removed.
If this is of real concern to you, I would get one of those "booster packs" and keep it in the trunk; alternately, get one of those gizmos that straps to the battery that will cut the power to the vehicle when the battery is significantly (but not fully) discharged - the idea is that there should be enough juice left for one good crank after you reset the thing.
nate
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Better yet, how about if you quit running the battery down? I had a period of time where I'd frequently let my lights run down the battery when it rained. I'd have the headlights on in the rain and then forget to turn the lights off. My solution then was to put a relay in series with the headlight switch that switched them off with the ignition.
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AZ Nomad wrote:

Many modern cars do this anyway.
Graham
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Pooh Bear wrote: [headlamp reminder chime]

The '84 Prelude I used to drive had this feature. I wonder why a '92 Civic wouldn't.
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Arif Khokar wrote:

It's a puzzle.
Graham
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Less of a puzzle when one notices some of the posts the OP made in a few other newsgroups recently. All of them have a distinct aroma of "let's see how many responses we can trigger with a question that looks at least semi-real at first glance, but upon examination, is obviously bogus".
As in, I think it might be time to hang out the "we have been trolled" sign...
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Sorry if I'd misled anyone. These are genuine questions. The 92 Civic DX doesn't have a "lights on" chimer. We ran down the battery countless times. Many are from people who'd borrow our car. I believe on the third battery rundown incident the battery refuses to hold charge. It's a pretty small lead acid battery that you could get at Costco for $35 a pop. I wouldn't sell the little Civic for anything because the only thing that ever goes dead is the battery.
The idea to charge the battery from spinning the alternator by hand has been bugging me for almost three years. I just didn't have the nerve to ask. :)
I'm posting at the library, so time was limited. I compiled a list of questions (while half asleep) and post to relevant newsgroup and try to follow every newsgroup etiquette. Some of my post, regrettably, are poorly worded which appears trollish...:~) Thanks all for the practical varieties of solutions for the archive.
Nickaby
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Considering the alternator will barely charge the battery when the car is idling (say about 800rpm), you're gonna be pulling that rope for a looooooong time to do any good.
I think you're going to have to a. Install an alarm device to remind you to turn lights etc. off. or b. Learn from your previous mistakes... ;)
Cheers, Steve
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[...]
If the battery is sufficiently dead you won't be able to spin the alternator fast enough to get it to self-energize. Even if it were a manual and you were roll-starting it. If it's not that dead, then even if you start the car (and unless your name is Herakles you won't), what good will it do you? You'll have a near-dead battery which isn't being charged (because you disconnected the alternator pulley), and the car will most likely die soon after.
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Pretty much zero. You (and any three other guys you want to grab at random and consider together) simply ain't got enough "ooomph" in your whole body to put enough charge on a car sized battery to "git 'er started" that way without spending days or weeks (maybe even months) in the attempt. It'd depend on alternator, I imagine, but I'd expect that having the stator coils energized during the time it took you rewind the rope after each pull would burn more juice than you produced with the pull. Of course, that assumes you could even pull it over at all against the load the battery presents.

First clever idea: Don't do bonehead things like leaving the lights on at the beach (Yeah, I know, we all have brain-farts now and then) or just plain idiotically STUPID things like letting frat-boys use your *CAR* as a *BOOM-BOX*. (for this one, I put on my best "Red Foreman" voice and say "Serves you right, dumbass!" with absolutely no attempt at being humorous) Notice that I used two different words there? A car is transportation. A boom-box is a music producing device. Learn and understand the difference, apply that undersanding, and you'll never have such a problem again - at least not from that source - Guess it can't rule out a brain-fart at the beach, huh? :)
Failing that, get a AAA card. I have yet to even hear RUMORS about a car with a battery so dead that a AAA card can't get it started, or to home or the shop. Remember Visa's "ATM fix EVERYTHING!" ad campaign a few years back? Well, when it comes to stranded cars, it ain't ATM that fixes everything - It's *AAA* :)
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Sam Nickaby wrote:

Simple.
Don't use electrics when the engine isn't running !

Zero.
No. You *can* push start a manual transmission car though.
Just don't drain the battery.
Graham
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rec.autos.driving on Tue, 14 Feb 2006 10:50:49 GMT:

Slim and none. From your proposal, you would turn the alternator 200 times (20 pulls * 10 revolutions per pull). Most cars (once the engine got running) would take about a couple of hours to charge a battery (IIRC) if charged that way (maybe less for a partial charge to just start the vehicle the next time). I don't know about your car, but mine idles at about 800 to 1000 revolutions per *minute* so as such, I doubt your plan would work.

Couple of ideas: either a) a membership in AAA or similar auto club or b) get a booster pack (or even a spare battery if you want to go to the expense) from the parts store and keep that in the trunk for the next time you have a dead battery...
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Actually, when you start your car ONCE, you have to drive 8 miles before the battery returns to it's previous charge state. That assumes that your car starts on the FIRST try, and that your electrical system (including alternator and battery) is in good condition. For every time you TRY to start the car, add another 8 miles for the alternator to recharge the battery. Also, that 8 miles is not at idle speed. More like 2000(ish) RPM or even faster on many vehicles. So if the alternator could be hand cranked, you would need at least 16,000 revolutions to give the battery enough juice to attempt to start the car ONCE. If it fails to start on the first try, another 16,000 revolutions would be needed. Yikes. -Dave
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Where do you get that rule of thumb? Time to recharge will depend a small amount on engine speed, and not at all on road speed, so "8 miles" doesn't make any sense. Second, the amount of current (and therefore charge) drawn during a start varies widely from car to car and season to season. The charge rate of the alternator also varies from car to car. I'd be very surprised, however, if it took as much as 8 miles @30mph (or even 60mph) to replenish a single start.
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I've heard it and read it in several places. I have no reason to doubt it. The starter motor will drain the battery a lot faster than the alternator can charge it. That much is obvious, as re-charging the battery fast would destroy it. So common sense tells you that the car will have to be driven a ways for the battery to recover from even a single attempt at starting the car. I'm sure there are differences between cars, but supposedly, 8 miles is the average distance driven before the battery recovers from attempting to start the car once. -Dave
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I just gave you several.
Anyway, a search on line reveals that a 4-cylinder Toyota typically draws 130-150 amps during starting. Say it draws 150 amps for 15 seconds; that's 37 amp-minutes. The smallest Toyota alternator has an output of 40 amps. Even assuming a miserable 50% charge efficiency (70% is more typical) and 10amps to run the accessories, it'll have the battery topped off within 3 minutes. That's a fast 8 miles...
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If car batteries were recharged at a 10Amp rate frequently, they wouldn't last very long. The recharge is more likely limited to 5 or 6Amps, maximum. 2 or 3Amps would be ideal. I know that 10Amp battery chargers are common, but it wouldn't be a good idea to use them on the same battery on a daily basis. -Dave
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Your alternator is NOT a trickle charger. There's nothing in there to limit the recharge rate aside from the alternator's capacity.
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Mike T. wrote:

There is no current-limiting on any car's charging system, other than the fact that when you jam 30+ amps into a battery, it builds up a back-voltage very quickly. The voltage regulator puts between 13.8 and 14.5 volts across the battery's terminals, and however much current the battery will take is what flows into it.
A battery that's just been discharged by an engine start is not very deeply discharged, and the few seconds of large inrush current doesn't hurt it. But this is exactly why a DEEPLY discharged battery should (ideally) be recharged by a plug-in current-regulated charger and NOT the car's non-current-limited charging system.
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