How Long Should I Let My Car Run After Getting a Jump Start?

If your car recently fired up by a jump start, it means the battery is empty and that it needs some time to recharge. Thus, you shouldn’t turn off the engine soon, or else you’ll need another jumpstart. So, you may ask:

How long should I let my car run after getting a jump start? If you started your car through a jumpstart, you need to let it run for at least 30 minutes before turning it off. Thirty minutes should be enough to recharge your battery to power up the engine the next time you start it up. If you turn it off sooner than that time, you’ll need another one again.

While a jumpstart fires up the engine, the power it gives is only enough for one shot. Thus, you’ll need to let the engine run for a while before turning it off. This way, you allow the alternator to recharge the battery, so you won’t have to jumpstart it again the next time you fire the engine up.

In this article, we’ll go through everything you need to know about jump-starting. You’ll also realize how critical it is to keep your automobile running for a time after such an event. This way, if you ever experience a dead battery issue, you’ll know what to do.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

How Long Should I Let My Car Run After Getting a Jump Start

How Long to Run a Car After the Jump Start?

As I mentioned earlier, you’ll need to leave your car running for a while after you jumpstarted it. The reason is that doing otherwise won’t charge your car battery. Thus, the next time to turn the engine on again, you’ll need another jumpstart.

It’s preferable to let the engine run after a jump start since the alternator will need to be powered by the vehicle. But, on the other hand, the alternator will replenish your cell and provide adequate power for future ignition.

On average, it will take at least half an hour or 30 minutes to ignite your automobile without using a jumper.

If you switch off the engine after a few minutes after jump-starting it, the battery is likely not fully charged, and you’ll need another jump-start.

As a result, you must drive or at the very least let the engine run after a recent jump-start. You don’t need to leave the car running if you’re already at home and have a car battery charger. You simply need to charge it, and you’re good to go the next time you drive.

Must You Drive After Getting a Jump Start or Is Idling Enough?

You can either drive or let the engine idle for a while after a jumpstart. As mentioned earlier, it’s essential to let the engine running for the alternator to charge the battery for the next startup.

In short, it doesn’t matter if you drive or simply let the engine idle. As long as the engine is running, you can drive it or simply let it sit for at least 30 minutes. 

When driving, the engine delivers more power, which means it may charge the battery quicker than simply letting the engine idle. 

On the other hand, letting it idle means you’re saving a lot of fuel while recharging your car. 

If you’re at home and don’t need to go elsewhere, you can simply let it idle, so you won’t have to drive.

However, if you’re on the move, you may continue on your way to your destination. However, if you reach your destination in less than 30 minutes, just let the engine run to make sure the battery gets enough power.

Do Car Batteries Charge While Idling?

The short answer is yes. Car batteries do charge while idling. Although it doesn’t seem like it, the alternator works as long as the engine runs, even if you’re not driving it.

When the engine runs, the alternator works to transform mechanical energy into electricity for the car. Since the engine’s crankshaft turns, it produces enough AC current to charge the battery, even when idling.

If you want to charge the battery faster, you may want to lessen the use of accessories that consume electricity.

For instance, you may want to turn off the air conditioning, the stereo, and the lights so the battery would get more power while not spending a lot of it.

Moreover, you may want to step on the gas a couple of times to give a short burst for the alternator.

Still, it would suffice to simply let the engine idle. While it may take longer, it’s good enough to let the engine run while idling the car.

Does Revving the Engine Charge the Battery?

Yes, revving the engine does charge the battery. In fact, revving the engine causes it to give extra power to the alternator for an extra charge of energy. 

When you rev the engine or step on the pedal, the alternator increases the amperage. In simple terms, the alternator runs faster, which gives your battery a quicker charge than a simple engine idling.

One thing to note is that revving consumes more fuel, which means it’s not economical to rev the engine non-stop. A couple of stops on the pedal should do the job once in a while. However, it’s not recommended to do it non-stop. 


In a nutshell, you should let your car run for at least 30 minutes after a successful jumpstart. When you recently jumpstart a car, it means the battery has no power to start the engine on its own. A jumpstart is meant only to fire up the engine so it can recharge the dead battery. If you turn it off soon, it won’t charge the battery, which means you’ll need another jumpstart.

The alternator can replenish the battery within 30 minutes, ensuring that it has enough power to start your car the next time. If you turn off your engine too soon, you may need to jumpstart it.

When you jump-start an engine, keep it running for half an hour as a general rule. Then, the engine will be able to replenish the battery through the alternator as time passes.

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Image credits – Canva

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more