Flathead screwdrivers are handy for multiple projects, from turning screws to opening a fresh can of paint. But, did you know that this tool can also be used to jump a car? While you should use jumper cables if you have them, you can try this DIY in an emergency if you have a flathead screwdriver handy.
Warning: A flathead screwdriver can be used to jump a car in two different ways. However, unless you own the car or have the permission from the owner, it’s illegal to do so. In addition, with many newer vehicles this trick will not work because the components are arranged differently. Try this project at your own risk.
Step 1 – Locating the Coil Wire
First, pop the hood open, and look for the red coil wire. It will be in different places, depending on the size or model of your car.
In four-cylinder vehicles, you can expect to find it to the right of the center of the engine. In six-cylinder engines, you can find it to the left of center of the engine. If you have an eight-cylinder engine, look toward the rear of the engine for it.
Step 2 – Giving Power to the Dashboard
Now, take a wire and run it from the positive terminal on the battery. You'll see a red wire running off the coil that you can attach it to. Alternatively, you can attach the wire directly to the coil, on the positive side. This will give power to your dashboard.
Step 3 – Locating the Solenoid
This method will only work if the starter solenoid for your car is under the steering wheel, as it generally is. If your car is a stick shift, put it in neutral and ensure that the parking brake is firmly on.
To get to the start solenoid, place your flathead screwdriver on the center top of the steering column, where you see the gap that separates the steering column from the steering wheel. Then, bring pressure down onto the screwdriver. This will force the locking pin away and give you access to the solenoid.
Step 4 – Jump-Starting the Car
Warning: Make sure you only hold the screwdriver by the insulated handle, or you will receive a serious electrical shock.
There will be a small wire at the top of the solenoid. Below it, you will see the positive cable for the battery. Lay the metal part of your flathead screwdriver across this. The engine will now start.
Trying an Alternate Method
Alternatively, you can start your car with a drill. With a small bit, position the drill about 2/3 the way up the ignition keyhole on the steering column. Start the drill, and push the bit in to the same depth as a key. This will take out all the lock pins. Now, you can jam your flat head screwdriver into the ignition, and turn it to start the engine as if it were a key.