Home › Forums › Survival › Bug Out Vehicles (BOVs) › Getting your car running post EMP
- This topic has 6 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 3 months ago by keebler t.
June 23, 2019 at 3:34 pm #20230John ParkParticipant
I came across this info and thought I would share. I cannot vouch for the accuracy but it seems worth consideration.
(start copied information)
The problem with looking at EMP effects upon vehicles is that no one really knows what will happen. The book “One Second After” predicts that most vehicles made after the early 60’s are too full of solid-state electronics, and thus will fail. On the other hand, the following article suggests that at least the majority of current vehicles will still be operable. http://jalopnik.com/5937778/how-to-prepare-your-car-to-handle-an-emp-and-why-you-shouldnt-bother
The fact remains that the truth is elusive, because no full strength, real world test, has ever been conducted; so it is all just speculation and extrapolation.
The basic idea is that the EMP will/might fry sensitive electronics, possibly rending some aspects of your car inoperable.
Here are some potential hazards.
Fuel injectors (almost all modern cars), electronic ignition, and fuel pumps dont work without the computer.
Furthermore all sorts of sensors and the electronics in your transmission may fail. Only one part needs to fail and the car will say “check engine” – when that happens many vehicles simply refuse to start. Even if the vehicle does turn over, if the transmission electronics are fried, you probably aren’t going anywhere.
Buy a car from the 70’s or earlier, if you don’t want a computer. You want a car with a carburetor, an old school distributor cap (somewhere between 1975-79 American auto manufactures took the points out of distributors – supposedly any gasoline powered vehicle that does not have points is subject to electrical interference from an outside source), and a non-electronic transmission — please note this doesn’t just mean a “standard/manual transmission”.
I am not certain as to what the status is right now, but at least up until the past few years, most manual transmissions did not have any electrical components, pumps or cooling mechanisms… other than an internal switch to activate reversing lighting for when you back up. As such a manual transmission is also part of your best bet.
However some earlier automatic transmissions operated mechanically or via a vacuum mechanism (such as the 1973 Chevy Nova), and thus these would also be likely to go unaffected.
Now if you want pure EMP preparedness at low cost – I suggest you purchase an old mini bike or go kart, one of the ones that still uses a lawn mower type engine, with a manual pull cord. This vehicle should also have a manual transmission and non-power steering & brakes.
Having reviewed the situation, now let us discuss what to do if you are somewhere and your vehicle does fail due to an EMP. The first thing to do is attempt to reboot all the on board computers.
To do so follow these steps:
1. Turn off the ignition.
2. Put on rubber gloves. Don’t blow this off. Be smart. If you screw up and accidentally make contact with the positive pole and the negative pole/body/frame, you fry yourself — not what you need when the poop just hit the fan.
3. Find the negative terminal on the top of your car’s battery. It usually has a black cover. The battery itself may have a minus sign near the connector post.
Use a socket to loosen the nut on the negative terminal – turn counterclockwise (remember: righty tighty, lefty loosey). Pull the negative connector from the battery after you’ve loosened the nut, and push it aside so it is unable to make contact with the battery while you’re doing your work. The main reason for disconnecting the negative terminal on a car battery first is that the whole of the car body (the chassis) is linked to that negative terminal. Disconnecting it first removes the possibility of a short between positive and negative via contacting the body/frame or some other part other than going directly to the battery negative terminal itself.
If you remove the negative clamp and then inadvertently complete a circuit of the positive terminal to ground, it will produce no current flow because the current has no return path to the negative post. Otherwise, if you start with the positive and accidentally touch the wrench to anything else that’s metal on the car, you will create a circuit and short the battery, and give yourself an electrical shock.
4. Follow the same procedure to remove the positive terminal (the positive terminal usually has a red cap or a plus sign). After removing it from the terminal, short it to the ground for several seconds – this supposedly forces a reboot of all on board computers.
UPDATE March 2019: After removing the cables from both battery terminals/posts, secure them out of the way (one video I watched just showed a mechanic place a folded towel over the battery so that the cables wouldn’t accidentally hit the battery poles).
Now turn on the headlights. You are doing this in hopes of discharging any electricity remaining in the various capacitors inside the electronics.
Then take it a step further, leave the battery disconnected, but connect the positive and negative cables from the car – to each other. Make sure you don’t connect anything back to the battery. Just skip the battery completely, and connect the car’s positive cable to the negative cable. If they don’t reach each other, you can connect them with jumper cables.
Now continue on to step 5 below.
5. Wait. Usually the recommended time is 10 minutes and all codes will be cleared.
6. Use this waiting period to make a list of supplies to take on your bugging out voyage.
7. When reconnecting, connect the cable for the positive terminal first – and securely tighten the nut. Then connect & tighten the negative. Remember the precautions from section 3, regarding the danger of completing a circuit. That is why you connect the ground/negative last, again making the entire metal chassis/body part of the circuit.
Whether or not disconnecting the battery will clear the code, and for how long it needs to be disconnected, depends on the make and vintage of the vehicle. Newer vehicles, generally speaking, tend to remember that stuff anyway. Much like a PC doesn’t lose all your files, just because you unplug it.
Another consideration is whether you have an anti-theft factory radio. If so, you will need a code )from the owner’s manual) to reset it so it will work again. Also, if you have an older style on board computer, it will also forget the optimum settings it has learned to run your engine at peak performance.
IF IT DID NOT WORK…
Repeat the same procedure but wait 1 hour.
While waiting, set up separate staging areas in your home (different rooms or different couches) in which to start piling up bug out goods for both options of a vehicular trip and for bugging out by foot.
I might also suggest that you attempt this procedure with any and ALL cars you have around. A difference in make, type of wiring, and especially in the era which it was built, may make a significant difference in whether this works.
If all else fails, you might try to make a deal with the guy down the block, that you take him with you if you can get his ’69 Camaro running.
(end copied info)
- This topic was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by John Park.
June 23, 2019 at 3:40 pm #20232John ParkParticipant
Additional info from that same source:
Siphon instructions: Stick hose down into gas tank. Newer cars have an additional valve inside that is to prevent gas from leaking during a rollover. Supposedly a hose won’t be able to bypass this valve. You may try a small tube inside the hose (say 1/4 inch), best if the small tube is cut on an angle at the end, giving it a sharp point to try and slip past the ball-like rollover valve.
A cheap “primer pump” (rubber ball that you squeeze) can save you from sucking on the tube.
If you cannot get into the tank that way, you can try to get under the tank and get into the fuel line… or get into the vehicle and remove the fuel pump (with screwdriver) and then have access to fuel line.
Youmight also want to print out these Hotwire instructions
They only work for older car models
As an FYI, when jumpstarting a car.
1) Connect a positive/red cable clamp to the positive/red (+) terminal of the dead/bad battery.
2) Connect the other positive/red cable clamp to the positive/red (+) terminal of the charged/good battery.
3) Connect a negative/black cable clamp to the negative/black (-) terminal of the charged/good battery.
4) Connect the other negative/black clamp to the metal ground of the vehicle with the dead battery. You can use the engine block or another metal surface of the vehicle away from the battery.
5) Start the car with the charged battery. Wait one or two minutes and try to start the car with the dead battery.
Assuming the car starts – simply reverse the entire order:
Remove the black negative clamp from the ground of the vehicle needing the jump.
Remove the black negative clamp from the battery of the assisting vehicle.
Remove the red positive clamp from the battery of the assisting car.
Remove the red positive clamp from the formerly stalled vehicle.
How to Jump Start a Car Without Cables
If you have a standard transmission car, you can jump start that bad boy without using cables. Here’s how you do it:
1. Find a stretch of clear downhill road.
2. Fully depress the clutch and put the car in first gear.
3. Turn the ignition to on.
4. Take your foot off the brake and start rolling down the hill, leaving the clutch fully depressed.
5. Coast down the hill until you reach 5-7 miles per hour.
6. Release the clutch quickly. You should feel the engine turn and start. If it doesn’t start the first time, depress the clutch and release it again.
7. If you don’t have a hill, get some of your buddies to give you a push and follow the steps above.
June 23, 2019 at 4:33 pm #20233Crow BarKeymaster
Great post John!
Yeah, put emphasis on how no one really knows what modern vehicles will preform under those circumstances.
A few years ago, I HAD to buy a new truck. The old one just was not worth the expense.
Seeing all the new-fangled gagets, sensors, etc. I am erroring on the side my truck is not going to start.
I could be pleasantly surprised/shocked.
Even if it does, I am going with what fuel I have in the tank is it. No more. Nada.
And, imagine if you are driving down a highway, EMP hits, your car suddenly switches off. From 65/75mph, can you control your car/truck to bring it to a slow stop without power steering or breaks?
Now, imagine all those other people on a crowded highway trying to do the same with no signal lights. Then factor in big rigs trying to do the same.
The pile ups would be epic.
June 23, 2019 at 7:54 pm #20237namelusParticipant
That is why you want car with manual linkage not just sensors.
Rig the air system should still work but if you cut them off…or they drive too close…. the jets out of sKY would be terrifying and mainly in big cities.
June 23, 2019 at 8:45 pm #20238namelusParticipant
As for old vehicles…. well as a confirmed bachelor for life who does not have atleast some vintage vehicles… more storage is what you get a guy with everything lol.
Other thIng is we halter break all our cattle makes them easy to handle in emergency. Also allows for harnessing for the wagon…. for now it’s fun just like the sleigh. I can’t bring myself to get horses… too much expense minimal return. Plus I would have to ride a percheron to carry me plus gear.. kitted out is over 300 lb total weight for a 7 day pack with battle rattle. No Arabian can carry that….
One vehicle you can get cheaply now for post shft John park is a 6×6 5 ton. Handy on the farm for hauling stuff including the heavy equipment on low bed. Can find the auction for $6,000 or so at auction. Ours came with a surprise…. a gunner hatch on passenger seat with a hard point.
As for fixing after emp it’s a crap shoot…. having a working vehicle after that is going to put a target on you. We have a old tractors 3 of them two for parts one running it has 4 wheel drive and is a darwin award machine…. you mess up you win one or get horribly maimed near zero saftey stuff. It has 100 horse and plows just as hard as new kubota. But the seat had to be replaced… those old farmers where tougher than me sitting on that torture device for 12+hours a day.
December 2, 2020 at 3:05 pm #31292BarrensHomeyParticipant
Heh, I just passed by an old army 6×6, stalled on the side of the highway, a couple guys climbing over the engine and seemingly getting nowhere fast.
My wife bought a 1978 Dodge camper with a leaky roof, but the price was right. 318 with carb and hardly any electronics to be seen. I bet that one will be EMP proof.
December 21, 2022 at 4:51 pm #56143keebler tParticipant
78 Dodge has a 5 were module… i has a 75 & 79 Dodge class “C” motor homes both had resister to control Voltage to coil & Alternator always had spare parts. now my newest full of electronics oh well it’s newer Chevy 6.0 gas engine a Bear to work on..
keebler in Richmond,Va area.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.