How to Charge Your Dead Car or Truck Battery with a Chainsaw


A dead car + chainsaw + October blog post. This has all the trappings of a horror movie, yet what we have for you ALH fans is much better than guts and gore. This flick from homesteading family Wranglerstar will show you how you can use a chainsaw to charge your car’s battery, no joke. We couldn’t believe it either the first time we watched it. Here’s the rundown.


How to Charge Your Car Battery With a Chainsaw

The first thing you’ll need to do is remove the side cover on your chain saw using a hex socket wrench. So we guess you’ll also need a toolkit in the car, and an old fan belt (this comes in later). Noted. As the video explains, you will take off the side cover to expose the chain, and then pull the chain off the chainsaw. Then you’ll need a screwdriver to remove the drive socket (replacing the keeper afterwards). Set the chainsaw aside for the moment.


Now, it’s time to open up the hood and take your car’s fan belt off of the alternator. Hope you brought gloves! To charge your car’s battery, the alternator will either need to turn clockwise or counterclockwise, depending on the car’s make and model. At this point, you’ll grab your spare fan belt — if you get stuck without one, you can use a piece of rope, tied-together shoelaces, or probably a woven-grass chain if you get super desperate — and place it around the alternator.

Then you’ll loop the other end of your fan belt/shoelaces/whatever you’ve MacGuyvered to make this work around the chainsaw and turn it on. As the chainsaw runs, it will pull the fan belt either clockwise or counterclockwise depending on its orientation. This will start to charge the battery and enable you to turn your car back on and get outta dodge. Pretty neat, huh?

It’s hard to explain how to do this, so this video is great. Wranglerstar takes you through exactly what to do and why to do it.

This technique may be overkill for city dwellers who can find someone to give their ride a jump faster than they can figure out how to take apart a chainsaw. But for rural folks and homesteaders like the Wranglerstars, knowing how to take apart a chainsaw and use its power to charge the car battery can spell the difference between making it home for supper and walking miles into town to call for a tow.

Wherever you live, it’s not a bad idea to take the time to make sure that your car or truck has an emergency kit to help you through a jam. So take out that car care kit and make sure that you’ve got some jumper cables, gloves, a flashlight, all the tools mentioned here, and probably a snack and some bottled water while you’re at it.


We’re sure hoping that they didn’t figure this one out by trial and error. Give this video a watch and increase your survivalist skills in case the zombies come.