Imagine driving your car down a scenic road on your vacation and you stop to take a small break and enjoy the surrounding views. You get back in and your car doesn’t start, now what? Unfortunately, a lot of people have been in the same situation and dead car batteries can occur due to a variety of reasons. However, those reasons aside, you should always have a back-up plan. In the case of a dead battery, the best back-up plan is having a jump starter and in this guide, we will go over some of the best jump starters for cars and light trucks on today’s market.
We’ve handpicked some of the best models for this year and have reviewed their biggest pros and cons. Before we dive into that, though, let’s briefly compared their features and see how they stack up against each other…
Jump Starters Comparison Chart
|Product||Peak Amps||Voltage||Air Compressor||Our Rating|
|NOCO Boost Plus GB40|
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|Stanley Fatmax J7CS|
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|Clore Automotive JNC550A|
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|Clore Automotive JNC1224|
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NOCO Boost Plus GB40 Car Battery Jump Starter
NOCO has been a pioneer on the portable battery market for the better part of the last decade now. Their Genius series have shown great success and it was natural to extend the line of products into the jump starter market. The NOCO Boost Plus is one of the most highly portable battery jump starters you can get currently and has the power to crank most modern vehicles and light trucks.
The whole appeal of the Boost Plus is that, unlike other portable jump starters, it is very compact and can fit in most trunk organizers. The weight of it is just under 2.5 pounds also making it one of the lightest models on this list. It is also extremely easy to use with its minimalistic design. At the front there are only three buttons – On/Off button, the Light mode button, and the manual mode button. With the press of the on/off button, you get 1000 peak amps delivered to your car’s battery when you crank the engine. It can crank gas engines with a volume of up to 6.0 liters and diesel engines up to 3.0 liters. It also has a capacity of 20 jump starts before it runs out of battery. Luckily, it fully charges in around 3 hours (at 2.1 amps).
In terms of safety, the Boost Plus has reverse polarity protection, although it has no indicators to flash or make a sound if you hook up the terminals the wrong way around. The jump starter also is spark-proof eliminating one of the biggest issues with other powerful models.
Along with its portability, this jump starter also acts as a portable power bank with 2 USB ports (in/out). It also has an LED flashlight with seven different light models, including strobe and SOS.
Unfortunately, this jump starter is a bit expensive, costing nearly one hundred dollars. It also works with 12V batteries only, being useless if your vehicle has a 6V battery. Still, the peak amps it can discharge combined with all of its other features and compact size make it a good-enough investment for most people. You also get a few accessories such as 12-volt car charger, well-built clamps with cables, a micro-USB charging cable, and a storage bag.
- Comes with a lot of accessories
- 1000 Peak Amps
- Can jump start up to 20 times
- Highly portable
- Doubles as a flashlight and power bank
- Comes with a carry bag
- Charges up fully in around 3 hours
- Very easy to use
- A bit expensive
- Not great for larger diesel engines
- Works with 12V batteries only
Stanley Fatmax J7CS Portable Power Station
The Stanley Fatmax J7CS portable power station is one of the best things you can have in your car’s trunk in case of something going wrong. It has a jump starter, acts as a power bank, has a strong LED rotatable light, and an air compressor. All of that pretty much covers most of the issues that can happen to your car on a road trip.
The jump starter has 350 instant starting amps with the current being able to peak at 700 amps. That is more than enough for gas engines up to 6 liters and small and medium diesel engines (up until around 3 liters). It comes with heavy-duty clamps that also have reverse polarity detection. When you accidentally hook the clamps in reverse to the wrong terminals, the reverse polarity LED light will turn on and you will also hear an audible alarm to notify you. The jump starter won’t start until you swap the clamps.
At the back of the Fatmax you have an air compressor that can reach 120 PSI equipped with a SureFit nozzle. You can check your tire pressure and monitor it during the fill-up through the illuminated pressure gauge.
Additionally to all of that you have 3 USB ports and a 12-volt power outlet to help you charge external devices on your trip. There is a whole lot of capacity at 7 Ah meaning you can charge mobile phones quite a lot of times before the Fatmax runs out of its battery power. There is also a pivoting LED light that can turn at 270 degrees to help you illuminate anything around your car’s exterior.
If this version is too weak for your car’s engine, you can get the Stanley JumpIt that has 1000 peak amps and 500 amps instant starting power. Otherwise, this is one of the best all-in-one emergency tools you can get for your car.
- 700 peak amps
- Has an air compressor
- Heavy-duty cables and clamps
- Very easy to use
- Has a 12-Volt socket and 3 USB ports
- 270 degrees pivoting LED flashlight
- Excellent price for its value
- A bit heavy
- Tire pressure system isn’t very accurate
Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry JNC550A Jump Starter
Coming third on our list is a jump starter from another famous brand. The Clore Automotive JNC550A is yet another all-in-one tool that can jump start your car and provide air compression in case of a flat tire. It is slightly more expensive than the Stanley jump starter, hence the third position. Other than that, those two models are very comparable with just a few differences.
The jump starter here works with 12V batteries only and is capable of delivering 1100 peak amps and 325 cranking amps to your vehicle’s engine. It works fairly easily with the on/off button at the front. You also have a display next to it that displays various information such as the current voltage of the connected battery, amperage, and more. One more thing you have at the front is a 5V, 2.4A USB port that charges mobile devices quite fast.
Another of the standout features of the JNC550A is its impact-resistant body and comfortable handle. Even though it weighs the whopping 23 pounds, it still is relatively easy to carry around due to its weight distribution and ergonomic handle design. The base of the starter is also rubberized to smoothen potential drops and to add stability.
In terms of safety features, there is a polarity alarm here that notifies you in case you’ve hooked the terminals the wrong way around. There is also overheating protection for the whole unit that will automatically shut it off in case the temperature becomes too high. The clamps are securely put in their storage holsters while behind them you have the braided air hose connector and the compressor. Above those, right next to the unit charger, you have the air compressor gauge and on the other side, you have the on/off button for the compressor.
All in all, for the money you’re paying here, you are getting quite a lot of value. This jump starter is well-protected and has a heavy-duty nature to it that will prove very useful in an emergency situation.
- Easy to use
- Durable construction
- Heavy-duty cables, clamps, and air hose
- Comes with air compression
- Polarity protection alarm
- Good price
- Has a LED task light
- Very heavy
- Can’t handle a large diesel engine properly
POTEK JS86 Jump Starter Source
The POTEK JS86 Jump starter is a highly portable all-in-one solution for everything looking something to cover more than just a dead battery. Apart from its potent jump starter, the JS86 has a 150 psi air compressor which is far mroe than some other all-in-one models can offer in terms of possible compresison.
This jump starter can deliver 900 peak amps that are enough to start 12-volt batteries in trucks, cars, boats, ATVs, or even some tractors. In case of reversed polarity, there is a LED indicator. Apart from jump-starting your battery, you can also perform battery tests to see the status of your car’s battery.
The air compressor gauge is located also at the front next to the rest of the control panel functions. You can inflate tires with a max psi of 150. It will take quite a lot for larger tires, however, with some tires needing more than 5 minutes to fully inflate.
This jump starter also has a 9 Ah battery inside which is used to charge various devices through the USB port and DC outlet socket. That is easily more than enough for large devices like laptops and car vacuums. That battery can be charged both with AC and DC adapters. Additionally, you have 3 LED lights at the front which will help you if you are working in the dark. There are also LED indicators that let you know the battery levels at all times. Another very cool thing here is that there is a small storage compartment at the side of the jump starter.
Despite being slightly more expensive than some other similar models, the POTEK JS86 offers a better air compressor, decent peak amps, and a more compact form-factor compared to those same models. This alone makes it a deal you should at least consider. The only downside here is the lower cranking capabilities, which the JS87 and JS88 models definitely take care of.
- Good bang for your buck
- 150 psi air compressor
- 9 Ah battery for charging devices
- Can be charged with AC and DC adapters
- Accurate air pressure gauge
- Lightweight compared to similar models
- Easy to carry around
- Takes a lot to fully inflate a tire
- Doesn’t work with 6V batteries
- Struggles with gas and diesel engines above 3.0 liters
Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry JNC1224 Jump Starter
It should be no surprise to you that there is a second Clore Automotive jump starter on this list. Their line of products is very diverse and I wanted to include something very powerful here that is capable of cranking even the biggest motors out there. The Jump-N-Carry JNC1224 is an incredibly impressive jump starter that has some heavy firepower under its hood and is all that you will ever need if you want a single jump starter for a wide variety of vehicles you own or service.
This model can put out the whopping 3400 peak amps at 12 volts and 1700 peak amps at 24 volts. Yes, you read that right. It is also suitable for 24 Volt batteries. That covers most heavy-duty diesel engines and can crank some heavy machinery apart from normal cars. The jump starter works automatically for both battery types. Another thing that is great here is the 46-inch heavy-gauge cables with equally strong clamps that can penetrate the corrosion on the battery’s terminals.
While the capacity of this jump starter is great at 44Ah you cannot use it for anything external as there are no 12-Volt sockets or USB ports. Unfortunately, the lack of features theme continues across everything else, as there isn’t anything else that can sway you in the direction of this jump starter apart from its raw power output.
- Extremely powerful
- Can crank heavy machinery
- Good for big gas and diesel engines
- 3400 peak amps at 12V
- 1700 peak amps at 24V
- Heavy-duty cables and clamps
- No air compressor
- No USB ports or 12 V socket
- Very heavy
DeWalt DXAEJ14 Digital Portable Power Station
Despite not being famous for their jump starters, DeWalt is a brand that you can trust to make a well-built and durable tool that will last you quite some time. The DXAEJ14 Digital Portable Power Station by DeWalt is definitely the most technologically-advanced jump starter on this list and unfortunately for the end user it has the price tag to match that title.
Despite being expensive, you can rely on it to crank most gas and diesel engines. It has 700 instant starting amps with 1400 peak amps. Those are enough to crank gas engines up to 6.0 liters and most small and medium-sized diesel engines. The large front display will give you all the necessary information about the battery level, the amps that are going through the connectors, and a few other things. There is a reverse polarity sound and visual alarm in case you hook the terminals wrong. The jump starter works with 12 V AGM, GEL, and Wet batteries. You can switch the power between the jump starter and the USB ports with the controls at the front. Those USB ports work at 3.1Amps which is enough to fast-charge most devices. At the back, you have the air compression hose which isn’t very long. The compression works at 120 PSI and has an auto-stop function. It also has a SureFit nozzle but takes quite a lot of time to inflate your tires.
One unique feature of this DeWalt model is that it can perform an alternator check. This is something most other jump starters cannot. The design makes it quite easy to move around despite its nearly 20 pounds of weight. As a whole, this model fits right in the middle of all of its other competitors despite being slightly more expensive than them.
- Digital controls for the air compressor and jump starter
- 1400 peak amps
- Alternator check
- Fairly portable
- Works with AGM, Gel, and Wet batteries
- Easy to use
- Doesn’t work with 6V batteries
- Air compressor is slow
Schumacher SC1281 Engine Starter
Schumacher is yet another top-shelf brand that manufactures quality products ranging from battery chargers to tire compressors and jump starters. Their SC1281 is an all-in-one tool that can both keep your battery healthy and jump-start it if needed.
First of all, it is important to mention that this is an automatic battery charger first and a jump starter second. This means that its primary function is to act as a battery maintainer or trickle charger. This is why its peak amps are limited at 100A only. Still, it has automatic voltage detection and can distinguish between 6 and 12 Volt batteries depending on your vehicle type. It can also distinguish between different battery types. In charging mode, it has a computer that processes and handles the charging by controlling the amperage rate at which it charges your battery. It also has multi-stage charging which increases the efficiency of the process and keeps the battery in better health. On top of all that, it has a testing feature that lets you diagnose your battery and alternator to see if there are any leaks or issues along the electrical system of your car.
As a jump starter, it is decently powerful and can jump-start most small diesel engines and almost all gas ones. It has a one-click functionality, so you just have to connect it to the car’s battery and turn the ignition key. There is reverse polarity protection that also comes with a warning light.
As a whole, for its money, it is a great choice, even though it simply won’t cut it for a large diesel engine. For that purpose, I suggest getting a better jump starter with more than 1200 peak amps.
- Excellent battery charging capabilities
- Auto-detects battery type
- Auto-detects battery voltage
- Works with 6V batteries
- Reverse polarity protection
- Easy to carry around
- Multi-stage automatic charging
- Not so great as a jump starter
- Not ideal for large diesel engines
GOOLOO SuperSafe Car Jump Stater
Last and maybe least is the GOOLOO SuperSafe car jump starter. It is the smallest jump starter on this list but is actually quite potent and not a bad bang for yoru buck.
With its 1200 peak Amps, this jump starter can crank Gas engines of up to 7.0 liters in volume and Diesel engines up to 5.5 liters. While this is great on paper, in reality, it doesn’t perform that good and it can crank well most small and mid-sized diesel engines with engines above 3.0 liters getting a bit too much for it. It also has a lot of safety features such as high-temperature protection, short circuit protection, reverse connection warning, over-current protection, high-voltage and over-discharge protections.
With its 18,000 mAh, this GOOLOO jump starter can quick-charge any device with quick-charging enabled. That capacity is good enough for 4-5 charges of a modern smartphone, 2-3 tablet chargers, and getting a laptop halfway to full. The 12 Volt 10 A DC output is also good for portable air compressors, car refrigerator coolers, car vacuum cleaners, and more. One last feature that I want to mention is the LED working light which has three flashing modes including strobe and SOS and is also extremely bright.
Of course, the biggest advantage of being extremely small and practical is also its biggest disadvantage compared to other bigger portable jump starters. While it has a high peak amp rating, it can only crank your engine a few times before its fully drained.
- Practical and portable
- Has a strong LED flashlight
- 1200 peak cranking amps
- 18000 mAh battery capacity
- Capable fo quick-charging mobile devices
- Wide operating temperature range
- Has a lot of safety features
- Depletes fast
- Not ideal for powering up 12 Volt appliances
- Has a proprietary port for charging isntead of a USB one
Car Jump Starters Buyer’s Guide
Choosing the right jump starter depends on a lot of features, most importantly the cranking amps, voltage, safety features, and a few other aspects that will make things easier for you. Before you dive into all of the different features surrounding modern portable jump starters, we need to first go through some of the basic concepts here…
What is a Jump Starter and How Does it Work?
Jump starters, in their essence, are modified batteries that replace your car’s battery when it dies. They do that by connecting to the battery’s terminals and discharging an electrical current into your vehicle’s starter system that, in turn, cranks the engine and makes it start. Before the era of portable jump starters jump-starting your car had to be done with the electricity coming from another car’s battery. In theory, a car just needs a high electrical surge to crank the engine. After that, the car’s alternator takes care of all the electric demand. This is why jump starting cannot kill the donor battery unless you crank your engine a lot of times without success.
Nowadays, portable jump starters are quite affordable and people prefer having them in their car’s trunk just in case their battery dies when they’re on the road. It is also helpful if you see another car in need of jump-starting.
As with everything else, jump starters have heavily benefited from the progress in battery technology and have become much more sophisticated and potent over the last decade. Portable models can now crank bigger engines, trickle-charge your battery, and even inflate your tires if they have an air compressor built into them. As a whole, having such an all-in-one model at your disposal is a huge insurance policy that you won’t be left stranded by your vehicle.
Types Of Car Jump Starters
We can divide jump starters based on a couple of their aspects. First and foremost, based on their portability they are separated into portable jump starters and stationary ones. Portable jump starters are, without a doubt, far more convenient and that is why most of the models currently on the market are portable. Their biggest disadvantage compared to the heavy-duty jump starters is that they simply don’t have a ton of capacity and are typically good only for cranking your engine a few times or charging your battery once or twice. Heavy-duty jump starters are often located in shops or in emergency service trucks and are much more potent and can crank even semi-trucks and large diesel V12s engines.
Based on their energy-storing technology, they can be divided mostly into lead-acid and Lithium-ion jump starters. Lithium-ion models have the benefit of high energy density and are, therefore, the predominant type you can find out there. I won’t go into the specific numbers but in general, they can store 5 times more energy into the same volume compared to the lead-acid batteries and jump starters. Still, lithium-ion batteries have their own set of disadvantages which is why there are still some sealed lead-acid jump starters around that are actually preferred over the lithium-ion ones by a lot of people.
So, we’ve covered what jump starters are and how they work, as well as the different types there are on the market. Now, let’s take a deeper look at all of the features that make for a good jump starter and learn how to choose one from the sea of models.
How To Choose a Jump Starter
The process of choosing the ideal jump starter for your car is a bit complex since there are quite a lot of things that you take into consideration if you want to get a good model. There are some models which are universally good but they are also quite expensive. So, if you want to get the best bang for your buck, you need to know a few things. Let’s go through the most important aspects of a jump starter now:
- Power figures
- Cables and clamps
- Safety features
- Additional Features and accessories
The amperage of your car’s jump starter might be a bit confusing at first but is arguably the most important thing to remember here. First of all, there are a few terms that are used when talking about Amps. Those are – peak amps, instant amps, and cold-cranking amps. In reality, all those terms refer to one thing – how much electricity can the jump starter transfer to the battery in order to start it up. A car’s 12 Volt battery has 6 cells that each require a minimum of 1.2 Volts electrical current to start it up. So, the amps of the jump starter reflect how much power it can generate at that 6 x 1.2 Voltage (minimum).
The “instant amps” metric is how much amps you get instantaneously from the jump starter when you crank your engine. The “peak amps” is the maximum amount of amps that the jump starter can provide for 30 seconds at 32 degrees Fahrenheit (or 0 degrees Celcius). This is because that is calculated to be the average of what most temperature conditions will be in a situation where you will be cranking your car. In other words, its a performance figure that companies give you so that you can judge the relative power output of their jump starter.
Cold-cranking amps are almost the same as peak-amps but are adjusted for colder and harsher climates, meaning it gives you an approximate number of how much Amps will the jump starter put out in less-than-ideal wintery conditions.
In summary, depending on your car’s engine you will need different cranking amps to start it with a dead battery. You will have to check with your car’s manual to see what it needs to crank but getting a jump starter with more than 1000 peak amps is a safe bet for most types of vehicles. Only large diesel engines (above 3.0 liters) and extremely large gas engines (above 6.0 liters) will require an extra amount of power to crank. For those, opt for jump starters with more than 1500 peak amps.
The voltage is important only if you’re looking for a jump starter that will work on multiple vehicles at the same time. Some vehicles have 6 Volt batteries while some industrial vehicles have 24 Volt ones. Having a jump starter that can crank at both 6 and 12 Volts is a great plus. If you want one for your tractors and farming equipment, look for jump starters that work at 12 and 24 Volts with more than 2000 peak amps.
The capacity of the jump starter matters for a few reasons. First, it tells you how many cranks you can do before the jump starter is out of power. Second, it matters if you want to charge different devices out of it. Most big jump starters have around 10 Ah capacity which is more than enough to run air compressors, car vacuum cleaners, refrigerator coolers, and all mobile devices. There are, however, some very small and highly portable jump starters that have a much smaller capacity of around 20,000 mAh. That is substantially lower and often enough just for a few cranks. With those, you will have to be careful as to how exactly you use that power.
Larger jump starters will need regular recharging and most of them have factory recommendations to be fully charged every 30 days.
Cables and clamps
With the jump starter’s cables, you need to pay attention to two things – their length and their gauge. Typically, cables aren’t longer than 5-6 feet as its assumed that you are jump-starting your battery with the jump starter next to or on the car. Still, getting some extra-long 10-20 feet cables will surely help if you want to start the battery from the back of your car or to control the device from your driver’s seat.
About the gauge, look for thicker wires. The thicker the wire, the better it is at delivering more power faster. Smaller vehicles can use an 8 gauge while some sports cars and larger diesel cars/trucks will benefit from a 4 gauge cable. Look for heavy-duty and heavy-gauge cables since they are made to last longer and be safer.
Heavy-duty clamps are also a must since they will grip better and provide better contact with the battery’s terminal. It might also penetrate through any dust or dirt that is surrounding the terminal.
Portability matters a lot if you’re going to carry the jump starter everywhere in your car’s trunk. Bigger ones will weigh around 10-20 pounds and will take a substantial amount of trunk space, while smaller portable jump starters will easily fit in any trunk organizer.
There are quite a few safety features which are important for your car’s and your own safety. Some of the most important ones are:
- Over-current protection
- Short-circuit protection
- High-temperature sensing and protection
- Reverse polarity protection (when you attach the clamps to the opposite terminals)
- Over-discharge protection
- High-voltage protection
Additional Features and accessories
Having additional features to your jump starter only increases its value. Some of the most important additional features you need to look for are power inverters, 12-volt accessory receptacles, an air compressor for tire inflation, LED working light, radio, heavy-duty cables, and heavy-duty clamps. Having charging modes and options on your jump starter is also a good way to make the most out of it by letting it trickle-charge your battery when you’re not driving your car, for instance.
Portable Jump Starters Benefits
Now that we’ve been through all the major features that define a good jump starter, let’s sum up all the potential benefits from owning one:
- You will never be left stranded at the side of the road wit ha dead battery waiting for someone to stop and help you.
- Portable jump starters don’t take a lot of space in your trunk and can also charge other devices via their USB ports or 12V outlets.
- They also double as large portable batteries that you can carry to your camping trip in order to charge lights, phones, and other devices on your trip.
- Some models have air compressors in them, meaning they will help you in case of a flat tire
- Almost all jump starters double as car battery chargers and they have different charging modes for fast-charging or trickle-charging your car’s battery. They also have battery status reports and diagnostics that give you the exact state of the battery.
- Some portable jump starters have emergency LED flashlights that can help you work on your car’s engine bay if something happens at dark
There are a few things that you need to take into account when dealing with your car’s electrical system and jump starters. This is done to ensure your own safety and to preserve your car’s electronics. While almost all jump starters will come with a detailed list of safety instructions in their manual, there are still some steps that you need to know to ensure safe jump starting even when getting electricity from another car on the road.
If you’re operating without a user manual, the very first thing you should check are the terminals. Make sure that your car’s battery’s terminals and the clamps of the jump starter are free of dirt and other contaminants. Wipe them clean if you see something that should be there. That will provide a better surface connection between the clamps and the terminals, allowing for electricity to flow uninterrupted. Speaking of that, avoid any excessive moisture around those areas and try avoiding water getting around your terminals during the process of jump-starting. Water conducts electricity and having it around high currents is never safe. Speaking of high currents, make sure you also pack a pair of thick insulated gloves to protect yourself from electrical shocks. The same way gloves protect your hands, you’d also want something to protect your eyes in an event of sparks. This is why safety glasses are always recommended. Most modern jump starters have anti-spark systems in place but you can never rely too much on those systems.
Continuing the topic of what to wear, make sure you aren’t wearing loose clothes or any jewelry that is dangling above the battery you’re working on. The goal of this all is to be as isolated from the process of connecting the terminals as much as you can.
When jump-starting your car from another vehicle, make sure that the voltage and power capacities of both batteries are comparable, otherwise, you risk damaging both of the cars. When you jump start your car, unplug any accessories that are plugged into your car’s 12V socket or USB ports. Also, turn off everything inside including the air conditioning, stereo, headlights, and other features that might be working.
Lastly, make sure that you’re connecting the clamps to the terminals correctly. To learn how to do that, let’s move onto the next section…
How To Jump Start Your Car
When a car’s engine isn’t cranking there could be a few other reasons apart from a dead battery. This is why you should go through all of those before getting to the jump-starting itself. The best way to be sure that the battery is the main culprit is to turn the key to ignition and observe the car’s interior lights. If they flicker, this is almost surely a battery issue. If the dashboard doesn’t react at all it can be either an entirely dead battery or a computer issue. If your car isn’t starting but you hear it cranking and you can also see the lamps and stereo working then this is most definitely not the battery. A dead or a nearly dead battery won’t be able to continuously crank the engine, so if it cranks you need to look into the starter or the cranking sensors. Lastly, if you jump start your car but it dies instantly after that, then this is almost definitely an alternator issue. Alternator issues also show themselves by having your car shut down entirely while you’re driving.
Now, onto the jump starting process. Here are the steps that we need to go through:
- First and foremost, check your car’s manual to see if there are specific steps listed that are different for your car. For instance, some cars have positive grounding, meaning they require a completely different procedure to be jump-started. Those, however, are quite rare nowadays.
- Make sure the car is off with your key out and away from the ignition. The jump starter should also be off.
- Now get to the clamping process. Your car’s battery terminals will most likely be color-coded red for positive and black for negative. Similarly, the jump starter’s clamps are also red for positive and black for negative. Connect the red clamp to the positive terminal and the black one to the negative. Always start with the positive terminal while you keep the jump starter off.
- Once you are done attaching the red clamp, attach the black one to the other terminal (or to any exposed metal piece of the car). At the moment of attaching the black terminal, you might see sparks but that is normal. Avoid touching the red and black clamps of the jump starter.
- Once all the terminals and clamps are connected, move the jump starter away from the vehicle (if the cables allow it) and turn it on.
- Next, go into your car and turn the ignition key. Most modern jump starters will allow you to crank almost immediately but some models will require you to wait a minute or two before the battery gets some juice in it.
- If your car refuses to start after the first cranking, try again in a minute. Don’t crank for more than 5 seconds at a time.
- Once your car starts, remove the clamps and let it run for a few minutes. Some people recommend driving as that will arguably charge the car’s battery better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you keep a jump starter in your car?
If the jump starter is a portable model, then having it in your car is its actual reason. Leaving a portable jump starter in your garage is like having a spare tire in your living room. In other words, it will never be useful when you actually need it. If you are worried about high (or low) temperatures in your car’s trunk, don’t worry, as most jump starters are rated to work in a wide range of temperatures and are quite resistant. Just make sure you check its voltage and amperage from time to time and trickle-charge it if needed.
Will a jump starter start a dead battery?
The thing with dead batteries is that they are slightly harder to jumpstart than batteries with at least some juice in them. The reason for that is that the completely dead battery will suck out more of the power flow towards it instead of it going to the starter. So, with a fixed flow of power, a dead battery will simply redirect most of the electricity towards it and a bad battery won’t be so power-hungry and the starter will have more power to crank the motor.
Is it bad to keep jumping the car even if it doesn’t start?
It really depends on whether you are cranking your car with the help of another car or a jump starter. In both cases, though, your car will be getting a fair amount of potential damage to its electronic equipment due to the constant voltage surges. If you’re cranking with another car’s help you can damage both car’s electronics due to the serious (and repeating) overvoltage. Headlights that are on are also at risk of damage or even burning, so make sure you turn them off if things don’t go your way the first time.
Whether your car’s battery gives up on your in the middle of your journey or you need to crank your car that has been sitting in your garage for the winter, having the best jump starter at your disposal is vital for the process. Good jump starters have high cranking amps, can maintain a stable current, and have safety features along with some other useful accessories. Models that have air compressors in them are the perfect all-in-one emergency tool covering most issues that can go wrong with your car.