As a driver and car owner, you are very likely to have a flat car battery at some point. In most cases, this will happen when you need your car the most. Being stuck in a car that is unable to start because of a dead battery is not only very frustrating, but it can be dangerous, as well. A jump starter is the easiest way to start a vehicle in such a situation. It could be the ultimate emergency tool to have in your vehicle. This device is not just a battery pack that will help you start your vehicle, but it can also be used to charge electronics and even small appliances. Besides, some of them even come with a built-in air compressor and work lights.
How Do You Start A Car With A Jump Starter?
Using the jump starter is easy, with only several steps and rules to follow. To begin, consult your vehicle owner manual for any specific information about jump-starting the engine.
Pop up the hood and place the starter securely in the engine bay. Make sure that the cables can reach the battery terminals. Also, take care that nothing will fall in or get caught in moving parts. Next, ensure that the jump starter switch is in the OFF position and connect the jump starter to the battery. While the unit is turned off, the reverse polarity alarm will sound if you connect the cables around the wrong way. Always connect the red cable to the positive side of the battery first. You can determine this by looking for the plus symbol or a red plastic terminal cover. The black cable can now be connected to either the negative terminal of the battery or to the vehicle chassis.
With everything connected correctly, switch the jump starter into the ON position and proceed to start the vehicle as normal. If the vehicle won’t start after two or three small tries, allow the jump starter to cool for two or three minutes before trying again to avoid damaging your jump starter. Once the car is running, allow it to idle so it has a chance to build the voltage up. In the end, switch the unit off and disconnect the jump starter in reverse order.
If the engine still refuses to start the next time you turn the ignition key, your battery might need to be replaced.
However, don’t forget that jump starters are designed to be a quick fix for emergency situations. If you’ve had a flat battery, it’s a good idea to visit a specialist, as flattening your battery can cause major damage.
What Size Car Battery Jump Starter Do I Need?
Choosing the right battery jumper size is much like choosing a battery, and it depends on several factors. The first thing to consider is the size of your car, or the engine, to be precise. As you might imagine, a heavy-duty pickup truck with a big diesel engine will require much more starting power than a hatchback with a small four-cylinder engine. Another factor is the environment, as all cars need more starting power at low outside temperatures. So, if you live in Alaska or Norway, go for a jump starter with more amps. In the end, think about how you will use the jump starter. If you plan to use it as a power station when there is no electricity available, then you will need a more powerful unit.
What Is the Best Portable Car Jump Starter?
There is a range of manufacturers on the market, offering all sorts of jump starters. This means you can choose from different sizes, starting powers and various additional features. At the top of the range, you will find powerful and versatile units that can jumpstart anything you want, charge multiple devices and inflate your tires. In most cases, these units are designed to be extremely rugged and highly durable. As for the starting power, the most powerful can deliver up to 3.000 amps peak. This means they can easily and quickly jumpstart any vehicle in seconds under any type of weather.
As for some additional features, you should look for a built-in inverter, which can provide AC current. With this, you can power your TV or any small appliances for hours if you are out camping or if there is a blackout. Having high output USB charging ports will help you recharge various USB electronic devices, as many modern devices don’t require standard household outlets. Another useful gadget you should look for is an air compressor. With it, you can fill an inflated tire or sports equipment. Furthermore, with features such as an alternator check and a reverse polarity alarm, using the jump starter will be even easier. A reverse polarity alarm lets you know if the unit is improperly connected. Lastly, LED work lights will be very helpful in the dark.
Does It Have To Be Fully Charged?
One of the biggest considerations regarding the jump starter is around charging. Several easy tips will help you to effectively and safely use a jump starter and get the longest life out of it. Make sure you fully charge a new jump before use, as otherwise it might get damaged. Also, have in mind that it will lose some of the charge each time it is used. To avoid any potential problems, it is recommended that you fully charge it after every use. Charging time depends on three different factors. The size of the jump starter is one of them. The size of the engine being jump-started and how many times the jump starter was used are another. If the jump starter is completely dead, it could take up to 50 hours to charge it up.
As jump starters cannot be overcharged, you can leave them plugged in for days or even weeks. This way your jump starter will always be ready to go when you need it. Lastly, ensure that you charge the jump starter in a well-ventilated area and wait at least one hour after a full charge is reached before attempting to jumpstart a vehicle.
How do you prefer to jump start your car? And what type of battery jump starter do you use?