Menu Close

How to choose a Portable Jump Starter

Jump starters buyers guide

Еvery driver at least once in his life faced the problem of a discharged battery. Agree, this situation is often infuriating. For this, the lithium jump starter was invented – the best driver’s assistant that can always come in handy.

Starters come in many varieties, but they are quite impressive, which help with heavy machines or construction equipment. Some are very compact, often equipped with a bunch of useful features and will help you in an awkward situation. This will save you a lot of time. In addition, the car battery starter often comes with additional features such as flashlights or USB ports. Moreover, many versions of the starter have many degrees of protection for your own safety.

What type of jump starter do I need: lithium-ion or lead-acid?

Previously, lead-acid batteries have always been used in rechargeable batteries, but now starters are switching to lithium-ion batteries as they are capable of providing the same amount of energy in much smaller and lighter products. In fact, there are two types of jump starters on the market: lead-acid and lithium-ion. I propose to take a closer look at their pros and cons to understand what will suit you best.

First, it is worth highlighting the obvious advantage of lithium-ion starters, because they provide four times more energy than lead-acid. In addition, they weigh much less but provide an order of magnitude more energy.

In addition, nobody canceled the stand-by regime. At this point, the lithium-ion car battery booster is again superior to the lead-acid variant. They are discharged when idle at about 5% per month, which is quite small. The same indicator for lead-acid sometimes reaches as much as 15%!

It is worth considering the overall life expectancy of such a device. When using a jump starter, their lifespan is different depending on the parts and manufacturer. Lithium-ion starters have nearly double the lifespan of lead-acid ones.

lithium ion jump starter

Engine size and fuel type matter

If you really care what size battery jump starter you need and how much power you’ll need for your engine size, now we will take a closer look at this aspect. It would be absolutely logical to summarize and say that the larger the car, the more amp the starter should have. A large 8-cylinder motor, for example, takes longer to turn over than a smaller 4-cylinder.

In addition to taking into account the size of the engine, it is worth considering the type of fuel you are either using or planning to use. It is important to understand that the jump starter for diesel must produce a lot more energy. In turn, motors that run on gasoline require less.

To summarize, keep in mind that the type of motor can be found either directly in the owner’s manual or using a good old search on the net. It is not difficult to calculate this, the easiest way is to find an example of a car that is similar to yours in characteristics and choose the best starter. If you have more than one car, start by choosing the most powerful device.

Battery size and voltage matter

When choosing, be sure to consider the special needs of your vehicle. The point is that different types of vehicles have different battery sizes and voltages.

Standard starters typically run on conventional batteries that provide 6 to 12 volts. In turn, 24 volt batteries are designed for construction equipment and just large machines.

Therefore, the choice of starter size and power rating must be approached wisely. Cars, pickups and sedans usually run on 12 volt batteries. Golf carts and motorcycles are equipped with only 6-volt batteries. If you use a starter that is much more powerful than necessary, be careful, because you can easily damage both the battery and the internal parts of the car.

What to look for when picked jump starter?

What to look for when picked jump starter?

Power of jump starters

Cranking power

By cranking amps, you should always understand the amount of current that the battery discharges and maintains. This action takes place for 30 seconds at 0 degrees Celsius. This is the amount of power required to start the vehicle at average ambient temperatures, excluding extreme heat or cold.

In turn, due to climatic problems, there are cold-cranking amps. This is a portable jump starter used to start a car engine in cold weather. Cold-cranking refers to the amount of current that the battery needs to discharge and maintain for 30 seconds at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below, without dropping below 7.2 V for a 12V battery. Power to start because the battery uses less power.

Peak power

Peak power is measured in amperes. In fact, it represents the maximum power that the starter motor can produce when first started.

Note that peak amps are only needed for cranking and therefore the starter can only generate these peak values ​​for a few seconds. Cranking amps, on the other hand, produce a steady, stable current for at least 30 seconds.

When choosing a starter, don’t focus on peak amps. More important details are cranking amps and cold cranking amps. It is important to make sure that the starter can actually start your car.

Compact jump starter

Capacity of jump starters

When choosing, it is important to know that the total capacity is measured in ampere-hours or milliampere-hours. Taking into account this characteristic plays a big role because you need to know 100% exactly whether the starter will start your car.

In this situation, the larger the number, the more capacity the energy storage device supports. The most popular portable battery options are typically rated for between five and over 20 ampere-hours.

Additional features

USB ports and charging outlets

The presence of USB is a controversial thing. It is usually added to portable starters. However, despite the inconvenience, even the external jump start battery still supports a built-in USB port. In any case, a device with this feature will cost more, so think carefully if this is really that important to you. A starter is not the thing that you will use every day, so there is no strong daily need for it. But nevertheless, some users, for example, really like the ability to charge their devices, cameras, laptops, and more.

Large batteries that feature 12 volts, traditionally have several built-in sockets. Often they are familiar to everyone with electrical outlets and 12-volt charger plugs.

It would be correct to note that the presence of sockets and USB on the starter is, first of all, convenient and universal. They open up new possibilities, such as the ability to charge electronics or use them as batteries when camping or traveling.

A cheap jump starter with usb ports is the Halo bolt ultimate jump starter.

Air compressor

When the TPMS indicator lights up, expect trouble. If you have nowhere to pump up the wheels of your car in the middle of the road, you can stand on the sidelines for an eternity waiting for help. In such a situation, a jump starter with an air compressor will be great luck.

This is a very common feature for large portable starters. Its presence does not greatly overstate the cost of the device, but it is directly vital if you often travel outside the city and do not have access to a huge number of gas stations along the way. In addition, during active rest, this thing is still needed. And inflate a ball, and possibly an inflatable boat for fishing, and a huge variety of other things.

jump starters with air compressor

Built-in inverter

I cannot imagine a person who would consider it useless to have a built-in inverter. This is an incredibly useful feature that will help you out in a lot of situations imaginable. Can forget about discharged devices, telephones, laptops, and so on. Moreover, the inverter will help a lot if you are going to go outdoors or on a trip and you need to power this or that device. In general, the presence of a built-in inverter is a solid plus and nothing more.

Flashlight and radio

Flashlight is often an underrated feature. Imagine how great it will help you at dawn or in the middle of the night when your car stalls. Never underestimate its benefits and it will definitely help you out, I guarantee. It is thanks to him that the starter is easy to use both during the day and at night.

The same can be said for the built-in radio. Just imagine the moments when minutes last for hours while you wait for the battery to charge or the tow truck arrives. In such situations, it is best to conserve battery power and use the built-in radio. During a complete discharge, you should not allow a mistake and turn on the radio, you will only make it worse.

Safety features

Now let’s talk about the most important aspect of using a starter – safety. Please note that quality starters will be shipped with reverse polarity, overcharge and short circuit protection, spark protection, and reverse current protection.

It is very important to study whether these features are available on a particular device that you choose. Some manufacturers neglect this and substitute their customers. It is from these considerations that you choose a start-up device with a smart patch cable module. It is this module that will ensure the availability of all these functions and keep you safe.

Better to avoid working with starters without essential safety components. This often presents a great risk of fire or electric shock.

Overload protection

The direct objective of this aspect is to keep the jump pack while charging from receiving significantly more current than indicated by the manufacturer.

Over-voltage protection

Overvoltage protection is primarily aimed at preventing power surges. When charging, the current flow may be unstable, so this module regulates the amount of incoming current.

Overcharge protection

This element prevents over saturation of the battery with energy. For example, when you fully charge the starter battery, the supplied energy can damage the components of the device. This element is aimed to neutralize damage to the internal components of the starter.

Over-current protection

Helps prevent damage to the trigger. The main task of this component is to block incoming current that exceeds the peak limit.

Short circuit protection

Рrotects your starter motor in case high current flows from positive to negative terminals in case of accidental contact.

Quality of jumper cables matter

jump cables

Choosing a starter, the quality of the connecting cables must also be taken into account. It can be determined by paying attention to the security features, its length and the quality of the material from which the cable is made. Moreover, it is very important to correctly assess the quality and material from which the clamps are made, because they are the most important in this matter. It is best to focus on choosing a copper-plated pair. A dense base metal coating will also only be an advantage.

The most practical advice for choosing is to look for a cable that has an intelligent module in the kit. It provides a whole range of security features that will never be redundant.

Then, make sure that the length of the cables you choose is optimal, that is, sufficient for your machine and not too short or too long. It is best to first measure the approximate distance between the positive and negative terminals, because they can be located differently on different car models.

How to use a battery jump starter

There is nothing difficult in starting the car from the starter. Let’s take a step-by-step look at this process so that none of the readers have any questions.

First, you need to turn on the jump starter and connect the jumper cables. They must be connected to the 12 volt port on the starter. After connecting – turn on the device. Also check that the starter is charged at least 50-60% of the total charge. The device will definitely work better and more reliably with a charge reserve.

Secondly, you need to connect the cables to the car battery. Everything is the same as the old fashioned way – the red clip to the positive (+) terminal of the battery, and the black clip to the negative (-) terminal of the battery.

After that, crank the motor to draw power. Then, start the car and keep it in this state for about a minute. Then, disconnect the amplifier cables and turn off the starter.

You need to disconnect the cables in the correct order, that is, absolutely the opposite of the connection order. So, first remove the red clip and then the black clip from the battery terminal. Now, you need to turn off the portable starter and disconnect the starter cables from the device.

Frequently asked questions

How long do battery jump starters last?

Battery life depends on several factors. The main thing is to use it carefully, observe all storage conditions specified by the manufacturer. In addition, it should never be exposed to overheating or excessive moisture. It is also important to observe the charging cycle. In such hothouse conditions, the device will last more than six years for sure! Otherwise, the device will last less than four years and may refuse to work completely spontaneously or charge intermittently.

Does jump starter charge the battery?

Let’s be honest: even if you bought a brand new battery starter, there is no way it can charge your car’s battery. The fact is that you need to take into account the direct specialization of the starter. It is primarily designed to quickly increase the power of your battery in critical situations. It is this action that allows the engine to start.

Can you jumpstart a car through the cigarette lighter?

In short – no, there is no way to jump-start a car from the cigarette lighter inside. Using basic logic, a car with a dead battery draws a huge amount of current from a car with a good battery. Bypassing such an impressive charge of energy through the cigarette lighter, you risk damaging the fuse or melting the internal fuse parts.

Can a car battery be too dead to jump start?

A car battery can really be so discharged that even no jerk will help it. But it is also worth considering other factors, because the battery cannot be too discharged if it is intact and capable of functioning. Obviously, the matter is in some kind of internal damage. Therefore, either consult with an expert, or study the possible options for such breakdowns.

Is it bad to jump start a car?

In fact, no, there is nothing wrong with this action. If you correctly connect the connecting cables to the battery and follow the correct procedure, it will not harm it in any way. If you neglect the rules, you risk causing electrical damage to your car, creating a short circuit, or worse, causing a fire or explosion of the battery.

jump start a car

Why won’t my car start with a jump?

If such a question arose, then the battery may be completely discharged or damaged. There is also a possibility that the battery is damaged. In order to find out the exact reason, it is better not to engage in amateur performances, but to rely on an expert who will determine the whole essence of why your battery does not charge from a jump.

Can you recharge a car battery with a jump starter?

If you are inattentive, for example, left on the headlights, or interior lighting, do not worry. The battery can be charged by starting it from another car or by a jump starter. It will only fail if the battery is past its expiration date. The battery is trite, but it just can’t hold a charge anymore. It’s time to replace it or repair it.

How do you charge a car battery with jumper cables?

There is nothing complicated about using charging cables. The main thing is to correctly follow the order of actions when connecting. Connect the red clip to the positive terminal of the discharged vehicle. Then, attach the red clip to the positive terminal of the good battery. After that, you need to clamp the black (-) negative terminal of a working battery. Finally, attach the remaining black (-) to the metal surface of the dead machine.

Still have questions?

Feel free to contact us [email protected] if you have any questions or suggestions. We are always open to hear from you!

Leave a Reply