Tips on How to Choose the Best Jump Starter for Your Needs
Imagine driving through the Australian outback happy to be going away for a few days only so that a couple of hours later your car’s battery goes dead and you are left alone stranded out in the wilderness. Certainly not a pleasant scenario, right? But, highly possible. In such cases, to keep yourself out of harm’s way and make sure that your car’s battery doesn’t go dead, consider having a jumper for cars in your vehicle at all times.
Besides being easy to use and safe, these devices are also easy to store and maintain. However, it is important to choose the one that has the right features and size for your vehicle – one that you can rely on when you need it to get you out of sticky situation. Otherwise, you will be stuck with a false sense of security and a car that won’t start. Here is everything you need to know when buying a jumper for cars.
The Power of the Jumper
The power of the jump starter is described by cold cranking amps (CCA). CCA is measured by how many amps a fully charged battery discharges in 30 seconds in a cold environment and it tells you what to expect from your battery in the worst starting conditions possible. There are two important factors to consider when determining what power level is right for you – the engine’s size and vehicle’s age. A small or compact Sedan battery can be jumped with as little as 150 CCA. SUV’s and full-size trucks need around 450 CCA. When it comes to vehicle age, the older the vehicle, the more amps it requires to jump start it.
When you think about a portable jumper for car, probably the first image that comes to your mind is the traditional, heavy jump box. They are still around and in most cases are the best option. The newer designs are sleeker and more efficient, they are a bit bulkier but they are still easy to carry and store in your trunk. If size is an issue for you, models powered by lithium-ion batteries can be a great alternative. These hand-held units come with carrying cases and can be easily stored under your seat, in the glove compartment or in the centre console.
Capacity is how many times you can jump-start a car before having to recharge the jumper. Models that are as small as 600mAh offer enough capacity for a couple of starts. Usually, car jumpers come with plenty of capacity and you shouldn’t have any problem jump starting your car a couple of times, even more so if you have bought your device from a reputable manufacturer.
Quality and Design
When choosing a jumper starter, look for clamps that are screwed or soldered to the cables instead of crimped. The clamps should also be wide enough to fit any size of post without twisting or bending. When it comes to design, the best models have a cable between the plug and the box in order to make it easier to handle. The standard warranty for portable jump starters is one year – beware of manufacturers who offer less.