Car batteries can cease to work for several reasons. Even with a reliable battery brand and good specifications, batteries can fail. Every now and then a car battery will need a jump start. The classic way to jump-start a battery is to attach jumper cables to a dead battery and a working battery inside an idle vehicle. It takes a minute or more for electric current to feed the dead battery into working condition.
Thanks to innovation, the average driver will be able to jump-start their vehicle without being at the mercy of fees such as towing and rushed spending.
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What is a Car Jump Starter?
Car jump starters are often confused with car battery chargers. Jump starters have a higher energy output than battery chargers. In addition, jump starters have flexible input/output functions such as LED, USB, and micro USB.
Here are some key points that make car jump starters essential as an emergency roadside kit:
If your battery happens to die because of weather or some other reason, you can use a car jump starter to give it a boost right away. This saves you a lot of time and money.
Car jump starters come in handy in case you leave headlights and cabin lights on by accident.
Finally, you can use car jump starters to check the status of the battery’s power. As you approach the end of projected life of the battery, you may want to check the status of your battery with the jump starter.
Purchasing a New Jump Starter for Your Car
As you build your emergency roadside kit, consider purchasing a car jump starter along with other essentials for reassurance. Conduct thorough research on your battery and match it with a charger that is compatible with its functions. The best car jump starter is versatile across car battery brands and battery types.
Methods that Will Revive Your Car’s Battery
Jumper Cables – Using jumper cables is a classic way to get a car started. This method involves two car batteries. A running car isn’t needed, but it’s recommended when trying to jump-start a failed battery.
- Open the hood of your vehicle and locate the battery.
- Place jumper cable clamps on the correct terminal (red wired clamp on positive [+] terminal, black wired clamp on negative [-] terminal).
- Do the same with a working vehicle. Open the hood, place the corresponding clamps on the battery of the working vehicle.
- Wait for at least two minutes.
- Start the working car and let it idle for another minute.
- Go to the car with the dead battery and turn the key but don’t start it. If you hear a chime, the car is getting power.
- Turn the key over to start the car.
Car Battery Charger – Battery charger works the same as jumper cables. Instead of using a battery, you’ll be using a device that has charged through another source of electricity, preferably from your home. It’s a good idea to allow battery chargers to replenish full electrical power over the course of a few hours or overnight.
Once charged, the process is the same as the jumper cables. Use the clamps from the battery charger and attach them to a battery’s terminals. Wait for a few minutes (3 to 5 minutes) to assure that the battery charger is doing its work. Turn the key and wait for the chime. Hear the chime? Turn the key over to kick in the ignition.
Car Jump Starter – Jumpstarters, especially portable jump starters, is much different than jumper cables and battery chargers. Car jump starters are like actual batteries. They don’t require an overnight charge.
They’re self-sustaining tools of voltage that can revive a dead battery with more efficiency than jumper cables and a battery charger. Use the same method as the jumper cables and battery charger, and your car should start without error.
Selecting the Best Portable Car Jump Starter
Portable car jump starters are generally lithium batteries with at least 1000 or more amps with an efficient single jump start charge. Some can be heavy; however, their small, compact design makes them ideal for emergencies.
When selecting your portable car jump starter regardless of brand, consider four factors that will make your automotive investment efficient which are capacity, power, quality, and safety.
Quality reflects the overall performance and specifications of the portable car jump starter. Portable car jump starters that’s versatile across different types of vehicles is where your options should be.
If you need a portable car jump starter for a specific purpose, go with a power. A car jump starter’s power is in its ability to provide a single charge (often called an instant charge). This burst of electrical power is vital to the type of vehicle. Portable car jump starters with low instant charges may have an issue jump starting vehicles or other electrical equipment that require higher charges.
Capacity is the total amperage and voltage of a portable car jump starter. The factors are relatively like power except for deals with the totality of how much the portable car jump starter can hold.
Last and certainly not least is safety. Be cautious and heed warnings listed on the packaging, the jump starter, and online warnings about jump starters. Overcharged or damaged lithium materials are known for sparking fires. Keep portable car jump starters cool by storing them in room temperature areas of the home or vehicle. Never overcharge your battery with a portable car jump starter. It can decrease the life cycle of the battery or cause the battery to leak (depending on the battery type).
Best Portable Car Jump Starters on the Market
As you browse store retailers and online retailers, you’ll get a grasp of what is the best portable car jump starter on the market. Review the ratings of each product before making a final decision. Listed below are a few car jump starters that are considered the best on the market.
Cranking Amps (CA) – Electrical power that is released in 30 seconds at 32o F (0o C). It’s also referred to as instant amps or starting amps.
Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) – Electrical power that is released in 30 seconds at 32o F (0o C) while maintaining 7.2 or more volts. Peak Amps – Added information used as a comparative factor to determine which portable car jump starter is better.
Volts (V) – According to its dictionary meaning, a volt is an SI unit of electric motive force, which causes an ampere of current to drive into an ohm of resistance.
AH or mAH – Ampere per hour (or milli-Amps per hour)
Schumacher SEM-1562A-CA 1.5 Amp Speed Charge Battery Maintainer
Brand: Schumacher Model: SEM-1562A-CA
Overview: Weighing under 2 lbs., this portable car jump starter is perfect for motorcycles, snowmobiles, and all-terrain-vehicles. Schumacher added that this model of jump starter effectively maintains 6 Volt and 12 Volt batteries that would otherwise lose their charge in storage.
- Automatic (full) Microprocessor (controlled)
- Maximum Voltage (depends on battery) – 12 to 14.8 Volts / 6 to 7.4 Volts
- Voltage Input – 120 VAC
- Voltage Current – 0.41 / 0.32
- Voltage Output – 12 Volts / 6 Volts at 1.5 Amps
PROS: Maintain batteries in storage. Helps extend the life cycle of the battery.
CONS: Potential overcharge on a battery that’s in storage. Not compatible with larger batteries or cars.
FlyHi Portable Car Jump Starter Auto Battery Booster
Brand: FlyHi Model / Manufacturer Part Number: FH-JS500
Overview: Here’s a portable jump starter that has useful functions for just about any device or vehicle using any electrical functions. FlyHi’s jump starter can check the status of a device’s battery, and the status of a car battery. Also, there’s an LED flashlight making it a versatile tool for night maintenance.
- 500 Peak Amps
- 13,600 mAh
- Compatible with some gas engines (up to 4.2L)
- Compatible with some diesel engines (up to 3.0L)
- Charges Laptop
- Charges Cellphones
- LED Flashlight
PROS: Portable and versatile for everyday use. Ideal for computer technicians. Useful in roadside emergencies.
CONS: Limited to gas engines 4.2L and under (some Trucks and SUVs).
TACKLIFE T6 Car Jump Starter
Brand: TACKLIFE Model: T6
Overview: TACKLIFE Car Jump Starter is another portable device equipped with jumper cables that detect electric current delivery much earlier than previous models. TACKLIFE reassures that the compact power in the power pack can start cars, trucks, and SUVs.
- 12 Volt (battery jumper)
- 600 Peak Amps
- 16,500 mAh
- Compatible with Sedans, Trucks, SUVs (portable power pack)
- Service gas engines (up to 6.2L)
- Service diesel engines (up to 5.0L)
- UL Certified
PROS: Can service most gas engines and diesel engines. Versatile charging for most smart devices and laptops. Moderate peak amps for everyday use.
CONS: Lower peak amps than competitors. Not ideal for heavy-duty use.
STANLEY J5C09 Jump Starter
Brand: Stanley Model: J5C09
Overview: The Stanley J5C09 car jump starter is the most versatile emergency tool a driver could have. This jump starter is likely the choice most drivers should go with. Not only is it a car jump starter, but it can also inflate a low pressured tire. Its equipped with a LED light that rotates 270 degrees.
- 1000 Peak Amps
- 500 Instant Amps (CA)
- 120 PSI Air Compressor
- Rotating LED Light
PROS: Equipped with an air compressor for tire maintenance. USB ports for electronic device charging capabilities.
CONS: Low mAh compared to other car jump starters. Much heavier than portable counterparts. Loses charge if not used consistently.
DBPOWER Portable Car Jump Starter Portable Battery Booster
Brand: DBPOWER Model / Manufacturer Part Number: DJS50-N
Overview: For a compact jump starter with the capability with a much bigger one, choose DBPower. This car jump starter can service cars, motorcycles, RVs, Trucks, etc. Several USB ports are installed into its design along with a 12-volt, 16-volt, and 19-volt DC port for laptops. It’s maximized mAh ensures that smart devices and laptops charge quickly.
- 600 Peak Amps
- 18,000 mAh
- Equipped with Compass, LCD Screen, and LED Flashlight
- Compatible with gas engines up to 6.5L
- Compatible with diesel engines up to 5.2L
- Portable battery booster equipped with a smart charging port
PROS: High mAh capacity. Great charge efficiency for smart devices and laptops.
CONS: Fewer peak amps than some of their competitor’s cheaper brands. Bulky car jump starter.
Aickar Car Jump Starter Portable Car Battery Jump Starter and Power Bank
Brand: aickar Model / Manufacturer Part Number: D-30
Overview: Car jump starter that’s compatible with most, if not all, gas vehicles. Aickar has a built-in lithium protective technology that prevents short circuits, overheating, reverse polarity, fluctuating voltage, and voltage overload.
- 800 Peak Amps
- 19,800 mAh
- Built-in LED Flashlight
- Compatible charging for all gas engines
- Compatible to diesel engines up to 4.5L
- Heavy Duty jumper cables
PROS: Moderately high peak amps. Compatible with most gas engines. Protective technology to prevent damage to car jump starter. High mAh capacity. Readily charged under seven hours.
CONS: May not be effective for some diesel engines.
Beatit BT-D11 Portable Car Jump Starter with Smart Jumper Cables
Brand: Beatit Model: BT-D11
Overview: Car jump starter that needs only five and a half hours to charge. It differs from most due to the intelligent clamps built onto the wiring for overcharge and short circuit protection.
- 800 Peak Amps
- 18,000 mAh
- 12 Volt portable car jump starter
- Compatible with gas engines up to 7.5L
- Service diesel engines up to 5.5L
- Equipped with auto battery booster, power back, and smart jumper cables
PROS: Faster charge time than most brands. Lightweight and easily stored for handbags and backpacks.
CONS: Low mAh efficiency as compared to competitors.
WHISTLER WJS-3500 MIGHTY Jump Starter
Brand: WHISTLER Model: DWS-WHIWJS3500
Overview: Compactly sized car jump starter with smart device charging capabilities. This jump starter provides multiple protections including short circuit protection, low vehicle storage protection, and overcharge protection.
- 200 CA
- 400 Peak Amps
- 2 USB ports for smart device charging
- LED Light
- Compact size
PROS: It comes with a multitude of protections that extend the life of the car jump starter. Great mobility for storage. Versatile smart device charging.
CONS: Price doesn’t compensate for low amperage.
NOCO Genius Boost Plus GB40 UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter
Brand: NOCO Model: GB40
Overview: Car jump starter with a powerful lithium-ion battery. It has versatile charging capabilities as many other car jump starters, however, it comes with needle nose clamps with spark proof technology making it much safer than other car jump starters.
- 1000 Peak Amps
- 12 Volts
- 4 USB ports
- Able to service gas engines up to 6L
- Able to service diesel engines up to 3L
- Spark proof
PROS: Mobile car jump starter with spark proof capability.
CONS: Limited charging for diesel engines higher than 3L. Low peak amp compared to competitors who offer a cheaper price and higher peak amps and mAh.
Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry JNC660 Jump Starter
Brand: Clore Automotive Model: JNC660
Overview: It’s a heavy car jump starter, but it makes up for its weight in providing high amperage for maximum charge results to devices, batteries, and vehicles. Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry is recommended for auto mechanics, truck drivers, and emergency responders.
- 425 CA (instant amps) / 1700 peak amps
- 12 Volts
- Comes in two versions: Lead-acid and Lithium
PROS: Industrial style jump starter suggested to auto mechanics, truck drivers, and rescue vehicles. Versatile charging capabilities across the board with a lithium battery version for smart device and laptop charging.
CONS: Lead-acid version is much heavier than other car jump starters. Lithium jump starter is less capable than its lead-acid counterpart.
Jump-N-Carry JNC770B 1700 Peak Amp Premium 12V Jump Starter
Brand: Clore Automotive Model: JNC770B
Overview: JNC770B is the next generation of Clore Automotive’s Jump-N-Carry. Now equipped with an on / off switch for better safety, this version provides even more voltage output. Stronger clamps known as power jaw clamps were added to give the car jump starter a more secure grip on vehicles. The lithium that accompanies the car jump starter remains consistent with smart device and laptop capabilities.
- 1700 Peak Amps / 425 CA (instant amps)
- Dual USB ports
- Heavy Duty Clamps
- Higher Electrical output
- 12 Volts
PROS: Higher voltage output and charging capability. Unique Clore Automotive technology battery that provides protection to car jump starter and vehicle’s battery. Extended service life.
CONS: This car jump starter is a little under 25 lbs. May not be an ideal choice for the average driver.
Which Car Jump Starter is Best?
Cost Efficient Car Jump Starter
If you’re hoping to go with the cheapest route, purchase the Schumacher. It’s very generic in amperage providing the just enough cranking amps to get your car moving.
For better results and overall versatility, choose Aickar, Beatit, or DBPOWER. They cost more, but they provide more reassurance in voltage and current output than the Schumacher.
Stanley’s car jump starter with 120 psi air compressor is the best selection for the average driver. It provides battery charging and tire maintenance.
The Most Compact
Aickar, Beatit, WHISTLER, and DBPOWER are very compact and can be easily carried in book bags and tool boxes. Lithium-ion car jump starters appear the most portable of all the car jump starters.
Which Car Jump Starter is the Safest?
The safest must be Clore Automotive’s JNC770B series. It’s an ideal item for professionals and with a master on/off switch and protective spark proof technology. This might may the safest, but not the most cost-efficient.
The Most Amperage of Them All
Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry has the most voltage and current output. Both products come with a lead-acid and lithium charger. With 1700 peak amps and 425 cranking amps, these car jump starters are perfect for service vehicles, which is more than what the average driver needs. If it’s in your budget, buy the Jump-N-Carry for your emergency roadside kit.
Accessories You Can Expect
Most car jump starters come with the necessary accessories. These accessories include jumper cable clamps, battery, and other wiring needed to service most vehicles. For smart devices, however, you may have to buy a charger to stick in the car jump starter port. The portable car jump starters may have a USB or DC charger inside their packaging. Cover your bases and purchase a charger for your device if you don’t have one.
Car jump starters are becoming essential tools for saving money. They negate roadside assistance, provides a security blanket in anxious times and gives you a source of power. Some car jump starters are portable.
To maximize your investment, the Stanley car jump starter may the best one. It’s not as compact as the other car jump starters, but it provides general coverage of car maintenance needs. Or you can strictly with a total voltage service and choose Clore Automotive.
Now that you’ve seen the best on the market, consider which one fits your needs.
Remember, the best one is the cheapest or the most expensive. Review the specifications as you shop for portable car jump starters. Voltage, amps, and current output matters as it describes how long it will take for a car jump starter to charge from an outlet at home, and it will determine how it takes for devices to charge.
Survey your vehicle, as well. If the cranking amp or peak amps of a portable car jump starter are not compatible with the engine, the car jump start may fail.
If you don’t agree with the price of a car jump starter, shop around online and in retail stores. To really push for a lower cost at retail stores, ask if they will price match items. Locate one that best fits your mission objective.