Cars run on batteries, and the batteries may become down suddenly in the middle of a road. Your car may also refuse to start-up in the morning because of a dead battery. In such cases, jump-starting the car is the only option. Conventional jumper cables to provide power to dead car batteries require another car which may not be available readily. Thus, the best option is a modern portable jump starter which can be stowed away in the car itself. All you need to do is connect it to the car batteries and jump-start the car instantly.
There are some essential factors which should be taken into consideration to purchase a good portable jump starter.
The cables of a portable jump starter connect it to the car batteries. Thus, jumper cables are critical for the functioning of a portable jump starter. The length of jumper cables ranges from 10-35 feet. 15 feet is considered appropriate for jumper cables. The wire gauge of the cables is also an important feature. The gauge indicates the thickness of the wire inside the cable. 6-4 gauge cables are suitable for large batteries because they deliver a large amount of power. 8 gauge cables are well suited for most cars.
Starting Amps and Peak Amps
Starting Amps is the number of amps that the portable jump starter delivers consistently. The starting amps of a portable jump starter indicates the size of the engine that it can jump-start. Large-sized engines require more starting amps as compared to smaller engines. Thus, the starting amps of the portable jump starter must correspond with the engine size for which it is being purchased.
Peak amps is the maximum amperage delivered by a portable jump starter. The peak amperage indicates the limit of the power boost delivered by the unit. Peak amps are also directly proportional to the engine size.
The size of the portable jump starter should be in accordance with the type of vehicle it will be stored in. Portable jump starters are available in a plethora of sizes. The size you choose must be suitable for fitting easily in the glove compartment, underneath the seat or trunk of your car. Pick a size accordingly.
Portable jump starters should be equipped with a safety feature called reverse polarity alarm/short circuit protection. This feature protects the battery and the jump starter unit if a jumper cables clamp of one kind of polarity is connected to the battery terminal of opposite polarity.
Another important safety feature is spark-resistant cables. Spark resistant cables eliminate the risk of sparking while they are being connected to the batteries.
Some bonus features that are present in a good portable jump starter includes the following.
- Built-in air compressor to inflate punctured tyres
- LCD to show the amount of charge in the jump starter and the charge left in the car battery
- Emergency strobe light to alert other vehicles on the road about the presence of a stranded vehicle.
- USB ports to charge devices such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc.
So these are points which need to be considered while selecting a portable jump starter for your vehicle.