Imagine this scene: you're stuck in the middle of the road. Your battery has just given up on you, and you patiently wait for another motorist to pass by so you can ask for help. You wait for hours and hours, and you feel the slightest pang of regret because just last week, you laughed at your friend's advice: get your own jump starter. It's an agonizing thought, and it seems like the stuff of horror movies, but it's actually something that happens all too frequently to a car owner. Getting your own jump starter is a very easy task, made easier by this guide that we have put together to help you choose a reliable product wisely.
Compatibility, portability, and durability
Jump starters are rated by their cranking amp and peak amp values. Look in your car's manual for the CCA rating (cold crank amps). Match this with the ampere rating of the jump starter you're planning to buy. Remember that the bigger the vehicle, the more power it will need. A standard jump starter is enough for a regular four-cylinder car, but a larger truck will need a jump starter with higher cranking or peak amps.
Portability is something that you should consider when buying a jump starter. You will be carrying it in the event of battery failure, so weighty ones will be a problem. Before buying a jump starter, consider the size and find out if you're comfortable with how much it weighs. You don't want to be injured or be unable to carry the jump starter in an emergency situation.
Consider the convenience of being able to charge the jump starter through a standard household socket. Not all jump starters have this feature. Overload protection is another great feature to look for. It keeps your car safe from damage in case you forget to unplug the jump starter. Look for a jump starter that is enclosed in a polypropylene case, as they are proven to be very durable. The length of the crocodile clips also varies from product to product, and as with everything else, the longer, the better.
Other features to look for
Modern jump starters sound off an alarm or have LED indicators that warn against reversed connections. We also recommend plastic-coated crocodile clips that resist annoying sparks. Along with a jump starter, some kits also include an air compressor you can use to inflate your tires. Some even have a power inverter and sockets you can use to power your car accessories.