Best Car Jump Starters or “Battery Booster”
Wondering how to buy the best jump starter for your car or truck? Want to know how to jump start a car without another car? Want to save time & money?
A battery Jump starter is one of the most useful products you could mis-purchase, if you don’t know what to look for. I have owned many of them over the years because I’ve had multiple car batteries fail on me as I live in an extreme environment. My experience has been that some are wonderful emergency tools, surprisingly useful accessories, as well as time/money savers, while others are just plain junk.
Learn what great features they can provide and how to save time and money.
As a member of the automobile industry for over 30 years I know battery jump starters well and have many years of experience using them in various situations. One thing that I have learned is the value that having one available at all times has in saving a lot of stress, time and money. The following information is based on my extensive knowledge and experience.
What's in this article...
- Best Car Jump Starters or “Battery Booster”
- Clore Automotive JNC660 Jump-N-Carry 1,700 Peak Amp 12-Volt Jump Starter
- Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL 900 Peak Amp Ultraportable 12-Volt Jump Starter with Light
- When to Use a Jumper/ Starter
- How to choose the Best Jump Starter
- ATD Tools 5928 12 V 1700 Peak Amp JumpStart
- Battery Jump Starters and Car Battery Power Problems
- Jump N Carry 950 2000 Peak Amp Booster/ Starter
Clore Automotive JNC660 Jump-N-Carry 1,700 Peak Amp 12-Volt Jump Starter
The choice of Pros around the world . I Really like that it comes with a lifetime repair/ replacement. IF it ever fails, send $75 (shipping and handling) along with whatever parts remain, and they will either repair, refurbish or replace it. FREE Shipping available.
NB: This is the best selling jump starter available on the market today.
How Do They Work?
Understanding The Basics
Battery jump starters work by using a self contained battery to provide electricity temporarily to start and run a vehicle or provide power to an electrical device. Connections are made through cables with clamps at the ends (some units have additional connection options for various popular devices like ipods, phones, laptops, and TV). The starter jumper may be temporarily used in place of a battery in an emergency in some cases.
First and foremost, read and follow all safety and use directions from the manufacturer. Most jump starters will require an initial charge (even if it seems to have a charge). This insures that you begin with a FULL charge. It also helps the internal battery life and performance to be optimized. This includes turning off the ignition and all electrical accessories before connecting the jumper starter to the vehicle. Always wear eye protection. Do not lean over battery when connecting or disconnecting for maximum safety.
If possible, check the fluid level in the cells of the battery which is discharged. Fill with distilled water as indicated by the split ring within each cell to the appropriate level. This may not be possible on all batteries, as some are sealed.
NEVER TRY TO JUMP START A FROZEN, LEAKING BATTERY OR BATTERY WITH A CRACKED CASE
Secondly, when connecting to a discharged battery, use the jump starter power off switch (if so equipped) to prevent any sparks or short circuiting should you accidentally touch the positive terminal to ground when making connections. Then after connections are double checked, turn the power switch to the on position.
Connect the positive cable to the positive (red) terminal of the dead battery. Then connect the negative (black) cable to the frame of the car (or if not possible for some reason, to the negative terminal of the dead battery). Connecting to the frame of the vehicle with a low battery will reduce the chances of a spark igniting any fumes which might be near the battery.
Did You Know…..
A battery’s job is to store electricity. We all know this much about them. Not everyone knows that if a battery (that doesn’t hold a full charge) is continuously used in a vehicle, it will likely shorten the life of both the starter and alternator (this includes any battery used to jump start a vehicle). The starter doesn’t have adequate power for starting, and the alternator is constantly trying to charge a battery which cannot accept a full charge.
Heavy Duty (thicker gauge) cables and clamps improve jump starting performance greatly.
The quality of the connections to the battery is important. Without good contact, the battery cannot receive or deliver electricity effectively. The connections should make contact with the maximum surface area possible for best results.
If the battery to be boosted is either too hot or too cold, heating or cooling it closer to ideal temperatures will improve boosting performance. This is also the case with the engine to be started. A very cold or very hot engine may be harder to start.
WARNING – Never flood a hot engine with cold water as you may cause serious damage. Badly corroded battery terminal connections can cause sparks. Batteries can explode if gases from within are ignited by a spark or flame. Always exercise caution. It is a wise practice to wear protective glasses when working with batteries.
A battery can lose its charge from being dirty. (Electricity ‘leaks’ across the dirt and oil, which is present on the case of a dirty battery, from one terminal to the other. This will discharge the battery).
Slow charging is better than fast charging
If jump starting does not work, your battery may be absorbing too much of the electrical current needed to start your car. Try connecting the negative connection from the jumper cable or jump starter to a grounded part on the engine or frame. You can also try removing (just for a moment), the negative cable end from the battery and connecting the battery jump starter to the now disconnected cable end.
This reduces the draw of the dead battery on the starting job. Immediately upon starting the negative cable should be returned to its connected position on the negative battery post. Leaving the negative battery cable disconnected may increase the possibility of damage to your alternator, so do not forget to reconnect it after starting
Some drivers report using a liquid to ‘help’ the electricity more efficiently travel from the battery through the cable connections to the starter. If a liquid that can conduct electricity is poured on the connections between the battery and the cables, it may help start some vehicles which didn’t start even with the help of a powerful jump starter. It might temporarily improve the connections enough to make a difference. I do not recommend this practice without first consulting with a knowledgeable advisor.
Ohm’s Law: Amps = Volts / Ohms
Power Formula: Watts = Volts x Amps
Battery State of Charge – (at approx 85 degrees Fahrenheit)
12.70v . . . . . . . . . . 100%
12.48v . . . . . . . . . . 75%
12.25v . . . . . . . . . . 50%
12.05v . . . . . . . . . . 25%
11.90v . . . . . . . . . . 0%
An Essential Jump Starting Tool
Portable Emergency Power
At some time almost everyone will have automobile battery problems and need a source of portable power. Whether you drive a new or used car or truck, chances are you may need a jump start at some point. When you find yourself with a dead battery, instead of calling an expensive towing company ( towing service can take hours to arrive), having a battery jumper pack on hand can get you back on the road quickly and for free!
In addition to having the capability of jump starting your car, it can also provide portable power when you need to power or recharge an electrical or electronic device, and a DC power pack is at the heart of these useful tools. So for charging your I-pad, I-phone, laptop charging and extended laptop use, and portable power when you need it, A battery jump starter can make your day.
Invaluable as portable power jump starters are, it is important to remember that the batteries vary widely in their capabilities. What does that mean? Buying the wrong battery jump starter will likely lead to BIG disappointment when you really need it most. We all want the best jump starter price for a top rated jump starter. Let’s look at differences in features and capacities.
Battery jump starters are known by many names, including battery jumper pack, auto battery charger/starter, car battery chargers, car battery jumper, battery starter, battery booster, best battery charger and more. Whether you want to know the best emergency car battery jump starter for an 8 cylinder truck or want help choosing a battery booster for your car, continue reading to find out what you need to know to become informed, before buying a jumper pack.
Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL 900 Peak Amp Ultraportable 12-Volt Jump Starter with Light
JNCJumper starter 300XL portable jump starter pack| This light weight best seller is a good jumper/ starter for small car needs. It’s compact. It’s easy to carry.
You don’t have to search around in the dark looking for connections or make the connection backwards risking your cars expensive electrical components.
Includes the famous one time repair replacement coupon.
For a set handling charge, they will repair or replace the JNC 300XL booster just like they offer for its bigger brother the JNC 660.
When to Use a Jumper/ Starter
I used my car’s battery to power my laptop while I waited at the beach for some friends to arrive. After my friends had already left, I realized that between the radio, the lights I was using and recharging my phone and my laptop, I had discharged my battery just a little too much.
When you need to:
Jump start your car battery and do so without damaging another vehicle
Recharge or Power any of the following:
- music player or i–pod
- electric tools
- air inflator/ tire compressor
- emergency heater
- radio (weather, emergency communications, am/ fm/ satellite)
- any 120 volt appliance
- oxygen concentrator
This is a partial list of possible uses for an auto battery jump starter, in addition to jump starting car batteries. One of these uses may prove to be more than just a convenience. One of these uses could help save a life. Many of us want these valuable benefits. Yet, in purchasing this type of device, most are unaware of the features,benefits and limitations of these versatile products.
The battery jump starters may:
- Vary in their capacity (power output)
- Resistance to effects of heat/cold
- Relative safety
- Have internal chargers which protect a battery from overcharging.
- Alert you to reversed connections and overcharged or undercharged conditions
- Provide multiple voltage outputs. Provide 5, 12, or 24 volts without adapters.
- Include internal air compressors
- Feature inverters to provide 120 volt power (some of these have up to three 120 volt outputs)
- Contain work/emergency lights
- Some even have radios built in.
How to jump start your car without blowing up your battery
This is a great video that explains how to use your new unit correctly. Take a minute to watch it, especially if you’ve never used one before!
How to choose the Best Jump Starter
Portable Battery Jumper Packs: Which One?
Power requirements and features should drive your decision in buying a battery jump starter. Also important are the convenience, shipping costs and/ or delays. A product other than the most advertised brand, can be a great value (brand name is not everything). Be ware of the cheapest available as they are the source of most frequent disappointment.
The biggest mistakes can turn out to be:
- Not getting enough power (most buyers choose less power capacity than will serve them best). Batteries may perform better and last longer if each use does not require its maximum capacity. This holds true for both the battery in your car/ truck, and when choosing a battery jump starter
- What most sellers of jumper starters do not tell you is that if your battery is low, the electricity that you provide by jump starting goes first to your dead battery, and then to starting your car. This means that you need enough power to both charge your dead battery somewhat and start your car. Add to that the effects of heat or cold (batteries perform best at about 68-80 degrees fahrenheit) and vehicles are harder to start if outside the optimum temperature range (hot or cold).Buying a unit without features which may greatly enhance the use of the product (heavy duty 4 gauge cables, longer cables,heavy duty clamps, automatic charging, air compressor
- I suggest a minimum of 400CCA for a small engine and at least 550CCA (preferably more) for any 8 cylinder or diesel engine.
- Remember to check your purchase (starter) when it arrives to confirm it performs correctly and fully recharges.
I have featured some of the top rated models with better than average customer reviews and specs. Remember to check on the sellers warranty /return policies. Match your preferences to the applicable model.
ATD Tools 5928 12 V 1700 Peak Amp JumpStart
- Includes on/off switch for safety
- built-in work/emergency light
- charging level/battery indicator gauge
- AC/DC power cord for charging in vehicle
- Heavy-duty impact-resistant polyethylene case with rubber base
- 74 inch 4-gauge PVC coated cables that remain flexible in extreme cold temperatures
Using a Jump Starter eliminates the need for a second car. Jumper cables are a great tool. But what if you don’t want to risk damage to the other vehicle? OR What if you don’t want to WAIT for another vehicle to arrive? Simply use a self contained Jumper starter, if you want to eliminate the need for a second vehicle.
Battery Jump Starters and Car Battery Power Problems
What’s wrong with my Car Battery? Why is My Car Battery Dead?
I have had every kind of battery problem you can imagine. I even had a battery blow up! Car batteries are the source of a high percentage of car problems. They are used under extreme conditions, which are hot, cold, dirty, oily, environments which cause high electrical discharge .Batteries are asked to perform flawlessly for years, and in most cases get little or no maintenance. It is because of this type of use, that many batteries ultimately fail prematurely.
The average car battery is used to start the vehicle, power accessories, provide lights, music, and nowadays even Television for the vehicle occupants. As a result, the car battery is discharged much during even the short trips we may take. It is during these trips that the vehicle’s alternator is often incapable of recharging the battery to a full charge. Additionally, as many as 65% of batteries are undersized for the job they are asked to do.
All of the above factors help to create conditions ideal for working a battery to an untimely demise. Batteries need to remain at the fullest state of charge possible in order to perform both well and have best durability. Lack of regular use, and low state of charge, helps create sulfation (an internal corrosion process) which reduces and ultimately can kill a battery.
When used in a low state of charge, the battery’s life is also diminished. Using a car battery Jumper Pack when a battery is low will help not only the starter of the vehicle, but also the alternator and keep the battery from being used while significantly discharged. Due to the rising price of lead, batteries often cost $100 or more to replace.
To get the best results from your battery:
- Keep it fully charged
- Keep the case clean
- Check electrolyte level in the cells and refill as necessary
- Keep connections tight, clean and corrosion free
- Prevent it from freezing (a fully charged battery does not freeze as easily), and remember that hot conditions kill battery life also.
What Happens If The Cables are Connected Backwards?
Avoid Serious Damage – Use Wisely
One man’s experience….
I was helping a buddy of mine who needed a jump. It wasn’t the first time I helped him when his car wouldn’t start, so I trusted that he was going to hook up the jumper cables correctly without my supervision. After about 10-15 seconds when his battery began to smoke, I freaked out and realized what he had done. He had connected the jumper cables backwards!
Connecting cables or jump starters backwards can cause significant damage to a vehicles electrical system. Fuses, fusible links, and even a vehicle’s computer may be vulnerable to damage if connections are reversed. It could cost hundreds of dollars to repair. Most connections are marked(red) for positive and (black) for negative connections. Jump starters and jumper cables are available with reverse connection protection.
* This is one of many good reasons why smart people buy a battery jump starter. There is no need for a second vehicle. Using a separate battery, a jump starter enables you to prevent damaging the vehicle used to start the vehicle which won’t start.
How Much do They Cost?
From less than $50 to $500. Cheap battery jump starters are sold at many outlets and retailers. They are a great, economical solution to “my car won’t start”. But before we race off for the ‘bargain spot’ special, consider a couple of ideas first. This type of product is a ‘rescue battery’ conveniently packaged in a box complete with cables, clamps, and other optional accessories such as lights, gauges, meters, safety protection and electronic chargers.
The batteries themselves are usually Gel cell or the SLA battery (Sealed Lead Acid) type. If purchased alone (just the battery without anything else) they can cost between approx. $35 to $399.
They range in price so widely because of the quality, durability, and the amount of power they can provide. The lowest cost battery may be an ‘it could work’ option for ‘car won’t start’ problems.
The cables, clamps, meters, lights, chargers, and safety protection devices all also range in quality. So knowledgeable experts will advise you to spend your money on a product which will work, and not take a chance on a ‘I hope this thing will work’ product? To put costs in perspective, a good reliable battery jumper will cost approximately the same as a tank of fuel. A single call for emergency roadside rescue may cost you more plus your valuable time (even if you have roadside service like AAA or a like service. They have limited resources, and you simply have to wait, sometimes for hours.
There are incidents where nobody responded even after calling roadside service). If you have no such service, expect to pay $90 and up (and you still have to wait). A quality jump starter will last for years (properly maintained). The quality units are strong enough to jump start a vehicle many times. Often a car needing a boost will stall, perhaps several times. Imagine having a booster and it running out of electricity before you are safely on your way. I suggest that you buy quality for peace of mind.
Jump N Carry 950 2000 Peak Amp Booster/ Starter
“THE” Favorite for guaranteed power- with a Lifetime Replacement coupon. When you want the BEST!
Jump n carry 950 jump starter This jump starter has Higher quality power,cables,and clamps which provide better results. Also, the automatic charging is more convenient and helps to prevent accidental overcharging.
Winning features, greater performance.Check out the best price for JNC 950 Jumper.
I really like that it comes with a lifetime repair/ replacement coupon (I found out on Amazon). IF it ever fails, send $75 (shipping and handling) along with whatever parts remain, and they will either repair, refurbish or replace it. FREE. Shipping available.
Industrial grade, Hot Jaw clamps
It’s the largest 12 Volt Jump-N-Carry unit.
With 2000 Peak Amps of starting power, it will start 1-6 commercial trucks. Plus, its heavy-duty battery satisfies the most aggressive portable power users. Its onboard automatic charger can provide up to 24
- Hour/365 Day continuous charging.
- 2000 Peak Amps.
- Automatic charging mode.
- Battery status indicator gauge.
- 46″ Heavy-duty #2 cables.
- Extra heavy-duty polyethylene case.
- DC outlet to power 12 Volt accessories.
- 1 year limited warranty.
- Voltage: 12 Volt
- Battery Type: Sealed Lead Acid
- Cable Length: 46″
- Cable Gauge: #2 (American Wire Gauge)
- Charger: 1 Amp Automatic
- Indicator Display: Status Gauge
- This jumper is Assembled in the USA