A jump starter can pay for itself the first time that you use it, without waiting around for a tow truck.
Between the invention of the self starter and the end of the 20th Century, the best portable car jump starters weren’t things you carried with you. They were heavy lead-acid automotive batteries that only garages and tow truck drivers used. Everyone else carried (and still should) jumper cables, which require two cars and enough knowledge not to short them out. If you had a dead or weak battery and you were on your own, you had to get to a phone or flag down another motorist to have a chance of getting going again.
There are a lot of reasons to end up with a dead battery. Even if you do everything right, they don’t last forever: You should expect to have to replace one every five to seven years, depending on where you live and how you use your car. Even in new cars and trucks, charging systems can fail, or a battery drain can slowly siphon power away while sitting. And of course, almost everyone has left a dome light or the headlights on, or an accessory plugged into an always-on 12V power port.
Fortunately, you can now buy one of the best portable car jump starters, charge it up, and forget about it for six months or more (they do need topping up occasionally, especially if they get very cold or very hot repeatedly). Almost all of them have USB ports as well, and we often use one in the AutoGuide Garage as an oversized battery bank to charge phones, so they’re useful in all sorts of emergencies.
Jump Starters vs. Jumper Cables
Portable jump starters are much safer and easier to use than jumper cables, although most of them can’t provide as much power. You just clamp them directly onto your battery terminals, turn it on, and after a few seconds, try to start your car. Most of them have overheat protection, so after a few tries you’ll have to wait for them to cool down, but they also have enough power for multiple starts. They also have reverse polarity protection, and won’t do anything bad if you connect them the wrong way around.
For more information on the best portable car jump starters, refer to our Table of Contents.
Post time: Jan-16-2023