Part of being a responsible car owner is staying on top of car maintenance and being prepared for unplanned situations. One thing you can do to be ready is to keep an emergency kit with basic maintenance tools, including a portable jump starter. 

Here’s what to look for when buying a jump starter

accessories, maintenance

Jumper cables on a car battery | Christophe Gateau/picture alliance via Getty Images

Geek suggests you consider four features when you are ready to purchase a jump starter:

  • Durability:  It is easy to assume that a heavier jump starter is the better choice. However, that’s not always the case. You need to pick the best jump starter for the batteries you are looking to charge. In most cases, a small to medium jump starter is sufficient. 
  • Safety: Pick a jump starter that has protection against excessive voltage. Prevent a short circuit by ensuring the wires are properly covered and ensure the starter won’t overcharge the battery, causing an explosion. 
  • Power: Consider the primary batteries you are buying the jump starter for. You don’t want a starter with too little power to efficiently charge your battery, nor do you want a starter that has too much and can damage your battery.
  • Reliability: Look at the customer reviews for the jump starter you are considering to get a feel for its reliability. Also, look at the product specifications and see how those line up with the customers’ experiences. Avoiding the pricier jump starters is understandable, but those are often the higher quality products. When you are in a sticky situation in need of a charged battery, quality can be more important than price. 

Be careful when jump-starting your car

Having to jump-start your car is an unfortunate situation to find yourself in. It can be a potentially dangerous situation, so it’s important to learn how to do it correctly. Consider how you can be in danger and how to avoid them.  

The Lost Altos Town Crier says, “the cables must be connected in a specific way to avoid damage to the electrical system of either vehicle and to prevent a battery explosion.”

Look for the plus “+” and minus “-” symbols on the battery terminals, and make sure you place the cables on the correct terminals and in the proper order. Putting the cables on in the incorrect order will most likely cause severe damage to both the good battery and the drained battery. Worst case scenario, it can cause a spark and then an explosion. 

Do not smoke or have any open flame near your car when getting a jump. Your battery can vent hydrogen gas, which can explode when in contact with a flame or spark. Also, remove any metal jewelry that could come in contact with the battery terminals.

To help save you time, here are the top five battery jump starters.

AVAPOW Battery Jump Starter

 The AVAPOW starter is an excellent starter for heavy-duty devices. However, it’s not so great for smaller devices. It has three LED flashlights, a 16800 mAh large-capacity battery, and two USB chargers. It also comes with indicators, so you know when the battery is fully charged. This starter is great for cars, bikes, boats, and SUVs. 

HULKMAN Battery Jump Starter

The HULKMAN is a great jump-starter for vehicles only. It is easy and safe to use, thanks to the nine types of protection. When fully charged, this starter can jump-start cars up to 60 times. There is a 65W high-speed charge which can fully charge a battery in 1.5 hours. You can also enjoy charging ports for smaller devices and three flashlight modes.

NOCO Battery Jump Starter

The NOCO jump starter is best suited for diesel engines. It is easy to carry from one location to another and can safely restart a dead battery. It is multipurpose as it can be used as a car starter, mobile power bank, and LED flashlight. 

Imazing Battery Jump Starter

The Imazing Starter is best suited for 12V batteries. This is best for 12V cars, bikes, lawnmowers, snowmobiles, ATVs, etc. You can also charge other devices with multiple USB ports.

TOPVISION Battery Jump Starter

The TOPVISION starter is designed for vehicles only. It can balance temperatures to help reduce startup temperature, making your jump safer. It is compact and can jump-start any 12V battery. There is an ultrabright LED with three modes: strobe, flashlight, and SOS. There is also a portable battery for added convenience. 

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