Jump Starters To Ensure You'll Never Be Stuck
What is the difference between a battery charger vs a jump starter?
Battery charger converts alternating currents into direct currents to charge a flat battery. These devices are inexpensive, easy to use, and designed to diagnose, recover, charge, and maintain most standard batteries. However, car battery chargers don't charge fast enough, and it is not possible to use them unless they are charged.
A jump starter is used to ‘jump start’ a car without actually charging the battery. It can provide instant charge and power surge to your flat battery and will allow you to resume your journey immediately. The portability of these chargers and the lack of a separate transformer make them more convenient than battery chargers. However, the downside of using a jump starter is that you need to keep the engine running for at least 30 minutes after it has been started. In this way, the battery can be charged sufficiently by the alternator.
Types of Jump Starters
Jump starters come in a variety of types - jumper cables, battery chargers, and portable jump starters are the most commonly used. The portable jump starter is however the most popular because they are inexpensive, portable and easy to use.
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How long should I charge my jumpstarter battery pack?
The jump starter uses a battery for power and must be recharged periodically. Always recharge your portable jump starter/battery booster pack after each use and at least once every 6 months. A jump starter needs to be recharged for at least three hours after use. Depending on the unit, charging could also take between 12 and 24 hours.
What to consider when buying a jumpstarter?
One of the essentials for your emergency kit before taking a road trip is a jumpstarter for your vehicle. Below are few of the factors to consider when buying a jumpstarter:
- Peak amps and cranking current: A jump starter's peak amps represent the maximum amount of power it can supply in the initial burst and can only last for a minute or two. On the other hand, cranking amps refer to the amount of stable power a jump starter generates for at least 30 seconds. Therefore, cranking amps should be your first consideration between the two.
- Vehicle Engine Size: Vehicles with larger engines require more powerful jump starters. If you intend to jump-start more than one vehicle, you should get a jump-starter that can jump the largest engine
- Preventive Measures and Safety: Check for the safety measures that are built-in including the following:
- Overcharge protection: This is an auto cut-off feature that will keep the unit from overcharging its own battery
- Over-voltage protection: The battery is protected from taking on more volts than it was designed for when being charged
- Overload and Over Current Protection: The amount of voltage and current are kept nominal to prevent battery jump starters from being destroyed
- Battery Jump Starter Size: Choose a size that will fit your storage are inside the car. The power output of lithium-ion batteries is often comparable to that of lead-acid batteries, but they are smaller, lighter, and cheaper. For those planning to keep their jump-starter under their seats or in their compartment, lithium-ion jump-starters are ideal
- Features: Some jump starters come with extra features such as flashlight, USB charger, power outlet and air compressor. As more add-ons are added, its cost increases