Portable jump starters are handy to have with you in your car. If you have a shoddy battery, a portable jump starter is a must-have. It doesn’t charge your battery like a battery charger; instead, it gives your battery an instant jump.
Carrying a portable jump starter in your car ensures that you’ll never end up stranded. Your car battery can die on you or not start at all. Anything can happen and usually will happen.
Before you use a car jump starter, you need to know the ins and outs. One of the most important factors is that it has a charge. We’re going to go through the steps of how to charge your portable jump starter so the next time you’re stranded, you’ll have a charged jump-starter ready to go.
Different Ways to Charge a Portable Jump Starter
Your portable car jump starter may have an indicator light to let you know if it has a low battery. A green light means it’s charged and a red light means it needs charging. This isn’t the only way jump starters let you know about a low battery, though. If yours doesn’t have an indicator light, there’s usually a meter to tell you how much power it has left.
You want to make sure your jump starter is charged whenever you bring it along with you. A full charge is best but over 50 percent makes sure you have enough to jump your car’s battery.
Almost all jump starters have a standard charger that plugs right into an outlet. So, all you have to do is plug the charger into the wall. Either the indicator light will change color or the power meter will go up.
Most cars have an A/C adapter also known as the cigarette lighter. Conveniently, most newer jump starters let you charge them through an A/C adapter.
Charging your portable jump starter through the A/C adapter is super convenient. One end of the cord goes into the jump starter. The larger end plugs right into the A/C adapter. Watch the indicator light or meter.
Depending on how low the jump starter battery is to start with, it can take hours to charge no matter which option you use to charge it.
Charging a portable jump starter with solar energy is an eco-friendly option but this isn’t a feature that comes with the average jump starter.
That said, there are jump starters out there that do. They’re bigger than other types and covered in solar panels. It’s the easiest method of charging a jump starter. You leave it outside during the day, under the sun. Again, pay close attention to the power meter and indicator light.
How to Use a Portable Jump Starter
1. First, turn off anything still on in your vehicle, including the radio. Turn on your portable jump starter to double-check that it has enough charge to jump your vehicle.
2. Turn your portable jump starter off again. Plug the jumper cables into the jump starter to make sure the positive and negative cables don’t touch. Note, some jump starters have the cables already attached.
3. Don’t turn the jump starter on just yet. First, attach the positive cable to the positive post on your battery securely. Place the negative cable to the negative post securely. Once you connect both jumper cable correctly, you can turn on the jump starter.
4. Start your vehicle. If your car isn’t starting, don’t keep it turned over for very long. After a few attempts, it will become obvious that your vehicle isn’t going to start.
5. When you’re ready to remove the jumper cables, remove the positive cable first. Then, remove the negative cable.
If your vehicle isn’t starting, there could be a few different reasons. The jumper cables may not be secure enough or the jump starter may not have enough battery charge.
Unfortunately, it could also be because your battery is done and you’re not going to be able to jump or charge it. In this case, you need to buy a new battery for your vehicle.
Our Favorite Portable Jump Starter
This DBPOWER’s portable jump starter is one of our favorite models. DBPOWER doesn’t disappoint with this one. It’s compact and lightweight, making it the perfect portable jump starter. You can carry it around in your car, though we advise against that because it can drain the battery.
You can carry it in your toolbox. You can store it away in your glove compartment. You can put it anywhere. Plus, it comes with a helpful semi-hard carrying case to prevent any damage.
The peak power output is 2000A, guaranteeing it’s going to be able to handle almost any car you put it to the test against. It’s appropriate to start any vehicle with an eight-liter engine or lower or any diesel vehicle up to 6.5 liters.
The cord connecting the jumpers to the jumper battery has an LED screen for your protection. It protects from overcharging, short circuits, among other issues. There’s also a smart USB charging port and the usual charging options so you can charge your cell phone or other electronic devices if you’re stranded.
Last, there’s an LED flashlight with three modes: lighting, strobe light, and SOS, in case of emergencies.
We recommend that anyone who drives consider buying a portable charger for their vehicle. You never know when you’ll end up stranded on the side of the road because of a battery issue. Instead of waiting for hours for someone to come and jump your vehicle, you can do it yourself.