Jumper Cable Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong Jumper Cable

When your car won't start, jumper cables are a handy item that can help you get back up and running. Using battery cables takes some understanding of positive and negative charges, but they are easy to understand with research. You will find that jumper cables, like other necessary auto accessories, can be found in a few different iterations. When thinking about how to buy jumper cables there are a few different things you will want to keep in mind.

>> What will they be used on?

Deciding on the best jumper cables to buy will depend on which vehicles the cables will be used. There are different jumper cable sizes meant for different vehicles. Regular jumper cables are the most widely used in the market. Regular jumper cables are usually 12 feet long and do well with most consumer automobiles. Heavy-duty jumper cables can be used on a variety of vehicles. They are longer than the average jumper cables, often up to 20 feet long. Heavy-duty jumper cables are also thicker.

The amps that jumper cables can carry make a difference in considering how to buy jumper cables. Amps are a measure of the power being transferred by the cables. When deciding how to choose jumper cables, look at how many amps you will need. Jumper cable sizes for amps start at around 150 amps, which carry a current that will start a standard size sedan. Those who are interested in larger currents can go with jumper cables that carry 300 amps or more. A 300-amp charge is large enough to start most cars, including some trucks. Still, some large diesel truck owners will need cables that can carry 500 amps. These will be able to start a variety of different vehicles, including large trucks that typically need a good charge to get going.

>> Consider the types of batteries being started

Battery connection terminals can be found on the top as well as the side of the battery. When looking at how to buy jumper cables, you will need to see if the battery has top terminals or side terminals. Most types of jumper cables are designed to connect to the top post on batteries via the clamps. There are a number of jumper cables out there that can connect to both.

Smart boost jumper cables are available as well. Smart boost jumper cables operate with smart technology to adjust to the appropriate polarity of the battery automatically and work to prevent shorts circuits. Smart boost jumper cables do not need to be connected to a specific positive or negative battery port, which is why they work well with first time users and in inclement weather conditions. If you'd like to have a little extra help when jumping your car or someone else's, consider one of these types of jumper cables.

Auto jump starters are an aid to drivers who do not have another car present. Auto jump starters use power from the battery connected to the unit in order to jump start the car. With traditional types of jumper cables, you must connect the cables from one car to another car in order to receive a battery charge. With the auto battery chargers, no other car is needed, making this tool a good choice when deciding how to buy jumper cables if you are often on the road alone, live alone or take trips in areas without many other motorists. Of course, even if you are with or around other people a lot, sometimes it's much nicer to simply use an auto jump starter than to pull another car alongside the one needing to be jumped.

>> Consider what accessories you need

Different types of jumper cables can be used with other automotive tools and equipment. Carrying tools inside of the car along with one of many jump starters and cables will aid in helping a vehicle that needs a boost. A portable tool kit is a good idea to carry along with the jumper cables in the event that extra adjustments need to be made to either vehicle while providing a battery charge to the car. A battery booster jump start kit makes getting back on the road a process that takes a few simple minutes. Battery boosters can fit in the trunk of a car and are a popular choice that you might want to consider.

Voltammeters help to read the voltage of how much power is flowing through the jumper cables of one car to the next. A voltammeter will determine if a jump charge is working effectively. This tool takes the guesswork out of receiving a charge. Having a voltammeter makes sure that the jumper cables and battery charge are working successfully and lets you know if any tools need to be replaced when determining how to choose jumper cables.

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