What to Know Before You Buy a Car Battery Jump Starter

If you have ever gotten in your car and turned the key, only to hear silence instead of your car starting, you know how frustrating it can be to have a dead battery. If your battery stops working late at night, it can also create a potentially dangerous situation for you as well. You can help protect yourself from the frustration of a dead battery by purchasing a car battery jump starter. With one of these handy, portable devices, you don’t need another vehicle to get your car started again.

a jump box type of car battery jump starter

There are two main types of car battery jump starters – a jump box or a plug-in unit:

  • Jump boxes: This type is better for most roadside emergency scenarios. These maintenance-free battery packs are sealed tight and attached to jumper cables, allowing you to jump your own car away from home. While this is a great option for emergencies, you wouldn’t want to make a habit of using a unit like this one because it can be hard on your car’s alternator.
  • Plug-in units: This option must be plugged in, so it is mostly useful in your own home if you have a battery problem. This type is better for your alternator, as it can gradually charge your battery over time.

Most people are going to be better off with a jump box type of car battery jump starter. Make sure you get one from a reputable brand. The internal battery should have a high reserve capacity. The clamps and cables should be heavy-duty and some even come with 12V accessory receptacles, making them useful in multiple scenarios.