Why not just use Jumper Cables?
We have all been there. We try to avoid it, but it happens no matter how careful we are. Leaving the interior light or the radio on in your vehicle can be enough to completely drain the battery – leaving you stranded. Whether you are at home, work, or the supermarket car park, a dead battery means the same – you’re going nowhere. Anyone who has had this experience is more likely to make some preparation for it occurring again; whether that is a set of jumper cables or a jump starter that they carry in their car at all times. Given that cables can be purchased for less than $20 and jump starters can cost anything up to a couple of hundred dollars why would anyone buy a jump starter?
Jumper Cables are basically a set of two wires, each with crocodile clips at either end. They allow you to connect your battery to another battery. Hopefully, you will be able draw enough power from the other battery to get your vehicle started. On the upside, the cables option is inexpensive and simple to implement. The possible downside is, in order to start your vehicle with cables you require a second battery – whether a stand alone battery or the battery in someone else’s car – and even then you cannot guarantee that the other battery is compatible with yours or sufficient to kick start your car.
A Jump Starter works on essentially the same principle as the jumper cables. Only instead of a second battery providing the power it is provided by the battery enclosed in the jump starter. This is generally a lighter weight battery than the standard car battery and ideally it is kept charged at all times so as to be ready to call upon at any time. Unlike the cables a fully charged dedicated jump starter will guarantee that you get your motor running in an emergency. Obviously, you will need to spend more than you would on a set of cables, but as they say, you get what you pay for. Before purchasing, make sure your choice of jump starter is capable of turning your size of engine and consider the range of added functionality a lot of modern starters come with.
Jump Starters range dramatically in price depending on how much power or added features you require. You can get a basic model from as little as $50. Even the lower price range jump starters may include a few extra features, and for less than $80 you can get your hands on a convenient mini jump starter that also incorporates a flashlight (handy if you’re stranded at night) and will boost a 12 volt battery.
If you are willing to investing a little more you can get a host of extended functions. For around $150 you can get yourself the Energizer 84020 12V All-In-One Jump Starter. Now you have a 12V jump starter with a very user friendly interface, an air compressor to enable you maintain the proper pressure in your tires (prolonging their life expectancy and increasing your fuel economy,) a light to illuminate what you’re doing, and two 12V DC sockets that can be used to power any small electrical appliance, say for example, a laptop, radio, or cell phone.
More advanced models such as the Jump-N-Carry JNC1224 offer the flexibility of providing a 12V or 24V charge. A starter with this sort of power will start almost any engine. Of course, this sort of power comes with at a price.