Jump Starter: Key Buying Tips Revealed

You’ve probably heard of a jump starter or battery jump starter before. I consider it to be a great emergency device that is a must-have if you are at risk of your car’s battery going dead, or you own two or more cars. If used properly, it is also one of the more reliable devices to bring back a dead battery that I know of.

It could happen to you! You wake up in the morning, get ready for work, and head for your car. You go to start it and you get that awful sinking feeling because the car doesn’t turn over. Your battery is dead or at least doesn’t have enough power to start your car. What do you do? Wake up your neighbor to help you jump your car? Do you even have jumper cables?

If you had the time you could hook up a battery charger and wait for the battery to recharge. You don’t have the time because you’re late for work.

Key Jump Starter Buying Tips

Clore JNC660 Battery Jump Starter

Here are some things to remember when purchasing a battery booster pack or a battery jump starter:

 

Some Basic Jump Starter Advice

Battery jump starters come in a variety of sizes, styles, and with different features and technology. Be aware of the features, power, and any accessories it comes with. As you know, the best price is not always the right choice. A cheap version might now give you the features, capability, and reliability you need. On the other hand, getting all the bells and whistles may cause you to spend more than you should. Remember that your focus is the jump starter itself and not the additional options. Look first to the capability of the jump starter and second to the options and additional features. We highly recommend that you take a look at our article Jump Starter Battery Key Functionality You Need To Know before buying one.

It’s More Than Just A Battery

Although at the heart of a jump starter is a battery powerful enough to start a car, a battery jump starter has additional features built-in that make it ideally suited to the task. For example, it will usually have a built-in charger so that you can make sure the jump starter is always available when you need it. It also has plenty of power. If you’re ever in an emergency situation where you’ve have absolutely drained your battery, such as leaving your lights on at the airport while you’re on vacation, you will appreciate the capability of a more powerful jump starter. Check the specifications carefully and make sure your choice has the extra capability to revive dead batteries. With greater power comes extra weight which reduces portability. Lugging around a very heavy jump starter that has more capability than you need doesn’t just hit you in the wallet it can hit you in the back as well.



It’s Easy To Use

A battery jump starter is much safer and easier to use than a typical extra battery. Battery Jump Starter Clore JNC300XLYou just hook up the cables properly and start your car. The battery booster has positive and negative cables typically with alligator clamps that match up with the positive and negative terminals on your battery. It’s as easy as connecting positive to positive, negative to negative, and turning on the device. Then try to start your car. The peak power of the jump starter will usually start your car. If it won’t start right away, depending on how dead your battery is, you may need to give the booster a few minutes to boost your battery sufficiently to start the car.

 

Battery Jump Starter Comparison

Image
TitleClore JNC660 'Jump-N-Carry' 1,700 Peak Amp 12-Volt Jump StarterClore JNC300XL 'Jump-N-Carry' 900 Peak Amp Ultraportable 12-Volt Jump Starter with LightPeak PKC0AO 300 Amp Jump StarterSchumacher PSJ-1812 DSR ProSeries 1800 Peak Amps Jump Starter and Portable Power UnitBlack & Decker JUS500IB 500-Amp Jump Starter with Built-in Tire InflatorJump-N-Carry JNCAIR 1700-Amp 12-Volt Jump Starter with Power Source and Air Compressor
Feature1700 peak ampere
Battery status indicator gauge
46 inch heavy-duty #4 cables
DC outlet to power 12 volt accessories
This item is not for sale in Catalina Island
900 peak amps and 225 cranking amp, with 27 inches of #4 gauge jumper cables
Full size clamps to penetrate battery corrosion
Equips with a high intensity work light
Note: This item is Hazmat and non-returnable
This item is not for sale in Catalina Island
Exclusive Low Charge Alert (LCA) Alarm signals owner when jumper needs charging
High impact resistant housing with rubberized sure-grip bottom and handle
Reverse polarity LED and alarm
5 LED battery power indicator
This item is not for sale in Catalina Island
1800 peak amperes, 280 cranking ampere and 225 cold cranking amperes
18 Ah professional grade, high output AGM battery
12 Volt DC power outlet
Built in automatic charger
LED indicators for charging, charged and battery status
500 Instant starting amps for maximum performance
120 PSI inflator for vehicle tires, sports equipment and more
Low-profile design for easy storage within vehicle or garage
Visual and audible reverse polarity alarms warn against improper connections to battery terminals
Ultra bright area light for increased visibility in dark areas
1700 peak amps and 425 cold cranking amps
PROFORMER battery technology for reliable cranking and charging
Extra-long 68" cables
Integrated air compressor with 12' coiled air hose with screw-on chuck
This item is not for sale in Catalina Island
ModelJNC660JNC300XLPKC0AOPSJ-1812JUS500IBJNCAIR
WarrantyManufacturer90 Day parts warranty parts and labor2 Year Warranty
Price$129.50$64.95$43.31$97.45$75.00$209.27
Height5.1 inch7.25 inch11.25 inch12.25 inch12.75 inch17.1 inch
Weight18 pound5 pound8.45 pound18.35 pound18 pound20 pound
Width14.1 inch7.75 inch6.38 inch8.75 inch6.75 inch16.5 inch
Length16.3 inch12 inch12.13 inch12.5 inch14 inch9.6 inch
Rating4.7 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars3.1 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.0 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars
ReviewsRead ReviewsRead ReviewsRead ReviewsRead ReviewsRead ReviewsRead Reviews
LinkMore InfoMore InfoMore InfoMore InfoMore InfoMore Info

Product prices and availability are accurate as of Jul 8 1:57:40 UTC but are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the merchant site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

For more information on how to hook up the cables, we recommend you take a look at our article How To Jump Start A Car Safely and Correctly for more information.

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I would love to get your opinion of this article or hear your jump starter story. Please take a moment to leave a comment below.

I hope this article has given you some important tips you can use when purchasing a battery jump starter.





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Comments
  1. charles kelley

    i have an v8 truck what size jumper do I need

    • Mark Ridgeway

      Hi Charles, thanks for your question. I recommend at least 4 gauge cables 16 ft or longer in length. Some good examples include the Coleman Cable 08660 Heavy-Duty 4-Gauge Auto Battery Jumper Cables with Polar Glo-Watt Clamps or Capri Tools Heavy-Duty Auto Jumper Cables – 20Ft Length – Heavy 4-Gauge Wire with Storage Bag, both available on Amazon.com. My article http://www.carbatterychargerscentral.com/top-5-jumper-cables-for-2013/ talks all about them.

  2. charles kelley

    I have an v8 what size jumper do I need

    • Mark Ridgeway

      Charles, please see my other reply. -Mark

  3. Chris

    The engine in my car is a high compression 5.7 liter how much amperage do I need in a jumper box

    • Mark Ridgeway

      Hi, thanks for your question. I always recommend the Clore JNC660 as the best all around jump starter. It is very durable, reliable, and powerful. One of my best friends is a mechanic who has been in business for more than 40 years and he only uses a JNC660 for all vehicles that come through his shop. Hope that helps. -Mark

  4. Bill Bays

    I bought a cobra jumpstarter for 77.00 about 13 months ago, which means it is one month out of warranty. Never used till the the other day when after being fully charged failed to start my car. I took the jumpstarter to NAPA who said it it is putting out 15 amps. Cobra will repair for an unknown flat fee so far. Anything I can do with this thing?

    • Mark Ridgeway

      Hi Bill, thanks for your question. I’m assuming that you left the jumpstarter on the charger the entire time? The chargers in jumpstarters are not always the best. It sounds like the battery has gone bad possibly from the charging. What did Cobra say they thought was the problem? It sounds like the battery has gone bad and it needs to be replaced. I can think of another option. You could try one of the battery tenders like Battery Tender Plus or one of the Genius chargers like the G1100 or G3500. In some situations they can bring batteries back from the brink. You have to weigh that possibility against the cost of the charger or charger repair. You might be better off just replacing it. Sorry I don’t have more options.-Mark

  5. Paul Mason

    Will a 4amp jump start machine work on my ford ka 2001 plate with 1300cc engine size would be most grateful for your advice please thanks all the best, Paul

    • Mark Ridgeway

      Hi Paul, thanks for your inquiry. Battery jump starters are typically rated for peak amps that would be available to start a vehicle such as 400 amps plus. The 4 amps you mentioned would be more likely for a battery charger. With a small engine like the KA’s 1.3l you should be able to use just about any battery jump starter successfully, including the newer compact lithium ion battery jump starters. I’m not sure what’s available in the UK but if you’re in the market you should definitely check out the compact models that are easier to store, use, and carry. Check out my article http://www.carbatterychargerscentral.com/car-starter-top-7-compact-battery-jump-starters/ for some popular models in the U.S. Even since I wrote this article, many more have been introduced so it would be good to check amazon.uk for new models available in the U.K. Hope that helps! -Mark

  6. Tena

    I’m looking for a portable battery charger system with an air compressor for my Toyota V8 5.8 crew max truck (2007). I also use the truck to tow a 2 horse aluminum trailer. Can you recommend one? Want something reliable but can’t pay $200-$300.

  7. Jon

    Hi Mark,
    I have a jump starter 12V 400 A and I wonder if it is powerful enough for my car which has a 12V 740A battery.
    Best regards
    Jon

    • Mark Ridgeway

      Hi, it’s not so much your battery as what the jump starter has to turn over in the process of getting your engine to start. Also are we talking 400 peak amps or cold cranking amps? Also, is it below freezing out or 70 degrees F? Most fully-charged standard jump starters will start a passenger car, even V8’s without too much trouble in warm weather. If you bought it new, your booster should have come with specifications that tell you what it’s supposed to be capable of. Even if you bought it used, you should be able to find the manufacturer and model online and find the original manual. The bottom line is unless the jump starter is dead, your trying to start a diesel bus, or its 10 degrees F outside, you should be fine. Hope that helps! – Mark

  8. Mo

    Hi Mark,
    for a Cadillac Escalade V8 SUV I am looking at these two (link below) portable jump starters. Which one do you suggest(if any)?

    Antigravity Batteries Micro-Start Jump Starter/Personal Power Supply XP-1 XP-1
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FDYYK4A/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_img?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3FL3OGE7INI04&coliid=I2WR3G8M0AHWSX

    AND/OR

    BrightechTM – SCORPION – Car Jump Starter
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K0VMXDQ/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_img?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3FL3OGE7INI04&coliid=I2Y4A1WVSJGYDP&psc=1

    and may be…
    Schumacher SL1 Red Fuel Lithium Ion Jump Starter

    thnaks
    m

  9. Mo

    Hi Mark,
    for a Cadillac Escalade V8 SUV I am looking at these two (link below) portable jump starters. Which one do you suggest(if any)?

    Antigravity Batteries Micro-Start Jump Starter/Personal Power Supply XP-1 XP-1
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FDYYK4A/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_img?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3FL3OGE7INI04&coliid=I2WR3G8M0AHWSX

    AND/OR

    BrightechTM – SCORPION – Car Jump Starter
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K0VMXDQ/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_img?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3FL3OGE7INI04&coliid=I2Y4A1WVSJGYDP&psc=1

    and may be…
    Schumacher SL1 Red Fuel Lithium Ion Jump Starter

    thanks
    m

  10. Jennie T.

    I have an 08 Nissan Pathfinder V6, what size amp do I need?

    • Mark Ridgeway

      Unless you live in an area with harsh winters, you should be able to use just about any of the new lithium jump starters. There is no specific amp requirement when it comes to jump starters. Many choose to go with the highest starting amps that they can afford, since starting amps is usually the only thing other than peak amps reported on lithium jump starters. The peak amps specification isn’t really very helpful in comparisons. If you have very cold winters, choose a heavy-duty model, otherwise, choose any of the highly rated models. -Mark

  11. richard tarno

    Hi Mark:
    I have a 2013 Toyota Prius hybrid and wonder what chargers would be good for starting it if I leave one of the doors ajar for a couple of days or something similar that discharges the battery? Does the fact that its a hybrid, and has terminals under the hood for charging purposes make any difference in choosing one? Thanks!

    • Mark Ridgeway

      Hi Richard, any of the lithium jump starters in this article should work well for you http://www.carbatterychargerscentral.com/car-jump-starters-top-rated-compact-battery-booster-brand/ Also, here’s a video that describes how to jump start your Prius. https://youtu.be/nxXL_g4ONrU -Mark

      • richard tarno

        Thanks for your prompt reply. I have follow-up questions concerning my Prius. Concerning peak and starting/cranking amps…….which is better to use to judge which charger to buy? Can you recommend a maximum and minimum range that I should be looking for when shopping for a charger for my hybrid (I live in New York State, and the winters can get pretty cold)? I realize that a charger not strong enough, will not be effective in starting the car, but could a charger that is too powerful be harmful to my Prius? The last thing I want to do is to damage its electrical system. I appreciate your advice….thanks.

        • Mark Ridgeway

          I’m glad I can help. The best comparison point is Cold Cranking Amps (CCA), particularly since you live in a cold weather area. Unfortunately, CCA is generally not available for jump starters. It is specified for batteries. A jump starter just adds to your battery’s ability to jump start your car, so a CCA of 175-200 would be fine if you could get the number. You don’t need a CCA of 700 like your battery might have. Even in cold weather, you should be fine with any of the jump starters recommended in my article since you have a relatively small gas engine in your hybrid. The jump starter will not hurt your car as long as it’s connected properly to the battery. Most of the lithium jump starters we have put in our articles have safety features built-in to help prevent damage. Having a powerful 12V jump starter will not damage your car since the jump starter will only provide the amperage that your starter draws off it. -Mark

          • richard tarno

            My final question: I’ve narrowed down the starters to two for my
            Prius………the Bolt Power® K3 and the Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL 900 Peak Amp (listed as having 225 cranking amps, but I don’t think its lithium). Two things are most important to me: 1)starting, even in NY winters, and 2)time to recharge the car starter (if unit needs to be recharged when my car needs jumping, I don’t want to wait 5, 6, or more hours). The Bolt is $15 cheaper, smaller, and is lithium, but the 225 cranking amps of the Jump-N-Carry is tempting (assuming that the 225 is accurate). Phyusical size means little to me. Any advice you can offer would be appreciated…..thanks.

          • Mark Ridgeway

            Both boosters are popular and capable. Just a heads-up that cranking amps is not the same as CCA. CA is measured at 32 degrees F while CCA is measured at 0 degrees F. That means that the 225CA is not as powerful as 225CCA. A lithium jump starter should last longer and be more reliable than a comparable lead-acid. They will also charge more quickly, hold a charge longer, and be able to do more cycles before charging than a lead-acid model. It’s just the technology difference. Also, the K3 has some built-in safety features that aren’t really available generally on lead-acid boosters. Both will do the job, but you might want to think about a lithium booster for the new technology advantages. -Mark

          • richard tarno

            Thanks for your info and suggestions. I will bow to your expertise and buy the K3.

  12. john irwin

    which one has the best warranty or replacement or repair service.

    • Mark Ridgeway

      Most of these units come from China and they are relabeled by a number of resellers. Even some of the name brands simply buy the jump starters and have them relabeled with their own brand. That means that you are at the mercy of the reseller in most cases for the warranty. If you’re talking about lithium jump starters, I would trust Antigravity Batteries for one. NOCO Genius and Schumacher are also good brands that stand behind the products they sell. – Mark

  13. Josh

    Hi I have an 2015 Acura RDX v6 engine and I live in New York City. Do you have any recommendations for a jump starter with air compressor? I’ve heard recommendations on the Stanley 1000 amp but is the 1000 amp necessary? For that model it also said it has 500 amp start, and I am not sure what that means. Although the car is unlikely to have a dead battery any time soon but better safe than sorry.

  14. Josh

    Hey Mark. Thank you for the prompt reply. I was just looking at the antigravity portable battery and has a cca of 200 starting amp and max cca of 400. Is that enough for me?

    • Mark Ridgeway

      Josh, every situation is different and as soon as I say you’ll be fine, a cold front will move into New York, drop temps to record lows, your battery will go dead and the jump starter won’t be strong enough. 🙂 What I will say is that under normal circumstances, any of the Antigravity models will start your car. In fact, most brands that are operating properly under normal circumstances should start your car. We like Antigravity Batteries because of their good reputation and customer feedback. -Mark

  15. Vinoth

    Can you please suggest me the jump-starter for my Honda Odyssey 2008 Ex-L model?
    I am very confused in what is the max peak amp and cranking amps I should buy. Please suggest me with specs and model with best brand. Am new here. Thanks in Advance.

  16. Vanous brown

    Looking to get a portable jump starter to have as back up for 2000 f150 with 5.0 v8, a 12 Honda Odyssey and a 12 Ford Fusion. Looking for an affordable unit that would offer flexibility for all three in terms of adiquate cranking amps, etc. after reading the awesome suggestions to other question thought I would ask you. Thanks.

  17. Craig

    Hi Mark,

    I have a Nissan Xterra XE SuperCharged (3.3L 6cyl) SUV. Have been out of the country for 5 months and unfortunately when I returned, my battery is completely dead (car has been kept in garage the entire time and weather is not a factor). Is there a portable jump starter you would recommend to turn over my dead battery (if you believe that could work)? Price is not a factor, just want something that will work and is easy to use (and if possible, compact)I appreciate it.

    • Mark Ridgeway

      Hi Craig, you can use just about any of the standard compact lithium jump starters to start a Nissan Xterra 6-cyl assuming that the battery is still good. When your car won’t start, it’s uncommon that the battery is “completely dead.” That’s why jump starters work. They just boost your battery enough to start the engine and then the alternator takes over to recharge the battery. I assume that by now you’ve already started the car…hopefully since I wasn’t able to get to your comment immediately. You could start it by charging the battery or jump starting it. As for a recommendation for the future, for regular cars and trucks, the lithium jump starters work fine. I would go with a popular brand like Antigravity Batteries or one similar. Take a look at this article which gives some good recommendations. http://www.carbatterychargerscentral.com/car-starter-top-7-compact-battery-jump-starters/ Good luck! -Mark

  18. Marc B

    Hi Mark,

    Ive been researching the compact/portable jump starters and given the plethora of information out there I wanted to get your opinion. I’ve narrowed the list down to a handful of starters to for our family vehicles ranging from an Infinity Coupe to a Cadillac Escalade. Could you give me some insight on what you would go with?

    1) DBPOWER 600A Peak 18000mAh Portable Car Jump Starter
    2) NOCO Genius Boost Plus GB40 1000 Amp 12V UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter
    3) Antigravity Batteries AG-XP-10 Multi-Function Power Supply and Jump Starter
    4)PowerAll PBJS16000-RS Rosso Portable Power Bank and Car Jump Starter

    Thanks in Advance!!

    • Mark Ridgeway

      Hi Marc, Any of the models you’ve listed will do the job, but we favor NOCO Genius and Antigravity Batteries for their track record and support. -Mark

  19. Marc B

    Great! Thanks for quick response!

  20. Jake S.

    Hello Mark!
    I have a 2006 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged with a 4.2L V8 engine. I live in Michigan with very cold winters. Mechanics say the starter and battery are fine its just a known issue with this model. They arent made for cold. Starts perfectly above 50 degree weather, and poorly below, if not at all. What would be a few of your best suggestions? Would like to spend no more than around $200 but would spend more if known for reliability and warranty were offered/included.

  21. Antonio Saldivar

    Hi Mark my name is Antonio. I’m looking for a jump starter that I can use for starting my V8 engine without the battery been on the car or when my battery is completely dead. Thanks