All car owners agree that owning a portable jump starter is one of those must-have pieces of equipment. This is especially important if you spend a lot of time driving your car.
You never know when your battery breaks down, and you can’t start your engine. That’s when a portable jump starter comes to save the day by providing enough juice to start the engine. The other alternatives are waiting for some stranger to stop and help you or calling road assistance. Nevertheless, owning a portable jump starter is the smart thing to do.
Here is a mini-guide on how to use a portable jump starter. Generally speaking, it’s very similar to classic traditional jumper cables. However, several additional steps make the process somewhat different.
Here we will cover each of them so that you can use your portable jump starter smoothly and whenever the situations call for it. You can check similar information at Green-4-U regarding a portable jump starter and where you can check for the best option available in the market today.
But before we go into the individual steps, we need to learn some of the basic features of a portable jump starter and how it works.
Portable Jump Starters 101
When the car battery stops working, it requires an outside boost to start the engine of the car. The term used to describe the process is “jump-starting.”
Jump starting is a process in which there is a flow of electricity from an external source (in this particular case, the portable jump starter) to the dead battery. And the dead battery provides electricity for the engine to get started if the battery was in a working condition.
Back in the days when portable jump starters weren’t available, the source was another car or, on rare occasions, some other type of electrical source. If any of those weren’t available, you needed to buy a new battery or get the old battery recharged with a battery charger connected to the power grid.
Currently, there are two types of jump starter batteries: lithium-ion and lead-acid jump starter batteries. The lead-acid jump starters are less practical as they weigh quite a lot. In a way, they are like having a second car battery in your car. On the other hand, the lithium-ion ones, are quite easier, smaller in size, last longer, and contain an equal amount of electrical power or more than their lead-acid counterparts.
How to Use a Portable Jump Starter Battery?
First, you need to ensure that the engine is off. There is no point in using the jump starter battery if the engine is running. The purpose of the jump starter is to start the engine.
Connecting a portable jump starter to a working engine can potentially lead to a serious accident.
1. Locate the car’s battery
This might sound like a no-brainer, but know that not all car batteries are located next to the engine. In some cars, the battery is located in the trunk behind or under the car seats.
But even if you are stuck with one such car, know that you should be able to find some terminals near the engine compartment. So, pop-up the hood and search for the terminals. If you are still confused about the terminals, search for the “+” and “-” signs. The “-” sign stands for the negative terminal, whereas the “+” sign stands for the positive terminal.
At this point, it matters most that you don’t get confused and mix the signs.
2. Connecting the jump starter battery
This is the most critical aspect of using a jump starter battery.
First of all, connect the positive jump cable with the positive terminal on your car battery. Aside from the “+” sign that is used for marking the positive terminal, know that the red color is also used to mark the positive terminal.
Then comes the negative jumper cable that needs to be connected to a ground position. To that end, you can use the car’s frame, the metal holding the hood of the car, or pretty much any piece of stable metal within the car’s frame.
Once you are done, double-check to make sure that all is well-connected tightly.
Also, make sure that the portable jump starter battery is placed in a secured position. That way, once you attempt to start the car, it won’t get detached or fall off.
If all is well, leave it like that for a few minutes.
3. Start the engine
Make your first attempt to start the engine. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempt fails. Wait for a few minutes and try again. Sometimes the car engine will start on your first attempt; other times, you might need more attempts to start it.
But if there is nothing wrong with the engine, as well as with the car’s ignition, you should be able to start the engine after one or a few attempts.
Remember that you don’t make consecutive attempts without short brakes because you can damage the portable jump starter battery.
4. Remove the portable jump starter battery
Once the engine is up and running, you need to remove the jump starter battery safely.
To that end, you need to remove the negative jumper cable first, whereas the positive one is removed second. Once the jumper starter battery is safely detached, please place it in its jump box for secure storage.
Once you return home, recharge your jump starter battery and return it to your car.
Recharging the portable jump starter battery is as easy as recharging your smartphone or tablet – plug its adapter to one of your power sockets. Some portable jump starters can be even charged using the vehicle’s cigarette lighter. Some portable jump starters come with a small solar cell installed on them. However, I know that it takes quite a lot of time to recharge the battery solely on solar energy.
Now, you know how to use a portable jump starter. It isn’t rocket science. You need to follow the steps, be extra careful with the terminals, and make sure that the portable jump starter battery is always fully charged and ready to “jump in” when needed.