Gadgets

Jumper Cables- How to Jump Your Vehicle?

Written by prodigitalweb

Jumper Cables are electric cables that people use to connect two vehicles to jump. In this case, you can see clips at each end of the wires. People use it to start vehicles having dead batteries. You only need to connect the dead battery to a working battery of another car. Let us know about these as jump leads and booster cables here.

These are a pair of wires that come with alligator clips that remain at each end and help to interconnect the disabled vehicles battery. In this case, it takes the power source of an auxiliary source (For example, you can use another vehicle with battery with similar same voltage.)

Types of Jumper Cables

Smart Cables: These usually come with built-in electronic units. In case you have improperly connected these, the Unit will give you a notification. We know the Unit as a “reverse polarity indicator.”

You can’t charge a dead battery with an ordinary one. That’s why these smart cables are advantageous for those who are not so experienced.

Battery Boosters: The battery boosters help you to run a dead battery by offering electric power to it. But the boosters use only one set of clamps in this case. On the other hand, these battery boosters don’t need the support of another car battery to charge the battery. The only drawback is that these occupy a lot of space in your car.

Top Jumper Cable Brands

ENERGIZER: This company is in this market for more than 35 years. The headquarters of Energizer is in St. Louis, Missouri.

VOILAMART: It is an Australian company that was set up in 2005. Voilamart offers plenty of products to the United Kingdom, the United States, and so on. This company manufactures beauty products, electronics, kitchen items, and more. If you want to buy the superior jumper cables, go for the Voilamart Commercial Grade Automotive Booster ones.

PENNZOIL: It was set-up first in 1913. The present headquarters of the company is in Houston, Texas. PENNZOIL offers Heavy-Duty Battery Booster cables.

Jumper Cable Pricing

$1-$15: People having two-door and four-door sedans can choose cables of this price range. These products consist of 6- to the 8-Gauge wire. The length of the wires usually around 10 or 12 feet. If you want to have a basic set for emergency purposes, then cables of this range are perfect fit.

$20-$35: You can get both two- and four-Gauge wires in this price range. Usually, the length of the wires is over 12 feet. However, those models cost $35 comes with a carrying case or accessories like gloves. Even, you can get products with one-Gauge wires also in this price range.

$40-$60: Products of this range comes with accessories such as carrying case, gloves, and so on. The long cables of this price range are used in commercial vehicles. These will help you to jump almost everything.

Key Features of Jumper Cables:

Gauge: By the Gauge of a wire, we usually measure the amount of current it carries. The products having long wires and that can carry more current. The six- or eight-Gauge wires help to jump the sedans with ease. That’s why you should buy a larger one.

Amperage: Amperage refers to the power amount that an electric current has. It is also an essential factor to consider. Usually, jumper cables come with sufficient amperage so that they can quickly jump-start a regular vehicle. However, you should choose those which have a higher amperage. Products having higher amperage indicates that it can conduct more power. High power assists in boosting the dead battery.

Cable Length: The length of the cables measured in feet. The more the cable length, the smaller the wire gauge will be. You should always choose One and two-Gauge wires. These can control the extra amount of current to decrease the heat produced during the energy transferring process. Besides, it reduces the risk of having any harm or damage to the car. You can choose the tangle-free long cables in this case.

Protective Coating: Usually, these come with the same type of protective coating. The coating is available on clamp handles. When you buy, always choose those having more protective coatings. Proper coatings allow you to grip the clamps effortlessly. Besides, the coatings also protect the metal when you don’t use it, mainly in low temperatures.

Cable Clamps:  Two types of clamps are available— parrot and alligator. The shape of the Parrot-style clamps is round. This type of clamp is similar to the bird’s beak. On the other hand, the Alligator-style clamp comes in a boxy shape. People use both these types for different different applications.

Other Considerations

Purpose: While going to buy, you need to consider first which type of vehicle you will drive. You should always buy the top-quality cables that come with heavy-duty clamps. You should use products having at least two-Gauge wires. But make sure that the length of the wires is near about 20 feet. However, in case you just want a basic set, then buy the cheap models.

Warranty: Different products have different warranties range. If you want ample coverage, then choose the one which can fit your needs and budget.

How to Use Jumper Cable

Some times the battery may be flat, since you have forget to switch off  interior light. That leads to getting a dead battery nil charge. Otherwise, the lifespan of the battery perhaps reached the end of life. It can also be the reason for the dead battery. Most of the time, the batteries in your car won’t give you trouble alerts. You will get the warnings at the last moment. As a result, at that moment, the vehicle will not get started. That’s why it doesn’t matter whether you have an old car or a new one. In all the case, you need to buy a set of jumper cables. It will give you plenty of benefits. But make sure that you are aware of, how to use them.

First of all, you have to buy such cables that can suit your needs. Try to choose those that have 4 to 6 Gauge wires. Besides, you need to make sure that these have at least 20 feet long. You can use extra-long cables also. These can help connect the batteries with ease when you cannot put two vehicles next to each other. You can also choose those that have heavy clamps and thicker cables. These can last for a long time.

While going to jump the battery, you need to handle the cables very well. In this case, you must not allow the red and black clamps to get in touch with each other. Besides, ensure that you will keep the wires away from each other during set up. You have to be alert while connecting the clamps to a live battery. In case the clamps touch each other, these can create sparks. That’s why you need to use them properly.

Connect the Cables

Usually, the jumper cables come with an instruction card or label.

If you don’t know how to use them, then go through these below-described steps.

To connect the cables correctly, first park the vehicles next to each other. By doing so, you can quickly start the dead battery with ease.

Next, your job is to open the hoods of each car. Then, find the batteries. If you find the cover of batteries made of plastic, then remove it. You need to do this so that you can expose the battery  terminals.

Now, you have to find both positive (+) and negative (-) terminals. Usually, the positive terminals come in red color, but it doesn’t always happen. So, it is better to check both plus or minus signs. It helps you to determine the polarity of the terminal. Moreover, you need to remove the specks of dirt before connecting the clamps.

After that, you have to attach the red clamp to the positive end of the dead battery. Ensure, you have connected both of the +ve terminals with red clamps.  After attaching it, ensure that you have connected it properly.

Your next job is to attach the black clamp with the negative terminal of the good battery. In this case, you also need to connect these similarly. But make sure that you must not connect the part of cable with the negative terminal of the dead battery. You need to clamp it to a metal surface of the dead vehicle.

Start the Engines

Firstly, you need to start the engine of the vehicle. Then, keep it idle for some time.

After that, power on the engine of the dead vehicle. Next, leave it for a few minutes.

In case you find that the dead car is running without any troubles, you need to disconnect the black clamp.

At last, you have to discard the red clamp from the battery of the good vehicle. Next, remove it from the once-dead battery.

After doing these, you need to run your car for a while to recharge the battery. Besides, it is also essential for you to check the voltage. Make sure that it doesn’t need to be replaced.

What Do You Need to Jump a Car?

When you charge the battery, you need two items, especially — Jumper cables and power sources. You can use a portable jump battery and another vehicle as to the power source.

Jumper Cables: These are thickly insulated, and the length of these cable is too long. This type of wires comes with toothy clips on both ends. We know these clips as alligator clips. These clips come in different colors — red and black. The red one indicates the positive polarity, whereas the black one indicates the negative polarity.

Jump Boxes: You can use portable batteries to jump-start your car. In this case, you don’t need to take the help of another vehicle. The jump cables help to connect the jump battery with the dead battery of the vehicle directly. These boxes are helpful also.

How to Jump Start A Car 

The battery is an essential part of any car. There are a few vehicles that use gasoline to run. In these cars, the battery works as an SLI. The main function of the battery is to start the engine. Moreover, it also gives power to the auxiliary components — like lights and radio.

As soon as the engine starts running, all the energy is used to power the vehicle. It is the alternator that produces energy. But, the main function of the battery is to turn on the vehicle. Sometimes you may hear some sputtering sound while turning the key. If it happens, then there is no doubt that the culprit is the dead battery.

Plenty of things are there, due to which the battery can die. Leaving lights on for long hours, cold weather, and an old battery can cause these problems. In this case, you can take the help of the jump start procedure. It can help you to solve all the battery troubles. You can go to any nearby mechanic shop. Then, they will help you by figuring out the problems.

If you are going to jump-start the battery, use special tools. However, it is always better to gather some knowledge before starting this process. That’s why you should always go through the instruction manual properly. Read the jump start section. We have given here the guidance. Let’s check it out.

Precautions

A few manufacturers are there, those who don’t allow to jump-start the vehicle. On the other hand, a few manufacturers provide you specific instructions for specific brands. But make sure that you know the location of the battery in your vehicle. Usually, these are available on the front side below the hood. But you can find the batteries in the trunk also in some models. There exist some terminals below the hood. Now, locate the batteries and identify both positive and negative ends. One terminal has a + (plus) sign that indicates positive. On the other hand, the ( – ) sign is available in one terminal, indicating the negative sign.

You need to know which end is positive and which end is negative. Before using, ensure that you have connected the wires correctly. Thus, you can avoid any risk of fatal accidents.

Jump Start Your Vehicle Using Jumper Cables

These usually come with one black and one red cable. In this case, the colors are dependable factors. The colors let you know where you should connect the cables. Usually, the wires help to flow the electrical energy from the battery’s negative terminal to the positive side. The vehicle’s starter is helpful in this case. Before going to jump-start, confirm that you have attached the appropriate terminals. Remember that the red and black wire indicates the positive terminal and the negative terminals. You must not touch the clamps in this case.

Follow these steps to Jump start.

First, you need to take the wires out. Then, keep these in the trunk of your car. However, you can take the help of a Good Samaritan also. But it is when you don’t have any wires with you.

Then, you need to keep the cars for parking. After that, you have to close the ignition in both vehicles.

Next, you need to engage the brakes of both cars.

After that, you need to connect the red clips to the battery’s positive terminal. You can see here the “POS” or “+” sign on it.

Now, you have to connect the red clip to the positive end of another vehicle.

After that, connect the black clip to the (-) end of another battery.

Then, you have to connect the last black clip with the unpainted metal surface of the vehicles body.

You can use the metal struts for holding the hood.

Try to Start the Car.

Now, you need to start the car. In case the vehicle doesn’t start, try to connect the cables properly. You can then take the help of the good Samaritan, who will run his engine for a few minutes. After that, you need to try to start the vehicle.

If this process works, then you don’t need to power off the engine. Next, you should drive for fifteen minutes to recharge the battery. In case the vehicle is not starting, your battery may not be able to hold the charge. In this case, you need to replace the battery.

Using a Portable Jump Starter or Another Vehicle: 

When you use these as a power source, make sure that you turn off your vehicle. To keep it safe, you need to remove the keys first. But ensure that there is no flammable nearby. However, there exists always a risk of having sparks, fires, explosions, etc. Usually, car batteries have high electricity voltage. On the other hand, the cables are designed in a way so that it can decrease the risk of accidents.

How to Jump-Start a Vehicle with Another Vehicle

Your first job is to locate the car’s battery. In most cases, you find the batteries with the engine hood.

After finding the batteries, you need to park both vehicles close together. Park them in such a way that you can connect the wire easily. While doing this, make sure that no parts are touching each other. Besides, ensure that there will be no current flow between the vehicles. You need to park them both close enough. After doing that, you need to switch them off completely to start the method.

Now, have a look at the terminals. Check properly, which one is positive and which one is negative.

Next, you have to connect these. In this case, you need to attach the red one to each battery’s positive end. Then, connect one end of the black one to the dead battery’s negative end.

Set-Up to Connect:

You can follow these steps to complete the process:

First, make a connection between a red clamp and the dead battery’s positive terminal.

Secondly, you have to connect the red clamp’s other end with the live battery’s positive terminal.

Then, connect the black clamp with the live battery’s negative terminal.

Finally, connect the other end of the black one at an unpainted metal part of the car with the dead battery. Make sure that you are not connecting the black clamp to the dead battery’s negative terminal.

However, a few people say that you can connect the negative clamp with the dead battery’s negative terminal. But it will enhance the risk of fire or explosion. However, it happens when the process won’t get successful. That’s why you should do this task far from the battery to avoid the risk of potential sparks. You can choose these as safer options:-

  • A car’s chassis
  • Bolt-on the engine
  • Alternator bracket and
  • Grounding terminal far from battery.

Now, use the live battery to start your vehicle. It will help you to charge the dead battery instantly. Sometimes, you can see that vehicles having dead batteries will get started immediately. On the other hand, a few are there that need some time for charging. In this case, you need to leave the engine for a few minutes. It will enable the current to flow from the live battery to the dead battery. After that, you need to start the vehicle using the dead one.

Next, switch on the key. In this case, you have to hold it for a few seconds. You can try this process a couple of times.

Set-Up to Disconnect:

At last, you need to disconnect the wires. But while doing this, you need to follow this entire process in reverse order. Make sure that the wires are not touching anything until you disconnect them.

You can follow this method to disconnect it:

First, disconnect the black clamp from the chassis available in the car.

Then, you need to disconnect the same clamp from the live battery’s negative terminal.

Now, your job is to disconnect the red clamp from the live battery’s positive terminal.

At last, you have to disconnect the red clamp from the vehicle.

Jump Starting Your Car Using a Portable Jump Starter:

People usually use battery packs, portable jump starters, and jump boxes. It is because these are very small enough and can be carried easily in the car. Make sure that you have gone through all the instructions properly. Make sure that you are not storing these in high temperatures.

Multiple portable jump start devices are there, which have two clamps. These clamps have a direct connection with the tool. It has one positive clamp and one negative clamp. Always remember that you need to keep these clamps away from each other. By keeping these away, you can decrease the risk of spark. Try to connect the cables to the jump starter if these are not attached. But you need to do this while the car and the jump starter are off. Now, make sure that you have connected the positive wire to the positive end. Then, you need to attach the negative cable with the negative end of another portable jump starter.

Further Steps to Use Jump Start

After that, you have to attach the clamp with the positive end of the car battery. Then, connect the black wire with the unpainted metal piece. It is available in the engine. However, you can attach the wire with the frame of the car also. But make sure that you are not connecting the black clamp with the dead battery’s negative end. You have to attach the cables in order. It is better always to attach the black clamp far from the battery. By doing so, you can decrease the risk of sparks.

Next, you have to switch on the jump starter as soon as you attach the wires. After that, you try to start your car. Now, your task is turning the key in the ignition in terms of starting the car. Then, hold it for a few seconds. You may be unable to start your vehicle. If it happens, then cool down the battery pack for a few minutes. Now, prepare it before another attempt. This process helps you to boost the amount of energy.

You can hear the sound of the engine when the procedure becomes successful. Now, your job is to disconnect the jump starter cables. To do this, you need to discard the black cable from your vehicle first. After removing the negative wire, discard the positive wire from the battery end. You should drive your vehicle for sometime after completing the procedure. It will help you to recharge the battery.

Precaution to be Taken When Jump Starting a Car

Read the Owner’s Manual: A few vehicles are there that won’t allow jumping start. It is because these come with more sensitive circuitry.

You should not jump the cracked or damaged batteries. Besides, you also don’t need to jump frozen and dry batteries. You must not touch the clips too.

What if the Car Doesn’t Start After the Jump Start?

You need to wait for a few minutes first of all. In case the dead car doesn’t start, then you should check the connections. Then, try to provide the jump run to your vehicle. Next, you have to try again to start your vehicle. In case you find your vehicle not starting after a few attempts, the battery is the culprit then.

Emergency Equipment to Keep in Your Trunk

Here, we have given the names of the equipment that you need in emergency times. As the emergency kits, you should carry a bottle of water, Cable ties, Emergency blanket. Along with these, you need to take Flares, Flashlight, Freezer bag, Gloves, Jumper cables or jump box. Not only these, but also you should carry Meal supplement bars, Rain poncho, Reflector roadside hazard triangle, Screwdriver set, Solar charger, Tire pressure gauge. Don’t forget to pack tire jack, and spare tire, and Wet wipes.

Top Products of Jumper Cables  in the US:

EPAuto 6 Gauge x 16 Ft Heavy Duty Booster Jumper CablesEPAuto 6 Gauge x 16 Ft Heavy Duty Booster Jumper Cables

Description: Now, you can quickly jump-start any car with the help of this product. EPAuto’s offers thick and long reach wires that make it exceptional. The power of these wires is 800 Amps. Sometimes, jump-starting a car becomes difficult for us. A longer reach wire can help to overcome this problem.

The length of this heavy Duty Booster Jumper Cable is 25-foot. If you have a large vehicle, then it is the perfect option for you. The wires have a capacity of 800-amp that helps to dissipate the heat. EPAuto is used mainly for heavy-duty purposes. However, compared to other brands, this type of wire comes at a hefty price. It comes with parrot-style clamps.

Awesome Features:

Long Wire: This best jumper cables for car comes with a heavy-duty wire of 1 Gauge. The 25 feet long wire makes this most-demanding.

Additional Accessories: This one includes two safety gloves and a carry bag.

Different Applications: The wire is ideal for motorcycles, cars, trucks, SUVs, Vans, etc.

Pros:

  • 800 Amp capacity
  • Includes carry bag and two gloves
  • Perfect for trucks, cars, and so on.

Cons:

  • A few users reported that unable to work so efficiently that the brand advertised.

Energizer Jumper Cables for Car Battery

Energizer Jumper Cables for Car BatteryDescription: It has more Amperage that makes the product exceptional. Besides, the manufacturers offer a two-year warranty on the product. There is a carrying bag that allows you to store the wires inside it. This useful bag protects the wires from tangling.

It features parrot-style clamps. The teeth part of these clamps consists of copper-coated aluminum (CCA). The feature of Energizer is quite similar to the other models. Moreover, the wires are suitable for all-weathers. The higher Gauge enables you to jump different vehicles. If the car is large or small, you can use this product to jump start it. However, it becomes hard for you to place the clamps on the battery. The snub-nosed design of it doesn’t allow you to do so. This product weighs only eight pounds.

Awesome Features:

Used for Different Purposes: The length of this battery boosters is 20 ft that is perfect for jump-starting a dead battery. This one is used in trucks, SUVs, cars (full-size, mid-size, and small/compact).

Thick Coating: It features a strong spring and a comfortable handle to help place the wire securely. Thus, you can position the wires effortlessly. Besides, it is equipped with a shelled vinyl-coated clamp. This clamp protects it from both rust and corrosion.

Carrying Case: Energizer contains a high-grade travel bag.

Tangle-Free Booster: The length of the wire is too long, i.e., about 20 Feet. The Copper clad aluminum makes the product flexible even at -40°C.

Warranty: The manufacturers offer two years of warranty on these auto jumper cables. Now, you can power both truck and batteries with the help of this product.

Pros:

  • Copper clad aluminum
  • High-grade travel bag
  • Comfortable handle

Cons:

  • Not durable and long-term usable

OxGord Commercial Grade Jumper Cable

OxGord Commercial Grade Jumper CablesDescription: Do you want to buy only a set of jumper cable? Then, it can be a great option for you. Now, you won’t face any problem while jump-starting SUVs, small sedans, and so on. The four-Gauge wiring and the 25-foot length of the cable allows you to jump start your car easily. It becomes useful when you are unable to park the cars closely. The four-Gauge wire consists of a thermoplastic rubber. The purpose of this design is to keep it safe from cold temperatures. Moreover, the wires are very flexible in single-digit temperatures.

The product weighs only six pounds. However, you can’t use the parrot-style clamps easily because of the less gripping area comparing to the alligator clamps.

Awesome Features:

Robust Clamps: The teeth of the clamps consists of copper. These strong clamps remain connected with the battery terminal while the power transfers from working battery to dead battery.

Save Space: It comes with a CCA carrying bag. The bag enables you to store inside the trunk with ease.

Different Sizes to Choose from: The best jumper cable comes in 4 Gauge 12 feet, four Gauge 25 feet, and ten Gauge 25 feet size. You can select any of these as you require.

Durable: It comes with additional strong-grip copper teeth along with dual construction built quality. Besides, this one consists of TPR material, i.e., Thermoplastic Rubber. It comes with a low-temperature resisting feature, i.e., -40 degrees Fahrenheit or -40 degrees Celsius.

Design Quality: This one contains cords of red and black color. These cords come in Intuitive design. Now, you can use it on the side-terminal batteries.

Pros:

  • Durable enough
  • Intuitively designed cords
  • Various sizes
  • Easy to use
  • Powerful clamps

Cons:

  • It gets melted after a few usages.

How to Buy a Jumper Cable? 

A few things are there that you need to consider before buying a jumper cable. These are:-

  • Length of the cable
  • Gauge needed
  • Type of clamp, etc.

Wire Gauge:

The Gauge indicates the thickness of wires. A wire having a lower Gauge will be thicker. However, you should choose the heavy-duty ones—this helps to start your vehicle by offering a huge amount of current flow. But you should not buy the flimsy bargain-priced cables. These don’t allow to draw sufficient current. If you have a compact design car, it is better to choose the ten Gauge wires. These can suit perfectly in this case. However, it is always better to select those with more than eight Gauge and six Gauge.

Jumper Cables Insulation

A heavy-duty cable always needs heavy insulation. These help to decrease the heat produced by the jump start procedure. But the cheaper ones come with a thin Gauge wire, which comes with a thick insulation wrap. That’s why you need to check the Gauge that is given on the package.

Length

Length of wire is one of the most vital factors that you need to consider. Suppose a vehicle is on one side of a road, and another one is on the other side. In this case, you need a long wire that can help you to jump-start. Wires having massive lengths will become handy.

Heavy-Duty Clamps

You need to choose always the heavy-duty clamps. These help you to attach a battery with top or side terminals securely. You can use the black clamps as these allow you to connect to the ground. Connect it to a good ground available below the hood ( for example, a bolt as the hood on the engine.) Besides, these clamps get additional benefits to their large sizes. It helps to protect your hands from any danger like sparks. Usually, the clamps consist of conductive material. That’s why the handle should be thick and secure in this case. It helps to protect your hands from heat. Multiple cables are available in the market where you can get these at low prices. But these come with loose-fitting handle insulation.

Instruction Guide:

It is essential to boost the battery. You need to attach the wires properly to get rid of sparks and other dangers. These can cause a hydrogen gas explosion. Besides, you need to hook up the wires correctly. If you hook up wrongly, it can damage the critical electronic components, But you can avoid the risk by following the procedure.

First, you have to connect the positive (+) clamp and a weak battery’s positive terminal. Then, you need to attach the positive clamp to the proper end of the good battery.

Now, you have to connect the negative end with one end of the good battery. After that, attach the negative clamp with the frame, engine block, or any grounded metal. It is better to avoid the hydrogen gas emitting from the battery. Always remember that you must not attach it to the ground terminal. When you want to remove these wires, reverse this instruction.

Conclusion:

I hope, after going through the entire article, now you can choose the best jumper cable as per your needs and budget. If you want 4 Gauge  jumper cables, then go for the Cartman Booster Cable.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What gauge wire is best for jumper cable?

Usually, the eight gauge wire offers sufficient power to rejuvenate the battery.

  • In what order do you hook up jumper cables?

First, you need to connect a red jumper cable clamp and the dead battery’s positive end. Next, connect the red one of the same wire with the positive end of the live battery. Finally, you should connect the black one with the negative end of the live car’s battery.

  • What will happen if you hook up jumper cables wrong?

The polarity of the electrical system will run in reverse order while hooking up the wires wrongly. It will happen for a few seconds only. But during this time, multiple electronic components that are sensitive can be damaged. On-board computers, electronic sensors are a few examples of such parts.

  • Which is better: 2 Gauge or 4 Gauge jumper cable?

While going to buy, plenty of factors are there that you need to consider. But the first factor that you have to consider is Gauge. It should match the vehicle’s size. A big truck, RV, and SUV usually need wires of size 1- or 2-Gauge to get the highest benefit. On the other hand, an average passenger sedan can be jump-started using 4 to 6 Gauge wires.

  • How do I choose a jump lead?

It is an essential kit used in a flat car battery. You need to choose these as per the type of engines, quality of clips, the battery amperage, and the wire length. Besides, you should select a cable cross-section also. In this case, the most common options are— 25 mm², 35 mm², or 50 mm².

  • How do you start a dead battery?

You should always try to jump-start your vehicle, especially for reviving the dead battery. In this case, you can use the jumper cables and the engine of another vehicle. Besides, you also require some basic information about the battery and its recharging process.

 

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