If you love traveling, then a jump starter is a must-have accessory in your garage. Having a jump starter frees you from worrying about getting stranded in the middle of nowhere, or being stranded in an inaccessible place. Further, it reduces the risk of damage to the host vehicle when jumpstarting.
While choosing the right jump starter, the best one for you varies depending on several factors. Some of the key considerations include:
- Your ideal charging specification
- The budget; depending on how much your budget is, you can decide factors on features, size, and the quality
- Size of the jump starter; smaller jump starters are ideal if you love traveling since they are highly portable. Thus, it can fit comfortably in the toolbox.
- The type of jump starter ideal for your car
- The additional features like LED lighting, charging indicators, and USB plus for charging the phone or tablet. The more features a jump starter has, the more expensive it will be, hence only pay for the features that you need.
- Warranty period; the best brands should have an extended warranty period.
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What size jump starter to buy?
The size of the jump starter is a crucial consideration when buying a jump starter. Before answering the question of what size jump starter do I need, it is critical to consider the usage of the jump starter.
1. Do you want to buy a jump starter for a single car, or several vehicles?
If you have several vehicles, the best recommendation is to buy a jump starter for bigger vehicles. The reasoning behind this is that a more significant jump starter can get used in small cars, but a short jump starter cannot suit a big car.
2. Consider the jump starter CCA
The CCA or Cold-cranking Amps is a term used to refer to the ability of a battery to start during extremely low temperatures. The CCA applies to the number of Amps that your battery can deliver at zero degrees while remaining with a voltage above 7.2 volts. The higher the CCA of a battery, the more efficient the battery. In most batteries, the CCA information is printed either on the leaflet or the side of the battery.
If you have several cars, ensure that the battery CCA can jumpstart the biggest car. Using large jump starters on a small car doesn’t damage the engine since the jump starter emits the voltage required.
3. Consider your car’s engine
After understating the CCA rating of your jump starter, you can easily match with your engine’s capacity. Small engine cars like Sedan require at least 150CCA, while bigger cars like SUV require at least 450 CCA to jump start. The following is a general guide for matching the engine’s capacity with CCA of your jump starter:
- Four-cylinder engine (gasoline) requires at least 160 amps
- A four-cylinder diesel engine requires 350 amps
- Six-cylinder engine(gasoline) requires 210 amps
- Six-cylinder engine(diesel) requires 450 amps
- Eight-cylinder engine (diesel) engine require 650 amps
- Eight-cylinder engine (gasoline) requires 250 amps
The trend in this guideline is that the gasoline engine requires fewer amps to jumpstart compared to a diesel engine of a similar capacity. Thus, if your car is a diesel engine, consider buying a jump starter with a higher CCA rating.
4. Operational Temperature and Climate
Also, consider the impact of the climate on your battery’s performance. Low temperatures affect the performance of your battery and its ability to jumpstart. Thus, if you live in a place with extremely low temperatures during winter, consider buying a bigger jump starter. Also, consider purchasing a jump starter that can start a frozen battery.
5. Age of the vehicle
As a general guide, older vehicles require more CCA to jump start. Thus, if you have a 20-year old sedan and your wife has a 4-year-old sedan, the 20-year old car requires more amps to jumpstart. The reason is that newer cars are more efficient than older cars. Also, the battery in a new car is more advanced as compared to the former model. Thus if you have two vehicles and you want one jump starter for both cars, then buy a jump starter that can jumpstart an old car.
Final Thoughts on Buying A Right Size of Jump Starter
Thus, when choosing a jump starter, size is a critical decision. Understanding your engine’s capacity is vital in making the best decision regarding the size of the jump starter.