How To Jump a Car With a Portable Power Pack
Whether you’re stranded along a dirt road, trapped in a parking lot late at night, or in the middle of a busy street, having your car suddenly lose power is always scary. But rest assured, you’re in the best hands, as we have a guide that’ll teach you how to jump a car with a portable power pack.
As you read through what to do in these scenarios, remember that roadside assistance is only a call away if you find yourself struggling to jump-start your vehicle. While you may know how to change a tire, it’s a lot more difficult to jump-start a car on your own, so reach out for assistance if you need it.
The Difference Between Portable Jump Starters and Battery Chargers
The biggest thing you’ll need to know is that a portable jump starter and battery chargers aren’t the same. There are many differences between the two—some of which are easy to remember when perusing websites and comparing items.
Portable Jump Starters
The main difference you’ll need to know between jump starters and battery chargers is that portable battery boosters are portable, as you may expect. You can take these devices anywhere, and they will work wherever you go.
The other thing about battery boosters is that they actually increase the amperage of your battery—it’s comparable to a shot of adrenaline, but for your automobile. In hindsight, these devices will not charge your battery but will give it a slight kick that brings it back to life enough that you can safely get where you need to go.
Battery chargers revitalize your vehicle’s battery life, but, unfortunately, they aren’t portable. You’d need to keep this item at home and store it appropriately between uses. Because these devices will only save you if you’re inconvenienced while at home, it’s also good to have a spare in the car that you can use in case you are stranded at a friend or family member’s house.
All in all, it may be ideal to have both devices on hand. If you typically drive short distances but occasionally like to take long road trips to incredible destinations, it’s a good idea to have both devices on hand. The portable starter will help reignite the engine until you get to your destination, while the charger will remain at home so that you can charge the vehicle’s battery when you return from your trip.
What To Look for in a Portable Jump Starter
Finding a charger that meets your needs is difficult, so you’ll need to look into a portable jump starter’s specifications before you make a purchase. You should purchase a battery booster with a USB connection and a built-in air compressor to fill your tires.
There are other features to look for in a jump starter, including:
- Emergency beams
- Outlets and receptacles
- Universal charging capabilities
A modern portable starter can charge more than just a car; it can charge phones, other battery types, laptops, and more. Since the jump starter is a portable device, it’s essential to recharge the gadget itself between uses.
Check To See if Your Battery’s Dead
Cars can stop running for a variety of reasons. Before you plug in your portable charger, it’s a good idea to check whether your battery is actually dead. You usually will know if the battery’s weak because the lights appear dimmer, the vehicle experiences electrical issues, or the orange glow in your car blinks, signaling a warning. Additionally, if a battery’s completely shot, the vehicle will not rumble and roar to life like usual.
Pro tip: Leaving your car’s lights or ignition on will drain the battery. Turn everything off before exiting the car. Double-check that everything's off when you arrive home so that your battery doesn’t die.
The Starter May Be To Blame
Sometimes the battery isn’t the issue—it’s the starter. You can tell whether the starter is the issue by looking for these signs:
- A clicking or grinding noise
- A delay in your start
- Smoke surfacing from the hood of the car
- The motor doesn’t start at all
These tell-tale signs all point to a faulty starter. It’s a good idea to try jump-starting the car first before calling a roadside mechanic for assistance.
How To Use Portable Jump Starters
Portable jump starters are great to have on hand, and it’s best to seek assistance with a battery booster if you don’t have experience working with one or are worried about messing something up. Here are several steps to follow when using your NOCO lithium boost jump starter.
Is The Portable Battery Charged?
First, check your battery’s charge. If it’s not fully charged, plug it in, especially if you’re planning to drive long distances. Next, you can check the percentage of your car battery booster by viewing the indicator light that flashes when it needs a recharge.
Grab Your Tools
As far as grabbing the right gear goes, you must ensure that you wear the right things and protect your eyes. Call roadside assistance if you don’t have any protective equipment or the necessary tools for this task. Here are a few items you should have with you at all times:
- The device’s owner’s manual
- The jump box
- Jumper cables
- Protective clothing and goggles
The Steps for Jump Starting Your Car
You should call roadside assistance if you don’t feel safe boosting the vehicle yourself. Here are the steps to jump-start your car with a portable power pack:
- Grab your owner’s manual and read through it from front to back. Highlight the essential areas and bring a flashlight to read in the dark if necessary.
- If your vehicle has positive ground, the directions will differ. If you aren’t sure, contact roadside assistance or read the manual.
- Remember to turn off the vehicle first, then grab your protective gear. Remove any jewelry or dangling pieces of metal from your body, and keep your face away from the engine.
- Don’t place the charger anywhere near the battery. Instead, put it on the other metal parts and judge how far they should be by the cord's lengths.
- Check your voltage; your owner’s manual will list everything, including voltage count. This information will also include letters or symbols that denote whether your engine is positive or negative ground.
- As mentioned in step 1, consult other directions if you have positive ground. Otherwise, contact a roadside mechanic for assistance.
- Keep positive and negative clamps away from each other; start connecting the red clamp to the positive and the black clamp to a non-metal piece.
- Start up the charge booster, and try to turn on the car after five seconds.
- You will need a new battery if nothing happens after the first five attempts to start the car.
- Turn your starter off after the engine turns on. To remove the negative and positive clamps, start with the black clamps and then the red. Then, safely store everything in your trunk.
- Let the car sit for a few minutes before attempting to drive. Recharge your jump starter once you return home.
Knowing what to do if your car breaks down in an unfamiliar area is essential. Purchasing a portable battery charger from Our Generators ensures you will be better prepared to take on the open roads. Shop with us more to find other accessories and portable devices that make driving safer.