It’s an early Monday morning and you are ready to greet your day with a big smile. All set for work, you grab your keys, get into the car, and start the engine. Just when you thought you could get to the office early, your car decides to give up on you by not turning over. What do you do?
The first thing you should do is to give your battery a jump start. What you need in hand is a trusted pair of jumper cables and of course, another working vehicle or a car battery where your wires will source their energy from. Plugging them into your car and into another’s engine will solve this starting problem. The best booster cables would save the day.
For some, this might seem a no-brainer. But believe or not, many men have been shocked or toasted because of simple errors; thankfully, serious cases of electrocution do not happen.
The most common mistake that people commit is the proper placing of the cables to their terminals. Some mistake the positioning and the color, which are very vital for the jump start.
If ever you have questions and or doubts, it’s best that you grab your manual and read it beforehand, so that the whole process runs smoothly and safely. You wouldn’t want a sudden jolt of electricity to run to penetrate your skin and run through your veins.
To avoid such dangers on your attempts, here are some steps on how you can approach a sudden car engine failure.
How to Prepare Your Car’s Battery for A Jump Start
For a successful battery start, you need to prepare both your car and the other vehicle in tow. From the positioning to the battery parts involved, you must have a clear idea of the procedure.
1. Both cars should be parked in front or beside each other, with a distance of at least 18 inches. Afterwards, you must change your gears into neutral or park, if you are on a manual transmission or automatic transmission, respectively.
2. Make sure that both cars are on the brakes, so neither will move during the jump start.
3. Then you can turn off both cars. Don’t forget to remove the keys.
4. Now you can bring out your jumper cables and lay them on the ground, without the clamps touching each other.
5. Next is to open the hood of both cars and to locate the batteries inside. What you need to look for are the two battery terminals, one is negative, and the other positive.
If you can’t spot the + or – symbols, the colours red and black are used instead. If you see that the terminals are dirty, wipe the grease off immediately to prevent complications.
How to Use Your Jumper Cables
After you’ve achieved this setup, all you need to do is to attach the cables to the correct terminals.
1. First, pick up the red cable and attach it to the terminal with the positive (+) sign, and then attach the black cable to the terminal labelled with a negative (-) sign. To make sure that your connections are snug, you may have to wiggle the wires and the clamps and check if it is fit.
2. Afterwards, you need to attach the ends of the same red cable to its corresponding terminals in the second car.
3. Next up is to attach the other end of the black cable to the working car’s battery. Instead of attaching the black clamp of your car to the working car’s terminal, connect it to the unpainted, metal part on the engine block. This will ensure your safety as well as your car’s.
What to Do When The Car Starts
1. Remove the black cable clamp from your car, and then do the same to the assistant automobile.
2. Following this, you have to remove the red clamp from the functioning car, then you remove the cable from yours.
What to Do When The Procedure Fails
Not all engines are revived with a single try, so patience and determination for a few more tries might help your car to start again. However, if all efforts fail, your best bet is to call a repair or servicing shop to assist you. Who knows, maybe the car’s battery might not be the source of the problem.
To steer clear from the hassle and inconvenience of this problem, you should start considering a regular battery check-up, as well as the maintenance of other components such as the starter connection, the fuses, the ignition switch, and the alternator.
These issues might need to be addressed so that you can easily start your engine. On a side note, you should keep in mind that the lifespan of an efficient car battery is an average of 4 to 6 years. So if your battery’s beyond this age, you better have it replaced before the car breaks down.
What to Look for in Booster Cables
Jumper cables vary in length and most of them range from 10 to 20 feet. Many people think that the longer the booster is, the better it can power up your battery. Contrary to this notion, a longer jumper cable will be able to transfer less power simply because the electricity has to travel farther.
The ideal length of a jumper cable is 12 feet, but if you’re stranded at a further location, then you have no choice but to use the longest one.
Since high-voltage electricity is running through these cables, you’ll be needing a heavy duty jumper cable with a high gauge number. A higher gauge denotes a stronger-holding cable. Check the labels on all products first and purchase those with a gauge of 6 or higher.
Clamps should be a point of consideration when you buy your jumper cables. Make sure that they are protected with a rubber covering so you won’t get an electrical shock when you attach them to the terminals.
Quality jumper cables should have these ideal stats and features. To make your search for jumpers easier, we’ve compiled our Top 5 booster choices found in the market.
Our Top 5 Booster Cables
1. Cartman Booster Cable 4 Gauge x 20Ft in Carry Bag (4AWG x 20Ft) UL-Listed
What We Like
- Universal fit clamps
- Works on most vehicles
- Great conductivity
Cartman’s cable gauge is the best seller in all hardware stores and the most recommended boosters by mechanics. It boasts its extra-duty features such as its 20-ft tangle free cables, 4-marked gauge, and lightweight copper and aluminum outer covering. Thanks to these components, Cartman’s jumpers are very durable, flexible, and easy to use.
Despite its length, you won’t break sweat in storing them because of the carrying case inclusion and its extreme-temperature resistant T-prene coating. What’s more is that they have battery terminals on the top and side portions; thus, they can accommodate more vehicles or equipment.
2. OxGord 4 Gauge 500 Amp Extra Long 25-Feet Jumper Cables with Carry Case Bag
What We Like
- Black and orange cables
- High-grip teeth
- Free travel bag
Another brand whose cables exhibit durability and versatility is OxGord. It has a simple design, yet it has multiple benefits. The clamp is made of copper teeth and the 25-ft long cable is covered with TPR for safer handling.
It can transfer power ranging from 12-24 volts without disruption. And to make your jump start less hassling and confusing for you, they have color coded cables in black and orange for ease in differentiation.
3. Energizer 1-Gauge 800A Heavy Duty Jumper Battery Cables 25 Ft Booster Jump Start – 25’
What We Like
- Long cables for flexible applications
- Heavy duty clamps
- All-weather use
Energizer’s jumper battery cable also deserve attention and praise because of its numerous features. It has a 25-foot long cable, allowing you to energize your car’s battery even if it’s located at the back of another vehicle.
Likewise, the entire cable and its clamps are well-insulated and covered, to make sure that the voltage can’t shock you. What’s astounding with this product is that the material its cable uses helps in avoiding twists and knots during usage and storage.
Perfect for any weather condition, this product is still flexible even when you use them during the coldest months of the year.
4. ABN 2 Gauge 600 Amp Commercial Grade Parrot Clamps Booster 25 ft Jumper Cables
What We Like
- Tangle-free cables
- Parrot clamps
- Non-slip jaws
If your car suddenly stops and your battery needs a recharge, ABN’s jumper cables are dependable equipment. For less than $30, you can get your hands on a durable rubber-coated cable measuring 25 ft.
Despite its length, its performance, specifically, providing a secure and low-risk connection to your car. Clamps and cables are coated in high-tension rubber wrapping for safe handling.
5. 20 Foot Jumper Cables with Carry Bag – 8 Gauge, 400 AMP Booster Cable Kit
What We Like
- Lifetime replacement warranty
- Includes carry bag
Lastly, you can include this Iron Forge product in your car’s safety and emergency kit for peace of mind while driving. Feature-wise, you can consider this cable as another front-runner because of its impressive 8-level gauge, the highest among the five.
It’s easy to use with the color differentiation and the carry bag for quick and secure storage. And whether you own or drive a car, truck, a van, or ride a motorcycle, this pair of boosters can provide your battery’s jump start needs without fail. And to top it all off, you receive a lifetime replacement warranty when your purchase this product.
You can never predict when your battery is at its end, which is why it’s better to be prepared and equipped with the best booster cables. Who knows, this pair of jumpers might save your life or someone else’s.
But placing much trust on these cables isn’t enough to power up your battery. You need to be assured that the cables you have on your hand are safe to use and efficient in delivery.