Although many people think buying a jump starter isn't a big deal, the reality is quite different. There are some factors you need to pay attention to before buying a portable jump starter so that you can avoid any unpleasant surprises. Buying a portable battery isn't the same as purchasing a bottle of milk; there are a ton of variables and important elements included in the equation. Here are some of the things you should pay attention to before opting for a particular model.
The most important thing you need to look for is the sheer power of the unit. Manufacturers usually include "cranking" and "peak" power values.
Peak amps refer to the highest current value the starter can burst out. For example, a product with 1000 amps of peak power will deliver a thousand amps in the initial burst. However, the value drops significantly with each try. As the current decays with each attempt, it loses consistency and starts using what is known as the cranking power.
As you might assume, the cranking power refers to the stable current which can be delivered if extended cranking of the engine is required. Therefore, the cranking power is usually the more accurate representation of a particular model's capabilities.
As with any other product, the safety is one of the important factors to look for. However, because you're dealing with electricity, make sure that you opt for the safest model. The things you should pay attention to are:
Short circuit protection
As you can see, every feature has an "over" prefix. It means that these units are easy to overuse if they lack protection. However, the products that have these preventive mechanisms can be left unattended without them being dangerous for the environment, and most importantly - your car's battery.
Many units have some additional features such as an air compressor or a flashlight. If you want a 2-in-1 or even 3-in-1 unit, pay close attention to these additions. People who are often on the road usually need both illumination and an air compressor for deflated tires. You can't expect a professional service out of these additional options, but they are still enough to act as a first aid. Also, if you're looking for multiple charging ports for smart phones, tablets, and more, it's a good idea to check whether the unit you've chosen can charge other devices.