All of us have seen how stranded cars are getting jumped with some cables and the help of another car in TV shows or in real life. However, for the drivers themselves, it all does not seem as easy as it might be for the common spectators, especially when they have experienced it. It always happens unexpectedly, and you never know how much time you will have to spend waiting for a merciful fellow driver to help you. Another problem is if the good Samaritan also does not have jumper cables.
Even though it seems to be heavy duty to employ, jumper cables are actually vital pieces of car equipment. Generally, these are just two cables with clamps that are attached to an uncharged car battery terminal on one side and to a working one on another in order to transpose the energy to recharge the battery. It is also a good idea to carry a portable jump starter in your car to always be able to make your car jump start without another car. However, it may be more complicated.
In this article, we will discuss the niceties of acquiring jumper cables and tips on how to avoid making mistakes during the process of recharging, so stay with us!
Best Jumper Cables Top Picks
Especially for those who want or need to acquire a pair of jumper cables in the near future, we created a list of the best available products. We relied on several factors while selecting:
- materials of the composition;
- the durability of usage;
- the safety of usage;
- the conductivity of cable clamps;
- the relative price;
- Gauge rating (the lower the rating, the thicker cables are, so the more powerful flow of energy goes through);
- easiness of usage.
Therefore, you can choose any model that seems better to you. In general, the most important thing here is to understand and remember the procedure of using the jumper cables safely, since other factors are not as significant if you know what to do. However, surely, your booster cables must be able to use a powerful flow of energy and not have fractures, so pay attention to the quality of the chosen product.
1. Best Jumper Cables Overall
Cartman’s Booster Cable is one of the most popular products in the jumper cables section on Amazon, meaning many drivers chose them and remained happy with their choice. These jumper cables are long enough to connect two vehicles, have nice alligator clamps, and work with 12- or 24-volt batteries. They show good productivity at both low and high temperatures (up to -13F), which is a considerable feature of cables. What is more, you will receive a 5-year warranty for them, so if anything goes wrong, you will be able to obtain another pair of jumper cables or have a repair.
With a price of only about $30, you can choose from 4 varieties of the model: ranging from 16 to 20 feet long and 4 to 10-gauge rating. Moreover, you will also receive a carrying bag included in the kit to store the cables together. The Cartmans’ jumper cables are made so they fit both top and side batteries. Therefore, we really recommend you choose this exact model to be fully convenient if getting stuck on the highway.
2. Best Heavy-Duty Jumper Cables
A world-famous Energizer suggests two kinds of jumper cables: 16 and 25-feet with 2 and 1 Gauge ratings correspondingly. They are ideal for SUVs, trucks, and other ponderous vehicles, so they surely will work great with sedans. Being sold at only $30 to $50, these jumper cables are really a smart pick with a 2-year warranty.
They have a vinyl coating that does not let the cables tangle and break. What is more, their safety of usage is at its highest in this case, even with covering the clamps to prevent corrosion and rust. Being able to carry 400 amp, Energizer booster cables can connect two heavy-duty vehicles and perform the best transaction in a short time range.
3. The Best-Priced Jumper Cables
Indeed, regarding the given characteristics and features, Voilamart Auto Heavy-Duty Jumper Cables are the most competitive at their price. Being sold for $30 for 2-Gauge and 1200 amp and $37 for 1-Gauge and 3000 amp, audience insights show that these are showing great performance! They also offer a safe construction that is resistant to heat, corrosion, and acid, which provides great durability and proper usage at low temperatures.
With these 20-feet jumper cables, you will also get a useful carrying bag included in the kit, so the equipment will not be lost or spoiled. Voilamart cables fit ideal for 6V, 12V, and 24V vehicles of any scale and engine.
4. Best Compact Jumper Cables
Amazon Basics Jumper Cable is a standard and the most practical choice for those who are not into long car trips and considers it unimaginable to be stuck somewhere on the sidelines but still want to be safe if such an occasion happens. These jumper cables are the cheapest pick on our list since they cost only $15. However, such a low price does not diminish their ability to do great work. Being the most popular item on Amazon, they are able to recharge the battery of a heavy vehicle and connect two cars on a 12-feet length and are highly flexible, so do not be afraid of fractures.
However, note that such length will require parking cars side to side. Nevertheless, the clamps are high-quality and reliable, so nothing should go wrong if you properly check how the clamps are connected. Rated as 10-gauge, they are a perfect choice for compact cars, yet will work with any vehicle. All in all, Amazon Basics jumper cables are a good choice for those who are not very likely to be stuck because in severe cases these cables may not help you to get out.
5. Best Jumper Cables for High Price
Forney set of jumper cables are made with premium copper welding cable and are great for any type of roadside assistance. These battery jumper cables cost $220 for a good reason since their performance is incomparable. Having the clamp connected for an electrical current of 500 amp, they not only fit trucks and SUVs but also transpose the electricity fast between compact cars.
Forney booster cable sets are a highly reliable choice that will not leave you disappointed. They are resistant to low temperatures even at -53F and at high up to 220F! You will also get a carry bag with these amazing jumper cables.
Long story short, with a high-quality cable and a tenacious clamp no dead battery and jump-start is scary. But if more electricity is needed in your case, consider acquiring a jump-box.
How Do Jumper Cables Work
Let’s start with essential information about the mechanism. There are actually no pitfalls or difficulties in understanding how the jumper cables operate. They are just a pair of wires with alligator clamps at the ends that connect a dead battery with another car’s battery to reassign the energy to a dead car.
Basically, jump-starting is a method of starting a motor vehicle by connecting it to another vehicle or external source and transposing the needed energy in the form of simple electricity. Most frequently, it is made with jumper cables or push start. In this article, we will only describe how to jump-start a car using jumper cables (also called booster cables) with two cars or an external source, meaning with jump starters.
How to Use Jumper Cables Safely
That is the question that concerns every driver who got stuck with a dead battery. First of all, it is important to remember that your car’s battery cannot get spoiled if you use it correctly. Never leave the lamps turned on when you leave a car, and do not start your car and leave it started for a long time when not needed.
So, what to do if the car is actually dead? Do not panic. It is only needed to find the other vehicle that has a pair of reliable jumper cables and a working battery in its gear. Surely, having any cables is better than having none at all, so in a desperate situation, rely on your fortune and try jump-starting a dead battery with what you have in easy access. However, if you have an opportunity to take care of yourself in advance, it is better to acquire a good pair of jump cables before such a situation happens. At least, you will be able to help the other car with weak batteries.
Here is a step-by-step instruction on how to start the car with dead battery terminals:
- Park a car with a working battery in front of a dead car, so that the vehicles can be connected with the cables. Open the hoods of the cars and find and reveal both battery posts.
- Define the positive terminal and negative terminal on the battery posts. You can do it by finding + and – written on the batteries.
- Clear the posts from any dirt in order to not cause a shortage and to make the connection as tight as possible.
- Take the red cable and attach it to the positive terminal of the dead battery and connect another end of the red cable to the positive terminal of the working battery. Make sure that the connection is tight and clear.
- Next, attach the clamp of the black cable to the good battery, and connect the opposite clamp to a bare, metal shell on the engine of the dead car. It will become a grounding for the jump start.
- Start the engine of the good-working car and let it settle for a couple of minutes so that the energy will come to the dead battery to recharge it. Then, start the disabled car and let it idle for some time.
- If the dead car starts without struggle, disconnect the black clamp from its battery and proceed with another black clamp on a working car. Finally, disconnect the red cable by removing the red clamp from the live battery and then removing a red clamp from the dead one.
Now, as you know the detailed instructions, remember to always check whether the connection on the clamps to the batteries is firm and clear. Otherwise, you will end up having a shortage or not receiving any results.
What is also important is to have a good car’s battery working for about an hour before trying the jump start. Since dealing with high voltages during getting the car started, it is also better to use rubber gloves or other equipment that will prevent any harmful experience. You should also think of acquiring exactly jumper cables with red and black clamps since it is a widely used combination of colors of the most jumper cables in the US, so no one will misunderstand how to properly use the cables.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
How to Use Jumper Cables?
You should connect the positive terminals of the car batteries with the same cable (red cable), and attach the black cable to the negative terminal of a dead battery to a metal surface. After you succeed with the connection, you can proceed to jump-starting.
How To Jump Start A Car?
Park the cars close to each other. Connect jumper cables to a dead car battery and a good battery. Start the engine of a working car, wait for a couple of minutes, and try to start the disabled car battery. Voila, you jump-started a car!
How to Hook Up Jumper Cables on Your Car?
Attach the cables so that the red clamps would touch the positive terminal of both cars. The black clamps should be connected to the negative terminal of a dead battery on one side and the metal surface on the other. Always check that the connection is tight!
How Do You Position the Cars to Jump Your Battery?
It always depends on the length of the cables. If it is long enough, you can park the car nose-to-nose. However, if the cables are short, you can try side-to-side parking. The essential point here is that the car batteries must be close enough to not ruin the connection.
Do You Hook Up Red or Black Jumper Cables First?
Always start with one red cable and a positive terminal for both cars! The negative post and black cable are later to be employed. You can remember that by the fact that the red color is brighter, so you should start a jump-start with what is more recognizable in the set.
What Happens When You Put on Jumper Cables Incorrectly?
If you connect the cables incorrectly, in reverse order, for instance, you will just not get any energy from the working battery. If you do not check the connection, you can spoil the cables. However, in some cases, you can get stuck with a shortage and spoilage of both car’s batteries.
When Do You Disconnect the Jumper Cables?
You can disconnect the cables right after the dead battery starts working. Always remove the cables in the opposite order from the one you connected them to.
How Do You Jump a Car Battery Without a Second Car?
You can use the jump starter or an extra battery pack which can be also found on Amazon. However, it is an option that fits those who travel in their car a lot.