There will also be times when your luck (most of the time, patience) is tested as if you’re missing a jumper cable in an emergency. That’s why as a responsible vehicle owner who’s ready for anything, you need to have a few things organized every time you head out to hit the road.
Aside from your driver’s license and keeping the spare tire in tip-top shape, you also need to pack the right tools. This may not seem so important in most days, but you’ll realize how vital they are when the time comes, and you may need them.
But how do you pick out a jumper cable?
One of the basic equipment you should include in your trunk is jumper cables. They can become very handy if you’re ever having a hard time starting your car due to drained battery.
But how do you pick out a jumper cable? Are all the jumper cables the same? What do you need to keep in mind before shopping for one?
That and everything else you will want to know are noted down in this article from Philkotse.com.
1. Using a jumper cable
Jumper cables would come in handy if you happened to drain your car battery. For example, if you left the alternator or the headlights on overnight, you will most likely end up with a dead car battery.
The good thing is that you can still start your car using two things; another car battery and jumper cables. Just clip on one end of the cables on your car battery and clip the other end to the borrowed one.
Jumper cables would come in handy if you happened to drain your car battery
Then jumpstart your car, so the alternator starts working! You can always find a kind enough motorist to lend you a helping hand. But it comes to the latter requirement; jumper cables should be something you always have with you.
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2. What do you need to consider before you purchase jumper cables?
Getting the correct jumper cables for your vehicle can become a real challenge. Some jumper cables out there can be too short while some can be made with low-quality materials.
While this can do the job for one or two occasions, you can’t trust that low-quality jumper cables will have your back for longer. In some cases, cheap jumper cables aren’t even able to conduct electricity properly.
So before you jump into the jumper cable-buying process, we’re here to show you the key considerations in buying your set.
The cable’s length
You will find that most of the jumper cables available in the market these days measure 10 feet. While this is great for saloon cars, bigger cars will need jumper cables that measure up to 25-feet. This will be more effective in connecting two batteries.
Longer jumper cables are more effective in connecting two batteries
The cable’s rating
This is one of the most vital factors you need to take a look at when hunting for jumper cables. Keep in mind that there is less electricity if your cables have the wrong gauge.
Your vehicle will most likely start due to this. Cables for SUVs and other types of vehicles come with 4 to 6 gauge. If you have a larger vehicle, say a truck, a 1 to 2 gauge will be more appropriate.
The cable's rating is one of the most vital factors you need to take a look at when hunting for jumper cables
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The cable’s material composition
High-quality jumper cables are made using conductive materials. The best types are jumper cables made using copper. These work way better than aluminum.
The only drawback when it comes to copper, though, is that these types of jumper cables are expensive. This is the main reason people opt for cheaper alternatives that are also less in quality.
While more affordable, aluminum cables are available in the market. They don’t work so well with heavy trucks. You can compromise if your aluminum cables are coating copper ones.
High-quality jumper cables are made using conductive materials
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The cable’s clamps
The clamps are responsible for grasping the battery terminals. They do a critical job of transmitting electricity between the two batteries. A common type of clamp that you’ll see in the market is alligator type clamps.
These come with sharp and pointed teeth designed to hold on to the battery terminals firmly. Look out for the jumper cables that come with some kind of insulation coating the clamps.
These types of clamps better protect the user from getting accidentally shocked. Most of the time, heavy coats of rubber are used to insulate the clamps. Before you start the car, make sure the positive and negative terminals are well-connected.
The clamps are responsible for grasping the battery terminals
The jumper cable you choose should be made of a material that’s strong enough not to come apart when tangled. This will prevent the material from tangling up, especially if you need your car in an emergency.
Tangle-free jumper cables s=are also way easier to store compared to their cheaper counterparts. Most expensive jumper cables will come with special boxes where you can safely keep the cables inside.
The jumper cable you choose should be made of a material that’s strong enough not to come apart when tangled
Is it best you just hide the jumper cables there until you need it? The reason? Not to preserve the packaging itself but because the packaging is usually designed to be the best shell of protection against external elements.
Too much exposure to sunlight can ruin the cables, especially the insulation. If this part is damaged, you may experience electric shock while using the item. Aside from that, moisture can also affect the effectiveness of the jumper cable and may not fully function when you need it.
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3. An alternative to jumper cables
Apart from jumper cables, there are also jump starter kits in the market that you can consider. These can be more expensive, but they also have their own sets of benefits.
For example, jump starters have protective material inside of them, including wrong-polarity protection. This feature makes them super easy to use. They are also easy to store because of their size.
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