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Imagine you are on a dark street one evening and your car stalls. You try to start it and it becomes obvious that the battery is dead. More than a few horror movies start this way! You have no cell service and there is not another car in sight that might offer you a jump for your battery. What you need is a portable jump starter!
A portable jump starter or jump box is a battery with cables attached that allow you to jumpstart your car when the battery is dead. It’s safer and more convenient than jumping the battery with cables attached to another vehicle. It does not charge your car battery, but provides the cranking power needed to start the engine. The car’s alternator then has the task of charging the battery as you drive.
Most jump starters are powered with a sealed lead acid battery, and they come in various sizes so you can start engines of different sizes. Some come with additional features, like a small light, a USB port to charge portable devices and an air compressor to inflate flat tires.
The challenge with portable jump starters is that you don’t need it until you need it, so often they will be stowed in the trunk of a car until the car won’t start. The jump starter is retrieved and turned on, often completely dead itself from lack of use!
Maintenance for a Portable Jump Starter
To make sure this scenario does not happen to you, some preventative maintenance is in order. Sealed lead acid batteries self-discharge, meaning they will lose charge when sitting idle, for instance riding around in the trunk of your car. In order for that battery to be ready to get your car back on the road, it needs to be charged regularly. Many portable jump starters have led lights that indicate if the battery is charged. So check the lights every month and especially before a long road trip. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The charge can take up to 5 hours depending on how low the charge was to start, and what size battery is in the unit.
Replacing the Battery in a Portable Jump Starter
If the battery has discharged past the point where it can be charged, you need to either replace the charger, or replace the battery. A quality replacement battery will allow you to get more years of service from the jump starter you already own.
Find a jump started replacement battery that matches the size and voltage of your current battery. Once you have it, remove the cover of the portable jump started. Most models have screws that need to be removed to get to the battery, so a Philips head screw driver is needed. Note how the old battery is connected, disconnect it and connect the new battery. Replace the cover, and check that the new battery is charged and ready. If not, charge it, then replace it in the trunk of your car.
Keep in mind that batteries self-discharge more quickly when stored in high temperatures, like the trunk of your car in summer. Check the portable jump starter more often during the summer to make sure the battery is always charged and ready.
When it is time to replace that battery, you can be confident that BatteryClerk will have the size battery that you need to replace your jump starter battery, and that the quality replacement battery will provide you a safe and convenient way to start your car when and where you need it.
Learn more about AJC UPS replacement batteries.