No matter the vehicle, batteries don’t last forever. As batteries get older, they start to lose their charge.The best thing you can do is prepare yourself for this kind of inconvenient situation. If you have a newer vehicle, however, it might mean more than having a set of jumper cables buried in your trunk.
Newer vehicles contain several computers and even more digital devices so it’s crucial you jump-start your car properly. The best thing you can do is revert to your handy-dandy owner’s manual. It may suggest jumping your vehicle using a jump box rather than standard jumper cables.
To keep you prepared and safe we’ve compiled a list of pros and cons to using a jump box and how to properly use one.
- You don’t need an additional vehicle to help lifeline yours. All you will need to jump your vehicle is the jump box itself.
- They can be great for other emergencies too. Some jump boxes include a very bright emergency light and USB charging ports in case your phone battery is also dead!
- Jump boxes can come with a larger price tag compared to jumper cables. The price all depends on the voltage needs for your vehicle.
- Jump boxes are ONLY effective when they are charged! If you haven’t charged it since it’s last use, then it might not have enough power to jump your vehicle.
If you decide that a jump box is the right tool for you, then you’ll need to know how to use one. Here are 5 easy steps to get you back on the road.
Step 1: Connect the cables to the battery pack. Most have the cables permanently attached so this step can be ignored in some cases.
Step 2: With the vehicle turned off, connect the jumper cable clamps in the following order:
- Red + (positive) on dead battery
- Black – (negative) on the bare, unpainted, metal of the dead battery vehicle (DO NOT connect the black to the dead battery. Clamp the black cable to a bare, unpainted metal part of the dead battery vehicle. This could be one of the metal struts that hold the hood open or a clean nut on the engine block.)
Step 3: With the cables now attached properly, you can turn on the jump box.
Step 4: Next, turn the ignition of the vehicle to attempt to start it. If the motor does not immediately turn-over, allow 2-3 minutes between 5-second attempts to allow the jump box to cool and also for the voltage to recover. This will ensure the jump box can deliver its peak current when trying to start the vehicle.
Step 5: After you have successfully started your vehicle, you will want to switch the jump box off. Then remove the cables in the following order:
- Black – (negative)
- Red + (positive)
Whether you are jumping your vehicle with jumper cables or using a jump box, it’s always a good idea to drive or let your vehicle idle for at least 20 minutes to help recharge the battery.
Be sure to have your battery checked regularly. Jiffy Lube of Indiana has several Battery Maintenance Services and we will also check your battery charge as part of the Signature Service Oil Change. Jiffy Lube of Indiana has you and your battery’s back. Find the closest Jiffy Lube of Indiana location near you.