How Do Jump Starters Work?

How Do Jump Starters Work?

You’ve probably been there: finally done after a few hours of errands or just getting back from a long trip, you find your vehicle in the parking lot. You climb into the driver’s seat and try to start the engine – only to find that it won’t turn over. Whether it’s an old battery or you accidentally left the lights on while you were away, a dead battery can ruin your day. Automotive safety experts recommend always carrying jumper cables in your car, but that doesn’t do you much good if there isn’t another person around to give you a jump. Carrying a portable jump starter, like the Cobra Jump Starter 800A or 1000A, can get you back on the road quickly and safely. They allow you to start your vehicle without having to call and wait for roadside assistance to come to you or ask a passerby to help jump start your vehicle.


Jump starters work by using a special high current Lithium-Ion battery to provide enough power to start your engine. These batteries are rechargeable, and newer products should be able to not need a recharge for over a year (unless they’ve been used multiple times). They can often jump start multiple vehicles on one charge and some models can even act as a portable power bank to charge and power your devices like smartphones or tablets. Most portable jump starters are designed to be able to easily start a drained battery in gasoline and diesel-powered passenger cars and light-duty trucks that won’t start because of cold temperatures, the lights were left on, or they haven’t been driven for a while.


How to Use a Jump Starter

How you use a portable jump starter will depend on the model, and you should always read and follow all manufacturer instructions to start a vehicle safely and effectively. The instructions provided here are from the Cobra Jump Starter 800A and 1000A mentioned above, and are typical for most battery-powered jump starters, but always check your product manual before using any device.



No matter which method you use to start your vehicle, you should fully recharge your jump starter after each use – particularly if you’ve used it to start multiple vehicles – and at least once every 12 months for best battery performance. Both Cobra models feature an at-a-glance status indicator so you can easily see your battery charge level.


Are Jump Starters Safe?

When used according to the manufacturer’s directions, jump starters are perfectly safe and an incredibly useful tool to have on-hand in case of a dead vehicle battery. You won’t need to call and wait for roadside assistance to come to you or flag down a passing vehicle to ask for help jump-starting your car or truck. In certain situations, your vehicle may even be parked in such a way that makes it difficult or impossible for jumper cables to reach your battery from another vehicle, which makes having your own jump starter invaluable.


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