Car Batteries, Jump Starters, and Battery Maintenance

December 8th, 2010

A vehicle’s battery is a vital component. The electrical systems of today’s modern cars require more juice than ever before. Not just for starting purposes. Plus there are components and systems that drain the battery even while the vehicle turned off.
Of course, larger engines require more power. Cold weather also requires more power, because the oil and fluids are thicker and the chemical reaction in the batteries is slower.
So, Just how many cranking amps should your jump starter have? Your battery in your vehicle should give you a clue. It will typically list the cranking amp rating, and/or cold cranking amp rating right on it. Your owner’s manual should also list this information. Cranking amps is a rating of amperage output of the battery at 32 degrees F. Cold cranking amps is a rating of amperage output of the battery at zero degrees F.  As the temperature goes down, so does the amperage output of the battery.
Get a jumpstarter that puts out as many cranking amps as the batteries in your car require. The thought here is that if the vehicles battery is completely dead, you will need every bit of power as the battery normally puts out. If the jump starter has less power, you may be able to start the car if the battery isn’t completely dead, but you will be left stranded if it is.
Battery maintenance is also important. If it is not sealed, check it every season to make sure the water level is proper. Remember to only put distilled water in it, otherwise contaminants and minerals could attached to the lead plates and cause build-up and premature death of the battery. You should also check the terminals and clamps to make sure they don’t have corrosion on them. Sometimes the buildup is bad, and the acid can be problematic. You can counteract the acid by creating a solution of baking soda and water. It not only neutralizes the acid, it will help you remove the build-up and corrosion. Use a wire brush to remove any corrosion and before re-attaching them, brush on a commercial corrosion inhibitor. Replace any hardware that is corroded beyond repair. Wear eye protection when working with batteries. Nothing is more painful than acid. Even one small drop can cause great pain and tissue damage. If some acid gets on you, flush with copious amounts of water.
When disconnecting the battery in your vehicle, you should connect your jump starter to the vehicle via the DC power port. Most jump starters come with a DC power port and a male to male plug. This will save the memory of the various electronic components in your vehicle.
If your vehicle is frequently in storage for extended periods of time, you may want to get a Car Battery Charger to maintain the charge. Be sure to get one that is automatic. It will turn on and off as needed, so you won’t overcharge the car’s battery. It just maintains a full charge.
Follow these maintenance tips to avoid getting stranded out on the road on a cold winter day. And make sure to get a good quality Battery Jump Starter to be prepared in the event you do get stranded.

Car Battery Charger


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