Your week-long trip to the farmhouse is over, and you just started prepping for the journey back to the city. You are somewhat hesitant, knowing that a cumbersome work schedule awaits you upon your arrival in town. On the other hand, your kids are jovial, as they had previously been bored of the uneventful rural landscape. Half-heartedly, you indulge in the packing process.
Once every item needed is in place and the luggage has been double-checked to ensure nothing is amiss, you wave goodbye to the caretaker and proceed to the vehicle. After taking off the car cover
, you put the key into the ignition but alas! The car cannot start! You dismiss the first failure as a normal shortcoming and decide to give it a second shot. That too fails. Then a third, a fourth, and a fifth… until you give up, realizing that something must be wrong with the engine system.
The obvious first place to check would be the battery, which powers up the ignition system. After a quick inspection, you find out that, to your surprise, the battery has been drained, leaving it incapable of starting the vehicle. Questions flood your mind. How could this be possible? Who could have used your battery? A mischievous smile from your children answers your questions. Those little devils! I knew it was them – you tell yourself. You begin to piece up the puzzle then remember the blaring music played outdoors the previous nights. That must have been when the poor battery was exhausted.
Without a doubt, you’d want to scold the kids. But the urgency of the situation tramples this desire, forcing you to look for a quick solution. In the absence of a jump-starter
, you are forced to ‘borrow’ power from a secondary source (another vehicle’s battery). The farm tractor would act as the source, with the only requirement being a connecting cable. With help from the caretaker, you randomly pick up wires, hoping they will get the job done. At the initial attempt, the wire is “fried.” However, after a series of false starts, you finally get a breakthrough. The engine starts.
Such experiences often remain indelible. Just like it is obligatory to have a tire repair kit
at all times, it is essential that you have an appropriate jumping cable within reaching distance. With it, you will have no hassles when your battery runs out, even in the middle of nowhere, provided you have a secondary power source.
Cables are part of the complex automotive electronics, so it can be challenging for a layman to identify the appropriate variant to suit his needs. You need not worry, as we have you covered this. Our automobile expert team scoured through the various options available in the market and compiled the list featuring the best of the selection. After reading our guide, you will be well acquainted with the jumper cables.
When coming up with a budget for a jumper cable, you should keep in mind that the length and amperage will have a huge bearing on the cost. Additionally, the gauge as well as the metal used in making the cable will impact the price. Typically, longer cables mean higher prices. Similarly, those with lower gauges are costlier, as they have shorter charging turnaround times.
In the market, jumper cables go for modest prices, starting from $17. High-end variants are costly, going for up to $90. You will find a multitude of cheap automotive battery cables on the market, but we do not recommend them. Cheap models do not offer you value for your money. They are made from inferior material and are not practical, specifically when carrying out heavy duty jobs. Thus, for versatility, it will serve you well to go for the premium, as they boast of multiple features.
The specifications of jumper cables give a hint of what to expect regarding performance, at least on paper. Hence, it is fundamental to assess the features to ascertain whether they fit the billing.
So, what exactly do you look for when shopping for a jumping cable?
- Length- This determines how far the cable can reach.
- Gauge-This relates to the thickness of the wire used. The higher the gauge (numerically), the thinner the wire.
- Cable-What material is the coating made of? It may be suited for either heavy or light duties.
- Clamps– How are the clamps designed? What are they made of?
- Amperage-This impacts on the amount of current that can flow through the cables at a time.
Assessing performance ensues after assessing the specifications.
Construction and Design
It is imperative that the cables be long enough. Shorter cables have a myriad of limitations, with the foremost being the need to have the power source in close proximity while jumpstarting. This is significantly inconvenient, especially when the power is sourced from another vehicle, since a distance must be maintained between the two. Contrariwise, a longer cable offers you the freedom of connecting power sources over longer distances.
The gauge of the cable is another vital specification. A lower gauge means a thicker wire, hence more current transmitted at a time. As a result, cables with lower gauges charge faster than those with higher gauge values. This saves time and, by extension, fuel if you are relying on a secondary vehicle.
Performance and Ease of Use
To avoid short-circuiting, a majority of manufacturers are designating different colors to the clamps with red being positive and black representing the negative terminal. Another safety measure is the cable insulation which, in addition to preventing electrocution, also acts as a water-proofing mechanism.
Some models integrate T-prene coating, which makes them insusceptible to extremely low temperatures. This is expedient, particularly if you live in an area with a harsh winter season.
While going through these reviews, bear in mind the kind of features you would want for your cable - length, thickness etc. With this guide, you will be able to choose what exactly suits your needs.
We believe you have taken your time to go through these reviews and are better informed on how to make the choice of an automotive battery cable. You may want to place that order now that you are well informed.