You are thinking of buying an emergency battery starter to prevent you or your loved ones from being stranded on the road with a dead car battery. The good news is that many compact car battery starters have been launched today. Next, Enerjet Batteries presents you with a guide that explains how to use a portable battery-powered car starter that will help you understand the possible risks you might face and to know what you can do to limit your exposure to the dangers that this process implies.
Precautions to consider
The following observations should be taken into account whenever attempting to start a vehicle with a portable car battery starter.
- Make sure the starter is off before connecting the jumper cables to the vehicle’s battery.
- Check the lights, radio, and air conditioner and make sure they are off. Remove the keys from the ignition to be sure.
- Do not allow the positive and negative clamps to come in contact with one another or that are electrically connected.
- Do not attempt to start the vehicle near flammable liquids or other fuels.
An explosion of car batteries is possible but rare.
Although portable car battery starters have safety systems that prevent any dangerous situation caused by misuse of the device, it is wise always to follow the precautions mentioned above. A car battery explosion is a real possibility, and if a lead-acid battery is involved, it is not necessary to say that everything could result in a disastrous situation.
Also, sparks could jump if the starter clamps come in contact with each other or connect to the vehicle when the portable car battery starter is turned on.
How do portable jump starters work
1.- Connect the starter cables to the starter while it is off. Some units have permanently attached wires, so this step can be ignored if that is the case.
2.- Then, even with the starter and the vehicle off, connect the positive starter clamp (red) to the positive terminal of the vehicle’s battery and the negative (black) clamp to a stable position in the vehicle’s chassis. Make sure that the clamps are firmly connected so that when the vehicle starts, they will not come loose and prevent them from coming into contact, and the starter will suffer a short circuit.
Connecting the negative starter clamp to the negative terminal of the car battery is a more common practice, and for the most part, it will be fine. The negative terminal of virtually all vehicles also serves as a ground for the car battery to be connected to the chassis of the vehicle. Therefore, comparing the frame to the car is almost the same as relating to the negative terminal of the battery.
The reason why it is preferable to connect the clamps to the chassis is that the vehicle’s battery could emit hydrogen gas. Although not very likely, especially in modern car batteries, a spark that leaks from the connection of the jump leads and battery terminals could cause a fire or explosion.
3.- With the starter cables firmly connected to the vehicle’s battery, the portable car battery starter can be turned on.
4.- Then, the ignition of the car can turn on, and you can try to start the car. If the engine does not start working immediately, do not start the generator for more than five seconds. The starter is required to emit the maximum amount of current while attempting to start the engine and is designed to do so only in short discharges.
Pressing the device to start the motor for more extended periods could cause overheating and severely damage the device’s battery. Allow two or three minutes of rest after each five-second attempt for the starter battery to cool and recover its voltage. This will ensure that the maximum amount of current is emitted again when attempting to start the motor and thus avoid compromising the life cycle of the starter.
5.- After the engine has started, the first thing to do is turn off the starter. Then, remove the negative starter cable, followed by the positive one. Finally, remove the portable car battery starter.
6.- It would be a good idea to recharge the portable starter as soon as possible (even if it still has a charge) and if you can do it immediately afterward, better, as long as you let it cool down for a few minutes.
7.- It would also be appropriate to take the battery of your car to check to see if it has suffered any significant damage to be discharged and not allow the engine to start.