There are several steps that will keep your jump starter in good operating condition and support a long service life. Keeping these steps in mind could extend the life of your jump starter as much as two to three times longer than if you do not follow these basic recommendations. Of course, that is the key: you must follow these steps if you want to get the best and longest service from your jump starter.
1. Keep your jump starter charged. Avoid letting the unit sit in a highly discharged state. Remember, jump-starter batteries have no memory issues. You cannot harm them with frequent charges, even when they are only slightly discharged. So, plug in your jump starter early and often. The best practice is to charge a jump starter after each use. Even in those cases where this type of charge frequency is unrealistic, nightly charging should be done if the unit is used often. If you do not use the jump starter regularly, make sure to charge it at least every three months to ensure the battery is not sitting in a discharged state for extended periods.
2. Respect the duty cycle of your jump starter. Every jump starter is subject to a duty cycle. That means the vehicle you are jumping can be cranked only so long before a period of rest for the jump starter is necessary – see your operator’s manual for thespecific details of your jump starter. For almost all Clore Automotive jump starters, the recommended duty cycle is six seconds of cranking followed by three minutes of rest. Adhering to the proper duty cycle for your jump starter will avoid excessive heat buildup within the jump starter battery. Too much heat can damage its internal construction and reduce its useful life.
3. Whenever possible, store your jump starter in a moderate temperature, between 50˚F and 70˚F (10˚to 20˚C). As with vehicle batteries, exposure to extreme temperatures is detrimental to jump starter batteries in the short and long term. Besides extending your jump starter’s life, keeping it in the right temperature range can give it more oomph. For instance, a jump starter stored at 20˚F will have less jump-starting power for a needed jump start than one stored at 60˚F. In the long term, extended exposure to high storage temperatures (> 90˚F) will reduce the service life of a jump starter battery.
4. When you have completed a successful jump start, it is important to disconnect the jump starter from the now running vehicle as quickly as possible. Always remember to follow all safety procedures and the proper disconnection sequence when you are taking the cables off. Typical vehicle alternator output is much higher than the recommended recharge rate for a jump starter battery. Charging any battery at a rate greater than the recommended charge rate is detrimental to its long-term health. Many technicians leave the jump starter connected after a successful start, thinking that it is a fast and easy way to get the unit recharged. You should avoid this practice. It will do more harm than good. Charge your jump starter in the normal way to support a long unit life.
5. Until now, our focus has been on the battery, which is the heart of a jump starter and the most critical component impacting its durability and service life. To get the most out of your jump starter, you should keep other factors in mind too. Remember that many batteries the jump starter comes into contact with are in poor condition, which can result in battery acid on or around the posts. After jumping a vehicle with a battery in such a condition, wipe down your jump starter’s clamps (particularly the positive, which is the only clamp that should contact the battery) with a clean cloth to remove any residual battery acid. For clamps that have a high level of acid contact, use a mixture of baking soda and water and a wire brush to thoroughly clean them.
Following these simple steps can greatly extend the life of your jump starter. In addition, taking care of your jump starter will also help ensure it is ready for service each time you need it so it will provide the peak power you need to get engines going again.