For those who have experienced their stomach drop once or twice due to a dead battery preventing their vehicle to start, they will be the first to tell you how this frustrating scenario quickly turns into a nightmare once they realized they have no access to jumper cables. It does not matter how new and luxurious your car is – if you are a driver of any car, jumper cables are an absolute necessity and should be kept in your vehicle at all times.
What Are Jumper Cables?
Jumper cables are cables typically equipped with alligator clips that are used in order to make a temporary connection between a vehicle’s discharged battery and an external power source. Connecting a discharged battery to an external power source “jump starts” the battery by providing it enough energy to temporarily turn over the engine.
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Jumper cables have both a positive cable clamp and a negative cable clamp. The vast majority of jumper cables available on the market follow a universal color scheme in order to identify which cable is positive and which is negative.
- Positive cables are typically colored red or striped.
- Negative cables are typically colored black.
Where You Can Get Jumper Cables
Buying jumper cables is an extremely simple process, given you’re seeking them ahead of time before any potential future breakdowns. While virtually every auto-related shop will carry jumper cables, finding one at all hours of the day can be a challenge, especially if you are experiencing car battery troubles during the late hours of the night or in a remote area. With that said, take note of the following alternative shops will allow you to buy jumper cables:
- Home Depot
- CVS Pharmacy
- Walgreens Pharmacy
That’s right, Jumper Cables Walmart Edition work just as well as the ones you’d find at an AutoZone. If you still find that you have trouble reaching any of these locations, simply perform a “jumper cables near me” search on Google. After determining your location, Google will be able to show you on Google Maps exactly which jumper cable carrying shops are near you. In addition, if the business has its profile set up on Google, you will be provided with the store hours and contact number that you can call to confirm whether the jumper cables are in stock.
Ensure that the jumper cables you purchase are ones that are 4 to 6 gauge and at least 20 feet long. While it isn’t the end of the world if your jumper cables aren’t 20 feet long, it can be extremely convenient for you if you are in an environment that does not allow you to put two cars directly next to each other. Try to purchase jumper cables with thicker cables and heavy clamps, as they are the best jumper cables that are more durable and last longer.
How to Use Jumper Cables
After becoming the latest proud owner of a set of jumper cables, you should then understand exactly how to use them in the event of a dead car battery breakdown. It may seem confusing at first as each cable must be attached to a specific battery terminal (positive vs negative) in a specific order.
Our guide on How to Jump Start a Car explores each step it takes to successfully jump-start a vehicle. While the process may seem intimidating to those who have never done it before, DriveSmart can assure you that it’s one of the easiest things you’ll ever have to do as a driver.