In Canada, keeping booster cables stored in your car has always been the norm. But jumper cables are not the only option for protection against dead batteries. With booster packs taking over the market, which option is the best if your vehicle’s battery dies and leaves you stranded?
Advantages of Booster Packs
Booster packs, or jump starters, don’t require a second vehicle to jump-start a battery. This allows drivers more independence because they no longer need to worry about getting stranded in a remote location where no one’s around to help.
Booster packs are also far easier to use. Learning how to use booster cables can come with a fair bit of trepidation because of the damage that one minor error can cause. To use a jump starter, by contrast, you only need to attach the red and black clamps to the positive and negative terminals, respectively.
That’s it. No extra steps or worries.
Jump starters also eliminate the need to worry about car positioning, making them easier to set up.
Finally, booster packs are safer for both driver and vehicle. Most jump starters have anti-spark technology to prevent danger and protect the driver. Many also have a reverse-polarity protective feature. It prevents mistakes that could cause an explosion or fire.
Additionally, they automatically regulate the amount of energy transferred to the battery during use and protect the vehicle’s sensitive technology from overloading. This can be very useful when trying to jump-start an electric vehicle.
And last, booster packs eliminate the possibility of damaging another’s vehicle.
Disadvantages of Booster Packs
Booster packs have very few disadvantages, though they’re important to mention.
First, booster packs need to be kept charged. Uncharged booster packs are useless during an emergency. So, periodically check yours during your routine inspections.
The jump starter also needs to be kept at room temperature in a dry place to sustain its battery life. This means you can’t leave it in the car during winter. Depending on the size and model of the jump starter, this can be especially frustrating. Most average jump starters are large and heavy, making storage a hassle. Fortunately, mini jump starters solve the size issue and can be stored much easier.
The only other disadvantage of booster packs is their price. They are more expensive than booster cables and have a shorter life span.
Advantages of Booster Cables
Booster, or jumper, cables have always been the traditional choice for winter driving kits. Easily stored by rolling or folding them into convenient places, jumper cables are a known driving staple. If your car’s battery dies, booster cables can jump-start your car with the help of another vehicle. They also cost less and last longer than booster packs. Quality, well-cared-for booster cables can last a lifetime, meaning you usually only need to purchase them once.
Disadvantages of Booster Cables
Booster cables may be cheaper than booster packs, but they have many disadvantages. Booster cables require the use of a second person and car. This risks damaging another’s vehicle and makes you rely on another driver for help in an emergency. Booster cables are also much more complicated to use and involve a greater safety risk.
What Should You Invest In?
Overall, the best option is the booster pack. Booster packs are safer and more convenient. Jumper cables will still help you start a dead battery, but booster packs are especially useful in the remote areas of Ontario. Plus, we can’t ignore their added safety features. But we still recommend having a spare set of booster cables in your emergency kit, just in case.