How To Choose The Right Jump Starter
— August 24, 2021 | 2 min read
We don’t want to jinx anyone, but winter is the most common time for your car to require a jumpstart. The cold can affect battery performance to the point where your car simply won’t start, particularly in cars where a battery might be aging.
Older batteries are more susceptible to performance degradation in cold weather and may need the assistance of a portable emergency jumpstarter unit to help you on your way. If your car sleeps outside, the first warning an aging battery might give is a complete failure to start as many modern batteries will give their all - right to the bitter end.
Of course, it’s less of an issue these days than it’s been in the past but draining the battery from accidental use is another cause of the dreaded ‘flat’. Leaving your headlights on or the stereo running can quickly drain your battery’s remaining charge – especially when the battery is nearing the end of its life.
Now, you could rely on the kindness of strangers, or call the roadside assistance crew. But an affordable, ready-to-use emergency jumpstarter will save you the effort; and in the case of the Projecta range of emergency jumpstarters, will also double as a handy battery pack, perfect for charging your mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or any other portable device.
How do I choose the right jumpstarter for my car?
Choosing the right emergency jumpstarter couldn’t be easier. Projecta make emergency jumpstarter packs in three different sizes: one for small and medium-sized cars; one for larger cars, SUVs, and 4WDs; and the largest unit for use by professionals and those with heavy-duty vehicles.
To be fair, you’d be surprised and how much charge even the smaller Projecta emergency jumpstarter can provide. By checking your vehicle’s owner’s manual you’ll be able to easily pick the right emergency jumpstarter pack for the job – all you really need to know is the type and size of your engine.
Petrol engines up to 6.0 litres
For petrol engines up to 6.0 litres in capacity, Projecta recommend the IS920 Intelli-Start. This 12-volt compact emergency jumpstarter is suitable for small leisure craft, mowers, motorcycles, and four and six-cylinder petrol cars. It provides 240 Amps of clamp power and 900 peak Amps, includes an LED worklight, a nifty storage bag, and doubles as a USB powerbank.
Petrol engines up to 7.0 litres / Diesel engines up to 4.5 litres
For engines requiring a little more oomph, the Projecta IS1220 Intelli-Start is the perfect choice. Designed for larger family cars, SUVs, and mid-sized 4WDs – including diesel models – this compact 12-volt emergency jumpstarter provides 400 Amps of clamp power and 1200 peaks Amps. It also features an LED worklight and acts as a handy USB powerbank, as well as including its own handy storage bag.
Petrol engines up to 8.0 litres / Diesel engines up to 6.0 litres
The largest emergency jumpstarter in the Projecta range is the IS1500 Professional Intelli-Start. This heavy-duty unit is aimed at workshops, roadside assistance vehicles, and car dealerships, but can also be used for vehicles with large petrol and diesel engines, including large size 4WDs, small trucks and vans, and even some boats. This 12-volt emergency jumpstarter has its own docking station and provides 700 Amps of clamp power and 1500 peak Amps.
How does an emergency jumpstarter work?
An emergency jumpstarter is essentially a portable battery which boosts your vehicle’s battery to enable adequate charge to start the engine. The unit comes with jumper clamps which attach to the battery terminals and an LED light and USB port for the charging of electronics likes mobile phones and tablets.
Another consideration of emergency jumpstarters is safety. You want to ensure you can’t injure yourself or damage your vehicle’s precious electronic components when using the unit, which is another reason the Projecta Intelli-Start range is so good.
Projecta units use only lithium-iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries specifically designed for jumpstarting, and incorporate surge protection, short-circuit, and over-heating protection as standard.
Lightweight and easy to use, Projecta Intelli-Start emergency jumpstarters are weatherproof and drop resistant. Their compact size means they can easily be carried in your glovebox or console, out of sight and ready for use should you ever need it.
Projecta offer terrific how-to videos on how to charge and use their Intelli-Start emergency jumpstarter units, simply click on the video to learn more!
How to I recharge an emergency jumpstarter after use?
All emergency jumpstarters are charged in much the same way you’d charge your mobile phone or laptop. A cable is connected to a wall socket or any USB port and the other end to the unit. Power charges the battery and is stored ready for the next time you need it. But Projecta Intelli-Start systems take charging one step further and can be instantly recharged from your vehicle’s battery after performing a jumpstart.
Known as Rapid Recharge Technology, the process is as easy as leaving the jumper leads attached to the battery for 40 seconds after the engine starts. The Projecta Intelli-Start unit will automatically recharge itself and indicate when it’s fully charged and ready to be disconnected. It’s as easy as that!
Again, Projecta has a great video to show how its Rapid Recharge Technology is used, simply click on the video to learn more:
Three things to consider before buying an emergency jumpstarter
1. What will I use it for?
We’d recommend not only knowing what size emergency jumpstarter unit you’ll need, but also what else you intend using it for. As we discussed, Projecta Intelli-Start emergency jumpstarters double as a power bank for the charging of portable devices, so it’s important to know how often you’ll need to charge these, and to what capacity. It’s also worth considering how frequently you’ll need to use the jumpstarter function, as a larger unit may be worth the outlay if your vehicle battery is aging, or you’re frequently jumpstarting multiple vehicles.
2. How many starting Amps does it offer?
The bigger the engine, the higher the starting or cranking Amps number should be (see above for more detail). Understanding how much power it will take to start your car is the best way to know which Jumpstarter will suit your needs, though you might be surprised to know you don’t need the biggest unit on the market. Projecta Intelli-Start emergency jumpstarter units feature a manual override function to provide maximum power to a completely flat battery. This handy feature is easy to use but isn’t universally available. It’s another reason the Projecta Intelli-Start units have an advantage over the competition.
3. What level of storage capacity does it offer?
Battery storage – remembering that emergency jumpstarters are essentially a battery – is measured in Amp hours (Ah) or milliamp hours (mAh), where 1,000mAh is equal to 1Ah. Again, the higher the number, the greater the storage the unit offers, and the more power it has to offer you as a portable power source. Projecta Intellistart units offer from 1.6Ah to 6.0Ah when used drawing 12 volts, or enough to jumpstart between 14 and 220 batteries per charge (depending on the unit selected).
For more information about Projecta Intelli-Start emergency jumpstarters visit intelli-start.com