Power on the Go – Jump Boxes


Today is cold, cold, cold, so it’s a good time to talk about jump boxes.  You can carry jump boxes in your car or store them at home or at your business.  When needed, they are available to provide extra power to start your vehicle.  Larger ones usually have cables and clamps likes jumper cables, smaller ones sometimes plug into the 12 V receptacles inside the car. The key advantage of jump boxes are:

  • You can jump your  car yourself (you don’t need a second car and the assistance of a friend or stranger).
  • They are small.  I f you are parked so jumper cables can’t easily reach your battery, you can still easily jump from a jump box.
  • You can use them for power on the go for camping, boating, and emergencies.

Key maintenance for jump boxes:

  • Charge them at least every 3 months.  Otherwise, the battery in the jump box starts to go bad.
  • If you know it is going to be cold (like -10 degrees F this morning), store your jump box in a warm location (i.e. inside your home or business).    Batteries do work in the cold, but since they are electro-chemical devices they work better when they are warm.  (The CCA rating on a battery tells you how many cold cranking amps your battery provides at 0 degrees F.)

Many people think cold kills batteries.  Actually, cold preserves them, but it also tests them as you try to start cold engines with them.  Heat is what kills or shortens the life of batteries.  Thus people in Florida and Arizona may have to replace vehicle batteries more often than those of us that live in Pennsylvania.


In addition to jump cables, most jump boxes have 12 V power outlets useful for camping, on boats, or for emergencies.  Some also have lights for illumination or warning, and some have air compressors or inverters as well.  Inverters provide 120 V for small household appliances like computers.

Next post I will talk about power banks as another class of products for power on the go.  There are small power banks for USB devices like cell phones and GPSs, and large ones that power appliances like CPAP machines and small refrigerators.

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Jim Logan
Battery Giant of Pittsburgh
10 St. Francis Way, Suite 9
Cranberry Township, PA 16066


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