How Does a Portable Battery Jump Starter Work?

A portable battery jump starter eliminates the need for another vehicle and lengthy cables to jump start a car. If a car engine doesn't start, hooking the portable jump starter to the battery gives it the boost it needs to achieve the peak electrical amperes necessary to start the engine.

To use a portable jump starter, open the hood and locate the car battery. Depending on the type of battery in the car, the positive and negative terminals may either be at the side or on the top. The red terminal is the positive and the black terminal is the negative. The alligator clamps on the portable jump starter have the same colors, so attach the clamps to the matching terminals.

Once the clamps are secure, turn the portable jump starter on. This allows the jump starter to send peak amperage to the battery. Some models do not have an on/off switch and send out peak amperes instantly. With the portable jump starter on, get in the car and turn the ignition switch. If the car starts, disconnect the portable jump starter from the battery and store it in a cool, dry place for future use.

Dirty or corroded battery terminals can make a connection difficult, so make sure to brush off any build up on the battery terminals before attaching the clamps.