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How to choose jump leads and power stations

Catalogue

Jumps leads and power stations are both handy solutions in the event of a flat car battery. Jump leads consist of a pair of thick electric cables with clips on each end; one end is attached to the flat battery, while the other is attached to a full battery of another vehicle. Portable power stations work on the same principle but remove the need for another vehicle.

Jumps leads and power stations are both handy solutions in the event of a flat car battery. Jump leads consist of a pair of thick electric cables with clips on each end; one end is attached to the flat battery, while the other is attached to a full battery of another vehicle. Portable power stations work on the same principle but remove the need for another vehicle.

Before choosing, first answer the following questions:
  • In the event of a flat battery, do you want to rely on another vehicle or not?
  • How powerful is your car – a small city car, an SUV, or a large family car?
Startovací kabely
Jump leads

Jump leads allow you to charge a flat car battery by connecting it to the battery of another vehicle. They should ideally be made of copper and have the largest possible cross section of wire. High-quality jump cables are able to start a large diesel van, while poor-quality leads will struggle to start even a small city car or a motorbike.

Charge a flat battery by connecting to another vehicle

  • Key factors inclide the cross section and material of the wire
  • Connect to amother car's battery
  • 2.5-4.5 metres in length

Frequently asked questions when choosing starter cables

When are you most likely to get a flat battery?

Flat batteries often occur during winter and on short trips. Generally, the lower the outdoor temperature, the faster a battery loses its capacity. Also, short trips of only a few kilometres at a time are not enough to recharge the battery fully.

Can a small city car be used to help start a large diesel car? 

When connecting two batteries via jump leads, check the engine power of both vehicles, which should be roughly the same. If the car acting as the charger has a significantly weaker engine than the car being charged, the process will take longer and could eventually fail.

What is the correct procedure for using jump leads?

First make sure that the car you are connecting to has the same voltage wiring and a healthy, well-charged battery.

Zapojení startovacích kabelů
  • Move the assisting vehicle close enough to connect the two batteries, i.e. a shorter distance than the length of the jump leads.
  • Before connecting the leads to the batteries, turn off the ignition in both vehicles and put on the handbrakes.
  • Connect the red cable to the positive terminal of the flat battery.
  • Connect the other end of the red cable to the positive terminal of the charged battery.
  • Connect the other cable, usually black, to the negative terminal of the charged battery.
  • Connect the other end of the other (blue or black) cable to the engine block of the vehicle with the flat battery.
  • Start the assisting car's engine and keep it running. This prevents a situation where the second battery is depleted and the car does not start.
  • Allow both vehicles to stay connected for at least half an hour to partially recharge the battery, or use cables that allow for immediate start.
  • Start the car with the flat battery.
  • If the car fails to start on the first attempt, leave it connected for a few more minutes and then try again.
  • If the car starts, turn off the engine of the assisting car. 
  • Disconnect the cables in reverse order.
  • After a successful jump start, the engine should be running for approx. half an hour to ensure the alternator has time to charge the battery.
Startovací stanice
Power stations

Power stations help jump-start a car with a dead battery, but also serve as an independent source of energy in caravans or boats, and act as a power bank to recharge a phone, GPS, etc.

A separate power source

  • Wide range of uses
  • No need to rely on the help of another car
  • Portable power stations are available

Frequently asked questions when choosing a power station

Jak vybrat startovací kabely

What are power stations used for?

Power stations have a wide range of uses. They are primarily used to start cars with flat batteries, but they also serve as an independent power source, for example in caravans. Portable models can be provide backup power anywhere on the road, and selected models can be placed in the glove compartment and used as a power bank to charge mobile phones, tablets, GPS, and other electronic devices.

What types of power station are available?

Power stations for connection to mains electricity
These models are dependent on mains electricity and don't have a built-in battery. As a result, they are designed for recharging batteries in the garage, but not on the road.


Portable power stations
These models are small, light, and have an integrated battery – so you can take them anywhere you go.

What is the correct procedure for starting a car using a power station?

  • Turn off the ignition.
  • Connect the red cable to the positive terminal of the flat battery.
  • Connect the black cable to the negative terminal.
  • Start the car.

Key factors when choosing jump leads

Průřez vodiče
Wire cross-section

The most reliable guide to jump leads quality. The larger the cross-section, the better quality the jump leads. Leads with small cross sections are suitable only for small petrol cars; for medium/large and diesel cars, you will need a stronger wire.

  • Smaller cars – a cross section of 16 mm2 is recommended.
  • Cars with an engine capacity of 2.5 litres and diesel engines – a cross section of 25 mm2 is recommended.


TIP: Follow the information on the package, not the thickness of the cable. Sometimes manufacturers use insulation that makes thin cables look thicker than they are.

Materiál
Material

Copper wires are of higher quality and are therefore more expensive than aluminium wires, which are much more likely to break. Unfortunately, a frequent problem is that manufacturers only coat the wires with a thin layer of copper.

Délka kabelů
Cable length

Jump leads are normally in the range of 2.5 to 3.5 metres.

Key factors when choosing a power station

Vestavěná baterie
Built-in battery

Some models have a built-in battery, meaning you are not dependent on mains electricity. These portable power stations can be packed in the boot of a car and used anywhere on the road.

Užitečné funkce startovacích zdrojů
Useful features
  • Protection against short circuits, reverse polarity and overvoltage.
  • Automatic shutdown after charging the battery.
  • Some portable models can be recharged not only from mains electricity, but also from a car cigarette lighter socket.
  • LED flashlight - for use at night.
  • Wheels - makes it easier to move the station around the garage.
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