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Top 5 Things to Remember for Long Jump Starter Life

There are several steps that, if adhered to, will keep your jump starter in good operating condition and support a long service life. Keeping these steps in mind could extend the life of your jump starter as much as 2-3 times longer than if they are not followed.

  1. Keep your jump starter charged and avoid letting the unit sit in a highly discharged state for any length of time. Remember, jump starter batteries have no memory issues and cannot be harmed by frequent charges, even when only slightly discharged. The best practice is to charge a jump starter after each use. Even in those cases where this type of charge frequency is unrealistic, nightly charging should be done if the unit is used frequently. In those cases where the jump starter is not regularly used, charge it every 3 months to ensure that the battery is not sitting in a discharge state for extended periods.
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  2. Respect the duty cycle of your jump starter. Every jump starter is subject to a duty cycle in which the vehicle can be cranked only so long before a period of rest (for the jump starter) is needed – see your operator’s manual for the specific details of your jump starter. For almost all Clore Automotive jump starters, the recommended duty cycle is 6 seconds of cranking followed by 3 minutes of rest.  This will avoid excessive heat build-up within the jump starter battery, which can damage its internal construction and reduce its useful life.
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  3. Whenever possible, store your jump starter in a moderate temperature environment, between 50˚F and 70˚F (10˚-20˚C). Like vehicle batteries, exposure to extreme temperatures is detrimental to jump starter batteries, both in the short term and long term.  For instance, a jump starter stored at 20˚F will have less jump starting power for a needed jump start than one stored at 60˚F. In the long term, extended exposure to high storage temperatures (> 90˚F) will reduce the service life of a jump starter battery.
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  4. When you have completed a successful jump start, it is important to disconnect the jump starter from the now running vehicle as quickly as possible, always remembering to follow all safety procedures and the proper disconnection sequence. Typical vehicle alternator output is much higher than the recommended recharge rate for a jump starter battery. Charging a battery (any battery) at a rate greater than the recommended charge rate is detrimental to its long term health. Many technicians leave the jump starter connected after a successful start, thinking that it is a fast and easy way to get the unit recharged, but this practice should be avoided.
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  5. Until now, our focus has been on the battery, which is the heart of a jump starter and the most critical component impacting its durability and service life. That said, other factors should be kept in mind. Remember that many batteries the jump starter comes into contact with are in poor condition, which can result in battery acid on or around the posts. After jumping a vehicle with a battery in such a condition, wipe down your clamps (particularly the positive, which is the only clamp that should contact the battery) with a clean cloth to remove any residual battery acid. For clamps that have a high level of acid contact, a mixture of baking soda and water can be used with a wire brush.

Following these simple steps can greatly extend the life of your jump starter and also help to ensure that your jump starter is ready for service each time you need it.

51 Comments

  1. Great refresher if you want the best simply buy a jump and carry . I own two a little simple maintenance goes a long way . Thanks vic. A city fire mechanic.

  2. Purchased a JNC300XL for my car & use at Jimbo’s Farm in NC.
    Unit looks and feels great. The 12V Volt DC Power outlet will
    come in handy when a tire needs to be inflated.
    All the best. Jimbo

    • Jimbo – that’s great. Thanks for choosing Jump-N-Carry and for posting your comment. Glad you like the 12V outlet also. It definitely adds functionality. We wish you all the best with your new JNC unit. Thanks, Jim from Clore Automotive

  3. Being I live in Minnesota,(below 30 deg’s most of the winter) I purchased the 950 and wondering if you suggest I take the unit out of the truck each nite?

    • Scott – thanks for your comment. The JNC950 is a high capacity unit, so low temperature depletion (losing Cranking Amps as temps decrease) shouldn’t be a big issue. It is not necessary to take it out of your truck nightly through the winter. But, on extremely cold nights (<0˚F, especially when below -10 to -15˚F), it probably wouldn't hurt, as a precaution. Also, when charging, it is best for the unit to be above 30˚F. Finally, in your more extreme winter, we recommend charging the unit every 30 days if it is stored in your truck overnight, as oppose to our standard guidance of once every 90 days. A full charge is your battery's best friend. I hope this helps. Thanks, Jim from Clore Automotive

    • Michael Ramirez says:

      Can jump starter stay on a “charger/maintainer” until needed…????

  4. I got the ES5000. I live in New Mexico. I need to keep it in the car because we have a faulty design that in no way warns you if you’ve left lights on. I am always getting someone to come jump start me. Our temps can get up near 100 and VERY OCCASIONALLY below 20. When should it come inside?

    • Mo, Thanks for your question. Unless you expect to see sub-zero temperatures, it probably isn’t necessary to bring the ES5000 inside. At the same time, I would suggest only bringing it in during the heat if you have a string of 100+˚F days in a row. Then, maybe bring it on a day when you are home and charge it once it has come down to near room temperature). But really, you shouldn’t experience any issues. I hope this help. Thanks again, Jim from Clore Automotive

  5. How long should I charge the jump starter for? I’ve borrowed a neighbour and have it plugged in but wondering how many hours I should charge it before attempting to use it on my car again.

    • Sarah – Thanks for for your question / comment. Most models feature automatic charging, so if you have one of those models, we recommend charging unit the unit indicates it has reached a full charged. If your particular model doesn’t have this feature, we recommend charging overnight after it has been used. Plus it into the charger at 7 p.m. and remove from the charger around 7 a.m. That should get you back to a full charge. All units have a means to check the state of charge, so, once you have removed the unit from the charger in the morning, check that it has reached a full charge. Thanks, Jim from Clore Automotive

  6. I go to Florida for 5 months and leave the JNC jump starter in my utility room at a temperature of 50 degrees. Is there anything I can do to insure that it doesn’t totally discharge? I leave my other batteries on a trickle charger.

    • Tom – First, if your JNC is fully charged when you leave and remains at 50˚ while you are gone, it should not become overly discharged in 5 months, so you should be good without taking any extra steps. But, if you would like to be proactive, you can keep your unit charged while you are gone. Assuming you have a newer unit (with LED charge status lights on the front), you can leave your JNC connected to an AC outlet via an extension cord for the period while you are gone. The internal charger will keep the unit maintained during that period with no adverse effect to the battery. Thanks, Jim from Clore Automotive

  7. My jumpstarter is discharged, but when I plug it in, it says fully charged. Should I just keep it plugged in, or is the battery toast?

    • Clore Automotive says:

      Carl,
      Unfortunately, the gauge is probably measuring a surface charge of the battery while the actual reserve power of the battery is discharged. Most likely the battery is dead.

  8. I just bought the ES 2500 to take with me on trips to northern Quebec for snowmobiling in the winter. Once up there, I plan to leave my pickup truck parked for up to 5 days while riding a big loop on the snowmobile. I was planning on leaving the battery pack in the truck, so that it can assist with starting the truck if I have problems upon my return. On my last trip, the temperatures were averaging minus 25 F. overnight, and only getting to + 5 F. during the day. I plan to make sure that the battery pack is fully charged each time before I go. I have two questions:

    1. Will this plan risk damaging the battery pack?
    2. Because of the extreme cold, how much of a reduction in cranking capacity should I expect when I go to use the battery pack?

    Thanks, Bill

  9. I have a ES2500 what is the right way to connect and disconnect from the battery terminals?

  10. What is damaged/risk if cables are disconnected in incorrect order? Is damage to car battery or the charger?

    • Dee – The risk comes from the possibility of generating a spark near the battery, which we/you do not want to do. A spark could result in personal injury as well as damage to the vehicle and jump starter. This is tru of all jump starters. The operator should disconnect the negative lead (which is connected to a vehicle ground, not the battery) first, which then interrupts the circuit. Then, when the operator disconnects the positive lead from the positive battery post, there is no risk of spark. This is best practice.

  11. roccisano says:

    ive misplaced the cord for my jnc660 after storing in during a move. i wanted to know is it a standard electric 110 cord that i can substitute?
    also \noticed tehre is a crack in the lens for the charger is there a replacement part i can buy for that>

    • roccisano – yes, any extension cord should work fine. Doe you mean the lens for the gauge or the charger? The charger part number is 865-117-666. The gauge part number is 247-095-666. You can order either part through our Technical Service Department at 800.328.2921, option #2. Thanks, Jim from Clore Automotive

  12. I’ve charged my Jump and Carry, but see that the needle is only
    mid-green. Since I just bought it, I wonder if this unit is older already (sitting on the shelf for a long time)?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Carrie – You should be fine. Does your green light come on? If so, you are good. A fully charged battery should show the needle at 12.8-13.0V. This is approximately the twelve o’clock position on the gauge. There is green to the right of this position, but that is just to account for surface charge that you can get while connected to the charger or right after the unit is removed from the charger. Thanks, Jim from Clore Automotive

  13. Can I connect the JnC to my truck’s battery to top it off? Kind of like a trickle charger….how long can I leave it on? My cig lighter circuit stays on when truck is off, so should I use the cig-to-cig connection for this application?

    Thanks,
    Eric

    • Eric – Thanks for your inquiry. We do not suggest charging your unit off the battery of a running vehicle. The alternator’s output is very high and could quickly overcharge the unit’s battery, which will damage it. You could use the Male-Male cord (cig-cig) to charge while the vehicle is running, but care must be taken not to overcharge when using this method. The ideal situation is to charge using the AC charge method whenever possible. Thanks, Jim from Clore Automotive

  14. Just rec’ed 660 unit out of the box I pressed the red button unit showing fully charge. I readed the direction which states first thing is to charge unit for 24 hrs out of the box

    I plug it in for one hr gauge and green light saying fully charge

    Do you let it charge for a 24 hr no matter what first thing out of the box ?

    • Richard – Thanks for your question. No, you do not need to charge the unit further. Units in the field can be in varying states of charge when they are purchased by the final user, so we suggest a 24 hour initial charge. If your unit was/is fully charged upon receipt, charging it only until you achieve a green light status is sufficient. Please remember that, if the unit is not used for periods, it is best to charge it every 90 days. This keeps the battery fresh. Thanks, Jim from Clore Automotive

  15. My jump starter was plugged in 24 hours but wouldn’t work. Is it dead?

    • Reggie – It is hard to say, but likely is dead. Your best bet is to call out Tech Line at 800.328.2921, option #2. They will be able to diagnose the issue with you. Thanks, Jim from Clore Automotive

  16. How can I tell when my unit is no good anymore?

    • Jimmy – That was another one that was in the discussion. Just missed. Thanks, Jim from Clore Automotive

    • Jimmy – I think your best bet is to call our Tech line at 800.328.2921, option #2. Our team will help you diagnose your unit and determine the best next steps. Thank you, Jim from Clore Automotive

  17. Thanks for the refresher. I find it rather challenging to maintain jump starters here in Northern Australia where temperatures exceed 40 degrees C in the summer.

    • Michael – Thanks for adding to the discussion. We agree that it is difficult, in extreme heat, to manage battery health. While we associate winter cold with dead batteries, intense heat is truly the most potent enemy of battery longevity. Thanks again, Jim from Clore Automotive

  18. It is necessary to maintain a jump starter battery. Keeping it in a suitable degree helps it be long-lasting.

  19. Thank you so much for all your tips. It’s really do helpful for me to keep the jump starter alive.

  20. how long do booster packs last? i have one but fails to boost the car i guess it’s about 5-6 years old. thinking of getting a smaller type one today, no one indicates how many years, maybe some last longer than others?

    • Colin – Thanks for your question. In many cases, 5-6 years would be a reasonable expectation for unit life. To get such a lifespan, the unit would need to be properly maintained through regular, periodic recharging. Like your vehicle battery, the battery inside your jump starter will grow weaker over time and will undergo the chemical process of sulfation. Regular recharging helps to minimize sulfation and increase unit lifespan, but over a long period of time, the battery will weaken. As to longevity of different types of jump starters, it would be difficult to say in a general sense. We would say that we utlize the highest performing jump starter batteries in the market and that our unit longevity exceeds those of virtually any competitor. Thanks, Jim from Clore Automotive

  21. Thanks for the very comprehensive review. I have a Stanley 300A jump starter. Is there a danger or downside of leaving the jump starter plugged in all the time when not in use? By doing so, the unit is always ready for use when it is (very infrequently) needed

    Thanks. .

    • Richard – Thanks for your question. If the unit has automatic charging, it should not be an issue to leave it plugged in. The best bet is to consult the operator’s manual for your unit to verify it has an automatic charging system. Most likely, it does and you should be good, but it is best to check. Thanks, Jim from Clore Automotive

  22. Thanks. I called Stanley, and they told me that while it would not be dangerous to leave the unit charging at all times, it would significantly reduce that battery life. Accordingly, I decided that I would just charge it in once a month, which is what they recommended.

  23. Hello, I have the JNC660 that I bought new three years ago for my 1-person roadside assistance business. I noticed that when the display says “CHG”, I plug it up and a couple of seconds later it dispalys “FUL”. I then press and release the display button several times to see if it’s accurate. After pressing and releasing several times, it again starts displaying “CHG”. I had to jump start a vehicle today which was the first time the JNC could not start the vehicle. I noticed each time the customer turned the key, the display on the JNC dropped to around 7. Is it time for another battery?

    • Michael – It sounds as if your unit’s battery may have lost its capacity. If it goes from needing a charge to fully charged in a matter of seconds, this is a telltale sign that the battery is sulfated and is in need of replacement. Similar to a vehicle battery that shows that same characteristics. Thanks, Jim from Clore Automotive

  24. Hello I recently bought a battery pack charger and was going to keep it in my car during the covid-19 situation where infrequent use of my car is causing the battery to run down. Is it ok to leave the charger lying down, inside the car in a place more convenient for storage, or does it need to be stored standing upright?

    • Stuart – Thanks for your question. If it is a Clore jump starter (Booster PAC or Jump-N-Carry branded models), yes, you can store it in any position, including lying down. I keep my JNCAIR unit in my trunk lying down all the time. Thanks again, Jim from Clore Automotive

  25. Rich Thomas says:

    I have a JNC 660. When is battery is no longer good can it be replaced or do I have to buy a new jump starter?

    • Rich – Thanks for your question. The battery can be replaced, though it is often more cost effective to replace the entire unit. I suggest calling our Tech Line at 800.328.2921, option #2 to discuss it with one of our team members. Thanks again, Jim from Clore Automotive.

  26. I just received an unopened box model Pro 660. It’s been sitting in my aunts garage for who knows how long. Is it worth trying to charge it, or at I asking for trouble by doing so? There isn’t a speck of dust on it, and the product for life service coupon is dated 1999 lol. Thanks!

    • Rich – Thanks for your question. In all honesty, if the unit has been sitting for 10+ years (even 3+ years) without being charged or used, the battery will be deeply sulfated and without any capacity. I believe that, if you try to charge it, you will see voltage shot straight up, but the battery will not actually charge (you’ll add just empty surface charge because the battery plates are so sulfated). Thanks, Jim from Clore Automotive

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