Pack This Essential For Your Road Trip To Help Start Your Car In An Emergency

It's not advisable to go on a road trip without ensuring that your vehicle is in tip-top shape. It's of utmost importance that you see to it that your car is road-trip ready so you can avoid any potential mid-trip breakdowns that can spoil your experience. Before you even situate yourself behind the driver's seat, you may want to do your due diligence and check if your tires are aligned and balanced, your automotive fluids like brake and power-steering fluids are at sufficient levels, your lights and signals are in working condition, and you have enough battery. You may even want to go for a tune-up to get a green light from experts that your car is well-equipped to hit the road.

Former AAA spokesperson Julie Hall also advised stocking your car with essentials, the chief of which is an emergency kit. "The kit should include mobile phone and car charger; flashlight with extra batteries; jumper cables or jump pack; a basic tool kit; a tarp; raincoat and gloves to help stay clean/dry working at the roadside; rags, paper towels or premoistened wipes; warning devices; first aid kit; small, portable and battery-powered fan; windshield washer solvent; and plenty of drinking water, snacks or food for your passengers and any pets," she told CNN.

If what you're extra worried about is your car breaking down in the middle of nowhere, though, a jumper cable is a non-negotiable. Even better, a portable jump starter can be a lifesaver if there's no one else around you.

A portable jump starter can jump your car without outside help

You were probably taught how to jump-start a car around the same time you learned how to drive one. But the thing about jumping a vehicle the usual way is you need the help of another car for it to work. You would have to use a jumper cable and hook both ends to the battery terminals of each car, start the engine of the car with the working battery, and then start the engine of the car with the wonky battery. It's a fairly easy process, for what it's worth, but what do you do if your trusty vehicle refuses to start when there are no cars within your vicinity?

This is where a portable jump starter can come in handy. Instead of relying on roadside assistance or praying that a stranger would come by to help you out, this device can kickstart your car's battery to life when it decides to die on you during a road trip. It functions similarly to your smartphone's power bank, in a way that it can start your engine by connecting it to your car's battery via cable. It's not made to top up the battery per se, but it delivers the amperage your vehicle needs to put the engine in motion so you can drive to your next pit stop safely. Some portable jump starters even have additional functions, like emergency lights, USB ports, and a radio, so they're definitely worth the investment.

What to look for in a portable jump starter

With the market inundated with portable jump starters, it can be easy just to pick a random one and call it a day. But if you want extra peace of mind, it's important to choose wisely and consider a number of factors when selecting one. Ideally, you'd like the jump starter to be compact enough to maximize car space, so you want to pick from options powered by lithium-ion batteries as they're typically small enough to fit into a glove compartment. You also want a jump starter with a considerably high capacity so it can be used multiple times before needing a recharge. Peak amperage is also crucial, as it's indicative of its speediness in transferring power to your car's battery. The higher it is, the faster it can kickstart your engine.

Additional features like LED flashlights and DC outputs are also nice to have, but what you should be prioritizing are the jump starter's safety features. Tinkering with batteries is no joke, so if you can, invest in one that has features like short-circuit protection and over-current protection to keep not only your car's battery safe, but the rest of your vehicle, too.