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Jump Start a Car

Updated: Jun. 30, 2017

Always use high quality jumper cables when you jump start a car

FH12FEB_JUMCAB_01-2Family Handyman
Buy high quality jumper cables for emergency jump-starting a car. They're more dependable in adverse conditions.

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Why buy expensive jumper cables?

Jumper cable comparison

Cheap jumper cables have light-weight clamps and thinner wire which don’t work as well as stronger, heavier cables when jump starting a car.

Buy more expensive jumper cables for this simple reason: You want the other car to start. Cheap jumper cables are a bad investment. They’re made with thin 10-gauge wire and cheap clamps. You want a thick (4- or 6-gauge) wire to move the most juice when you jump start a car.

High-quality cables (such as the Hopkins BC0860 shown; about $40; available through our affiliation with have professional-grade clamps that won’t pop off. High-quality cables are a once-in-a-lifetime investment. They’re priced according to wire gauge, length, clamp quality and the ability of the insulation to flex at minus 30 degrees F.

Get step-by-step instructions on how to jump start your car.