Jump starters vs. battery chargers – the right power for your battery
It's cold and wet, it's still dark when you leave in the mornings, and to top it all off, you're running late too. You get into your car and go to drive off, but then comes the inevitable – it won't start. What now? You remember that you have an Einhell Jump-Start power bank and a battery charger in your workshop. Quickly you run off to grab one of the devices. But which one to pick to get your car up and running on time? Luckily, you're reading this blog post.
Here we explain what a Jump-Start power bank and a battery charger actually are and when exactly each should be used, how to use them and what else you can do with them. We also explain what you should pay attention to during use in order to be able to handle the batteries safely.
What are battery chargers and jump starters?
Essentially, they're what they say they are: Battery chargers are devices that recharge empty batteries. They supply electrical current to a battery, which "recharges" the chemical reactions in the battery. When the charging process is complete and a consumer is connected to the battery, this triggers the chemical reactions in the battery and electrical energy is released.
In order for the charger to do what it should, it's important to note compatibility. Not every charger can charge every battery. The Einhell battery chargers for cars are suitable for many common battery types and are equipped with different charging voltages. This means you can easily charge your empty battery so it's ready to start again in no time. Especially with the Einhell battery chargers CE-BC 15 M and CE-BC 30 M with jump-start function, nothing stands in the way of getting back on the road.
Likewise, the mobile Einhell jump starter power banks, which are ideally suited for use on the go, are designed for jump-starting the engine. They are ready-charged up with power from the socket and can then act as a battery themselves – like a normal power bank only with a lot more power. The Einhell Jump-Start power bank CE-JS 18/1 even delivers so much power that it can even start up vehicles with a petrol engine of up to 8000 cc.
What are the differences?
The basic function is the same for both devices: They recharge discharged batteries so that you can get the vehicle going again. But they do it in different ways. The main differences are
- how the charging process works
- the mobility of the device
- its other possible uses
How the charging process works
In order to fully charge a car battery, you'll need a charger. The Einhell battery chargers quickly and gently charge all common battery types such as gel batteries, AGM or lead-acid batteries and ensure a long battery life at full power. Some devices can also act as a jump starter, such as the Einhell battery chargers CE-BC 15 M and CE-BC 30 M, by supplying a current of 100 A to the battery for a short time. In contrast, the Einhell Jump-Start power banks can be used "only" for jump-starting. Unfortunately, their battery capacity of up to 18 Ah (3 x 6000 mAh) is not enough to fully charge a car battery. Nevertheless, they can supply the necessary power with up to 300 A to bring an empty to deeply discharged battery back to life, so that you can get it back home or to the nearest garage, where you can atttach the battery to the charger for charging.
This is where the Jump-Start power banks stand out. The Einhell Jump-Start power banks CE-JS 8/1, CE-JS 12/1 and CE-JS 18/1 all weigh no more than a water bottle and can therefore be easily transported in a backpack or handbag – not to mention in the boot of a car, where they hardly take up any space. The devices can also be conveniently charged using household sockets before use. This means you will be perfectly equipped for emergencies at any time on the road if your car battery runs empty. Car battery chargers are stationary and wired. This means they can't be used on the go, as an outlet is required at all times.
While the battery chargers can only be used to charge car batteries, you can still use the Jump-Start power banks to charge other electrical devices, such as your smartphone, tablet, camera or laptop. Even larger consumers, such as car air compressors, can be supplied with power. Thanks to various USB ports and with the appropriate charging cables included in delivery, almost all electrical devices can be supplied with energy. The built-in LED flashlight for your camping or other trips is also helpful.
Despite the many differences, the two types of devices also have one key thing in common: they breathe new life into your car battery. With a high charging voltage of up to 24 V, the devices generate enough energy to reawaken even deeply discharged, i.e. really empty to completely finished batteries, and then gently recharge them so that the entire battery can be saved and the power source can continue to be used. Appropriate subsequent care for your batteries – i.e. charging them regularly and discharging them in a targeted manner – can even extend the service life.
When handling electricity or electrical equipment, utmost care should always be taken. There are a few things you should pay attention to to ensure you do everything right when using the Einhell car battery chargers and power banks and use the devices in the best possible way. If you're not careful, working with electricity can quickly lead to injuries or damage to the vehicle's electrical system.
How to properly charge your car battery
The Einhell battery chargers and mobile power banks are all supplied with fully insulated battery terminals. If you have misplaced the cables, there are also various jumper cables available from Einhell, such as the Einhell jumper cable BT-BO 16/1 A or the Einhell jumper cable BT-BO 25/1 A LED SP with integrated LED light. It is always best to have at least one jumper cable in the car so that another car can help you out in case of an emergency. Ideally, you'll also have your Einhell Jump-Start power bank with you on the go. This means you won't have to rely on others. Please also always observe the instructions for jump start assistance in the operating manual of your vehicle. Failure to follow them can result in vehicle damage.
If your vehicle stops on a busy road, you should proceed as followed:
- Ensure safety: Always make the accident site safer with a warning triangle. When you get out of the vehicle, you must always wear a safety vest.
How you proceed now is the same whether another car helps you or whether you use your mobile jump starter. The cables must always be connected correctly, whether relying on another car to jump start you or using a power bank. The only difference is that when using a mobile jump starter, you only have to connect the jump starter cable to one battery, your own.
- The red cable must be connected to the positive pole: When connecting the red cable, the polarity and the order are important. First connect the cable to the positive terminal of the car assisting you. After that, you can connect the other end of the red jumper cable to the positive terminal of your flat battery.
How to remember which is which: In emergencies, you might think of a red cross – like the red cable and the plus sign "+".
- The black cable must be connected to the negative pole: Similar to the red cable, you have to connect the black cable to the negative pole of the car assisting. It is important in this step that you fix the other end of the cable to the specified ground point of your car or to another free metallic spot on the engine block.
Caution: Sparks may fly if you fail to do this!
- Starting the engines: Once the two cables have been properly connected, the engine of the assisting vehicle can now be started. If using the Einhell power bank, you can now turn it on in jump start mode. After a few minutes, you can try to start your car. If it doesn't work right away, you can try it two more times. If this still doesn't work, it is advisable to get professional help, otherwise damage may occur. If your car has started, both engines have to continue running for a few minutes.
- Removing the cables: If your car is now running independently again, first remove the black cable from the assisting car and then from your engine. Finally, you can disconnect the red cable from the batteries.
- Charging the battery: Now you can continue with caution. It is advisable to drive straight home or to a garage to charge the car battery with a charger. Simply plug your car into the charger overnight and you can get going with a full battery the next day.
Charging your car battery
Normally, your car battery will charge via the alternator while driving. However, if your car or motorcycle is stationary for a long time, the generator can no longer compensate for the lost energy and the battery discharges bit by bit and must eventually be charged externally. When charging your battery, be sure to pay attention to the following features of your battery charger:
- Suitable for many battery types
- Overcharge, short-circuit and reverse polarity protection
- Microprocessor-controlled for optimal charging
Modern chargers are equipped with these functions, ensuring a longer life for the battery, such as the Einhell battery charger CE-BC 2 M or the Einhell battery charger CE-BC 10 M.
When charging, reconnect the red cable to the positive pole and then the black cable to the negative pole. You can then turn on the charger and charge the battery for several hours or overnight. Smart battery management systems built into the chargers shut down when the battery is full.
Other useful devices for your car
- Impact wrench: Your tyres should be changed twice a year. In spring we switch to summer tyres, and in autumn we switch to winter tyres. The Einhell cordless impact wrench IMPAXXO 18/400 or the Einhell cordless impact wrench TP-CW 18 Li Brushless-Solo are optimal helpers. They easily loosen the screws up to a torque of 400 Nm and are part of the Power X-Change family.
- Car air compressor: Once the changed tyres are on the car, they usually lack the necessary air pressure. To fill to the corresponding presure, the Einhell cordless compressor PRESSITO 18/21 or Einhell car air compressor CC-AC 35/10 12V are the perfect choice. With the digital or analogue pressure display, you always have an eye on how much pressure is already in the tyre. With the Einhell cordless car air compressor CE-CC 18 Li-Solo, the desired pressure can be preset up to 11 bar and the device switches off as soon as the desired pressure is reached.
- Polishing machine: The Einhell cordless car polishing machine CE-CB 18/254 Li-Solo is ideal for cleaning your car for the summer. The handy and robust polishing machine is equipped with a textile and a synthetic polishing cover, which ensure an optimal distribution of the polishing agent and a gleaming shine.
- Vacuum cleaner: The Einhell cordless hand-held vacuum cleaner TE-SV 18 Li-Solo or Einhell cordless wet/dry vacuum cleaner TE-VC 18/10 Li-Solo provide a dust-free and dirt-free boot and footwell with the respective accessories.