Is it safe to leave a jump starter in your car? Keep your battery charged and your mind at ease with the right information.
Have you ever found yourself stranded on the side of the road with a dead car battery? It’s a frustrating experience that can leave you feeling helpless. As a driver, I always want to be prepared for any situation on the road. That’s why I carry a jump starter in my car, just in case my battery dies unexpectedly.
But is it safe to leave a jump starter in your car all the time? The answer is Yes, in most circumstances. But there are some caveats. In this quick guide, I’ll answer that question. I’ll give you the information you need to keep your jump starter safe and ready to use when you need it.
- Keep a jump starter in your car, but be mindful of factors such as temperature and moisture.
- Safely storing a jump starter is crucial for the tool’s performance and lifespan.
- It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper use and storage of the device.
Is It Safe to Leave a Jump Starter in Your Car
Let’s have a look at the pros and cons.
|Convenient in case of emergency||Risk of battery drain|
|Always available when needed||Safety risks if not stored properly|
|Can help others in need||Risk of theft or damage to the jump starter|
|Peace of mind and independence, reducing reliance on others||May not be suitable for extreme temperatures|
|Can be used for other purposes, such as charging devices||May require regular maintenance and monitoring|
When it comes to keeping a jump starter in your car, there are both pros and cons to consider. I’ve compiled a list below to help you make an informed decision.
- Emergencies: A portable jump starter can be a lifesaver during those unexpected moments when your car battery dies. Trust me, it’s better to have it in your car than in storage!
- Independence: No need to rely on strangers to help you jump-start your car. I can’t emphasize enough how convenient this is for me. And I am always ready to offer assistance to others who may need it.
- Compact size: Many jump starters are small enough to fit in your car without taking up much space.
- USB Ports: They almost always have USB ports, which you can use to charge other devices. This alone has gotten me out of a couple of scrapes.
- Temperature sensitivity: Some lithium-ion batteries can become dangerous at high temperatures, like the 60ºC (140ºF) threshold for thermal runaway.
- Battery maintenance: You’ll need to periodically recharge the jump starter, even if it’s not in use. This is because of the phenomenon of self-discharge. All batteries lose charge over time, even when unused.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to keeping a jump-starter in your car. Geographic location, climate, and the type of battery technology your jump starter uses can all influence whether it’s a wise choice for you.
Factors to Consider When Leaving a Jump Starter in Your Car
Remember those pros and cons we talked about? Let’s go deeper.
Temperature and Climate
One important factor to consider is the temperature and climate. High temperatures can damage lithium-ion batteries. During summer, the inside of your car can get very hot. It’s safer to keep the jump starter in a cool area, like a garage. This will keep things nice and safe, and jump starters are small enough to grab and go when you’re off out.
In cold weather, the battery can get affected too. Anything under 32ºF can adversely affect your battery. Just be mindful of extreme temperatures when storing your jump starter in the car.
Battery Life and Maintenance
Keeping your jump starter charged is essential. A dead jump starter can’t revive a dead battery. Remember to check its charge regularly and charge it when you need to. It is important to remember not to leave it in your trunk for ages and assume it will work when you need it.
Mitigating Safety Concerns
There are safety concerns when storing a jump starter in your car. Lithium-ion batteries can experience thermal runaway. This leads to overheating and can be hazardous.
Most Li-Ion batteries can handle up to 122-140°F. Unfortunately, car interiors can reach up to 158-176°F on hot sunny days. That’s not safe for your portable jump starter.
You want to avoid leaving it exposed to direct sunlight. Keep it in a shaded spot, like the glovebox, under a car seat, or in the trunk. This will help keep the temperature down. Better still, keep it in a garage to keep it cool and grab it on the way out with your keys.
Although the chances of something bad happening are low, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
Pro tip: Look for jump starters that use LiFePO4 (lithium iron phosphate) batteries. These batteries are safer and more stable in hot temperatures.
Lastly, think about security. Keep your jump starter in a safe place. Hide it from prying eyes and potential thieves. I always keep my jump starter in the trunk or glove box so it isn’t visible to opportunist thieves.
Charge It Regularly
A jump starter won’t be helpful if it’s not charged. Make sure to check the battery level regularly. Connect it to a USB port or wall charger to top it off. Don’t forget to unplug it once it’s fully charged.
By following these steps, you reduce the risk of damaging your jump starter. By avoiding heat and moisture, you can keep it functioning well for a longer time.
Which type of Lithium Battery for Me?
Did you know several types of lithium batteries are used in car jump starters? Not all are created equal in the way they react to temperatures. Let’s take a look at the main ones.
Lithium-ion Batteries: The Temperamental Ones
Lithium-ion batteries are like the friend who gets moody when the temperature changes. They’re often used in jump starters because of their high energy density and long cycle life. But they can be sensitive to temperature changes.
When exposed to high temperatures, they can experience thermal runaway. In turn, this can lead to swelling, leakage, or even a big bang. Store them in a cool, dry place to keep them happy and avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures.
Lithium-polymer Batteries: The High-Maintenance Ones
Lithium-polymer batteries are like that high-maintenance friend who always needs extra attention. They have a gel-like electrolyte that can expand when heated. This can lead to internal pressure buildup and swelling or explosion.
High energy density and low profile make them popular. But they are also more prone to swell and explode due to high temperatures than Li-ion batteries. Store them in a cool, dry place to keep them happy and avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures.
Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) Batteries: The Reliable Ones
LiFePO4 batteries are like that reliable friend who always has your back. They can withstand high temperatures and are a safer option for leaving in your car.
They have a higher thermal stability than other types of lithium batteries. So they are less prone to thermal runaway or explosion.
|Battery Type||Temperature Range||Optimal Performance|
|LiFePO4||-20°C to 60°C (-4°F to 140°F)||0°C to 45°C (32°F to 113°F)|
|Lithium-ion||0°C to 45°C (32°F to 113°F)||15°C to 35°C (59°F to 95°F)|
|Lithium polymer||-10°C to 50°C (14°F to 122°F)||10°C to 40°C (50°F to 104°F)|