We have all seen it. A red and black lifeline extending from one car to another. Hopefully, restoring life to a dead car battery from a live one. Yes, the jumper cables can be a lifesaver…if you have a set.
All too often, however, you find yourself without a set of jumper cables when you need them. This can be especially shocking if you just bought a new or new to you car, and begs the question. Do cars come with jumper cables?
The unfortunate answer to that question is, NO, cars do not come with jumper cables! So the burden is on you to make sure that you supply your own set of jumper cables.
You never know when your battery will die on you. It’s in your best interest to be prepared if something should happen.
Here is an all-around excellent set of jumper cables for almost all cars; check out the TOPDC 4 gauge jumper cables on Amazon.
We Are In the 21st Century, Do Newer Cars Need Jumper Cables?
All cars, even modern ones, use a battery to get started. That being said if that battery dies the car will not start. Jumpers are used to supply power from a good battery to a dead battery.
So, yes, newer cars could use a set of jumper cables. They may not always need them, but they can use them.
However, you want to be certain that you are careful. Newer cars are almost all electronic and you can do damage if you connect the jumper cables incorrectly.
I recommend using a set of jumper cables that have reverse attachment protection and power surge protection. This will ensure that you have a safe jump start every time.
“I’ve never had the problem of needing one before” is NOT an excuse! A situation could happen at any moment and it’s better safe than sorry.
The HORUSDY 25FT Jumper Cables found at Amazon offer reverse polarity protection.
What do you do when your car doesn’t have jumper cables?
Thankfully you have options if you don’t happen to have jumper cables with you. I wrote an awesome little article that addresses just such a situation. To summarize, they are:
- Call a tow service
- Use a battery booster pack (my recommendation)
- The push start method (very tricky and less applicable with modern cars)
Calling a Tow Service
This is the completely passive way to handle a dead car battery. Many car insurances carry some sort of roadside assistance, so you may have this as a fallback.
You are at the mercy of the tow truck company though. So you may be sitting for a while waiting for them to show up. There may also be extra fees incurred. But if it gets you out of a situation…it’s worth it, right?
Use a Battery Booster Pack
This is hands down, my recommended solution. Battery booster packs are small, relatively inexpensive, and have multiple uses.
They also make you completely self-sufficient if your battery dies. You don’t need to wait for someone to help you with a jumpstart and there is less likely hood you will damage your car.
I love having a battery booster pack in my car. You never know when you may need one or when you will be able to help someone else out.
The Noco Boost Plus GB40 is my go-to battery booster pack. Its small, powerful and reliable. You take care of it and it will take care of you.
The Push Start Method
I have a whole write-up on how to pull off this particular maneuver. It is a little bit tricky and if you don’t have a stick shift, don’t even think about it.
You need to have a few things going in your favor for this to be successful. Go and read about it over here.
How much do jumper cables cost?
Jumper cables vary widely in price. They range anywhere between $17 and over $200 on Amazon. You really do get what you pay for with these.
For most vehicles, a set of jumper cables in the $40 to $90 range is more than sufficient. It really depends on what kind of vehicle you have and to a lesser extent what kind of area you live in.
There are several factors that go into what jumper cables cost. A few of those are the gauge of the wire, the length of the cables, and the material the cables are made of.
Jumper Cable Length
Jumper cables come in different lengths. Typically, longer jumper cables do not cost any more than shorter ones do. They do need to be long enough to reach the battery of the car with the dead battery and onto the battery of the vehicle supplying power. If they are too short, you can’t do it.
Guage of Jumper Cable Wire
Jumper cables come in a variety of different gauges, but for most cars the gauge you need will depend on what kind of vehicle you have. A good set for most drivers will typically be between 4 and 8 gauge. The thickness of the wire in your jumper cables affects how much voltage gets through to the battery when charging it.
The thicker the wire is, the stronger it will be. For most vehicles, a good jumper cable set should have between 4 and 8 gauge wires in them to do their job properly.
The size of your engine also plays into what kind of jumper cables you need for your vehicle. Generally speaking, a larger motor can require a little bit more power than a smaller one so people with large engines may want to opt for 1 or even 2 gauge wiring instead of something weaker like 4 to 8 gauge.
Jumper Cable Wire Material Copper Vs. Copper-clad Aluminum
Copper is a great conductor of electricity and copper-clad aluminum is a good option if you don’t want to dole out the big bucks for a copper set. A set of copper jumper cables will cost you more for good quality, 8 gauge wire set. A copper-clad aluminum 8 gauge wire set will cost less with everything that comes in it.
If you do not want to dole out that much money for a set of the more expensive jumper cables then consider opting for a copper-clad aluminum one. Basically what this means is that they have a thin layer of pure copper wrapped around an aluminum core so they still do what they need to do, but do it for a lot less money.
In my mind, if I am going to spend that kind of dough then I would rather just get a good quality set from the start instead of spending half as much on an inferior product with all the same problems in hopes that maybe this time it won’t break or be faulty when I go to use it.
So do cars come with jumper cables? No, not unless someone accidentally leaves a set in the car you are buying from them. Could you use a set of jumper cables? Absolutely!
Hopefully, you never need them, but if you do you will have them. We discussed some options you have if you don’t have a set of jumper cables and also how much jumper cables cost.
Armed with this information, do what you need to do and go get yourself a set of jumper cables! Until then
Other Jumper Cable Articles…
Need some more information on Jumper Cables? Check out these articles: