Oh no! It’s finally happened. Your car battery has died and here you are in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, you planned ahead and found the right size battery jump starter. You even charged it up before you left on your road trip.
But then something terrible happened; just when you needed your jump starter the most….nothing. Why didn’t your battery jump starter work?
Why is your battery jump starter not charging? Most likely, the battery in your jump starter is no longer any good. The battery packs inside a jump starter need to be properly maintained or else they do not last. Even then, they only have a shelf life of a few years before they need to be replaced.
What Kind of Battery is in my Jump Starter and How Do I Maintain It?
Just like your cell phone battery will eventually die, even if you are not using it. The same thing happens to the battery in your jump starter.
There are two main types of batteries used in jump starters, lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries. Your lead-acid batteries are heavier and power larger accessories like an air compressor.
While your lithium-ion batteries are lighter, portable, and can most likely be used as a charging station.
In either case, these batteries need to be maintained. So, how do you maintain a jump starter battery? Simply by charging it regularly. Clore automotive recommends every two to three months; if you lightly use your battery jump starter.
Clore also recommends charging your jump starter after each use. This way you can be assured of a full charge for the next time that you use it.
How do you charge your battery jump starter, you ask? Click here and find out how to charge your jump starter.
The battery in your jump starter is like any other rechargeable battery you own. However, due to the infrequency of use, it often gets forgotten until needed.
Jump Starter Shelf Life- How Long do Jump Starters Last?
Another reason that your battery jump starter may not be taking charge is that it is no longer capable of doing so.
A premium car battery will only last you five to six years. Alkaline batteries have one life cycle, how long that is, depends on its use. Rechargeable batteries can last two to seven years, given the proper care.
The point is all batteries die at some point.
The main component of your jump starter is the battery. When it’s time is up it will no longer hold a charge.
Yes, you could try to replace the battery in your jump starter, but it is usually cost-prohibitive to do so.
Why Won’t Your Jump Starter Charge – Other Factors
We have discussed over here the effect that cold weather has on cars and on battery jump starters in particular. But to reiterate the point, cold weather has a detrimental effect on the battery in your jump starter.
Ideally, you want to be able to leave your jump starter box in your car so it’s there for an emergency. However, if you live in an area where the winters are harsh; you may want to think about bringing your jump starter box inside every night.
On the flip side, if you live in an area where the temperatures reach extreme heat this can also be damaging to your battery. I live in Florida where temperatures can reach 120+ inside my car during the summer months. After an extended period of time at those temperatures, the battery of my jump starter box will not operate at peak efficiency.
Lead-acid jump starter boxes have a recommended storage temperature of 50℉ – 70℉ (10℃ – 21℃). Lithium-ion jump starter boxes are more forgiving. The Noco Genius Boost GB40 has a documented storage temperature of -4℉ – 122℉.
Now I personally would not test the long term effect of the extreme sides of these temperatures. So, if you live in an area that is prone to these weather extremes; you may want to bring your jump starter in with you.
The Moock MK1500 is a highly rated unit that weighs only 1.38 pounds, this is an easy unit to transport in and out of the car.
What on Earth does that mean, ‘recommended usage’? Over here I write about how to use a jump starter box to jump-start your car.
Once the car has been jumped, take the clamps off the battery as quickly as possible. Of course, make sure that you follow the correct sequence of disconnection.
What is happening is a charge is actually flowing back into the jump starter battery and giving it more power than it was meant to handle at one time. Thereby causing damage to the battery.
Secondly, the process of jump starting a car can cause wear and tear on the battery of a jump starter. Heat builds up in the battery unit when it is trying to turn an engine over, this is also called cranking.
Clore automotive recommends only six seconds of ‘cranking’ and then three minutes of rest. This will prevent heat from buiding up in the unit and reduce wear on the battery.
Jump Starter Charging Cable
When wondering why your jump starter won’t charge you need to consider all the possibilities. The AC adaptor or USB cable could be bad. It happens with our other portable devices.
Check the cord for damage. If your battery jump starter has a charge indicator light, make sure it is coming on.
This would be a dead give away that your charging cable may not be working.
So why isn’t my jump starter charging? Well, we see that all batteries have a shelf life, including the one in your jump box. Look at the age of your unit first, is it time to be replaced?
Second, proper maintenance of your battery jump starter is esstential to get the most out of your unit.
Make sure the jump starter is fully charged every two to three months. If you need to use it, make sure it gets charged fully again.
Mind the environment that the jump starter gets stored in. Extreme hot or cold temperatures will shorten the life span of the unit.
Finally, make sure that the jump starter is being used properly.
No, your jump starter will not last forever, but by following these procedures, you will get the most out of your battery jump starter.