Getting out on the road and traveling to new places is one of the great freedoms we can experience.
However, there may be times when your battery dies in the middle of nowhere and you are stuck needing to get jump-started by someone. But, do you have jumper cables?
Most modern cars do not include jumper cables in their standard package. You may be able to ask the vehicle dealer for a set in an add-on package, but in the United States, even high-end luxury cars do not include them in their standard package.
It’s very important that you remember to purchase your own set of jumper cables in case you discover your battery has died.
Even if your vehicle does not have jumper cables, or perhaps won’t work well with jumper cables, there are various options you can use to ensure you never get stranded in unfamiliar territory with a dead battery.
These extra options can include power packs or battery packs, as well as roadside assistance memberships.
When Did Cars Stop Coming With Jumper Cables?
Very few cars throughout history ever included jumper cables as standard additions.
In fact, jumper cables were usually only supplied in high-end Bentley and Rolls-Royce luxury vehicles as part of their roadside accessories kit.
This kit also included safety reflectors, wheel chocks, flashlights, and other helpful accessories in case of an emergency or accident.
In today’s auto market, however, finding a vehicle brand that includes jumper cables is incredibly difficult.
In fact, you may only be able to get jumper cables if you specifically ask that they be included before you make the purchase, or if the vehicle has an off-road or emergency package you can opt for.
What To Do When Your Car Doesn’t Have Jumper Cables
If you’ve forgotten to turn off your headlights and have now ended up with a dead battery, this is the worst time to realize that your vehicle does not have jumper cables.
If you have checked all the usual spots, such as in the trunk, in the side pockets of the cargo area, and under the seats but have still come up empty, there are a few options you can try.
- Call a Friend. This can be a great option if you are not far from home and your friend lives nearby. Give them a call and see if they can bring jumper cables to get you going again.
- Call Roadside Assistance. If you have a roadside assistance membership, you should be able to call them for a jump start. They normally have their own jumper cables on board but the wait can be very long depending on the location.
- Ask a Stranger. If your friend is nowhere near and you don’t have roadside assistance, you may need to ask a stranger if they have jumper cables and can give you a jump start.
- Use a Battery Pack. Having a battery pack can eliminate the need to ask anyone else for help, but always make sure the battery pack is fully charged before you need to use it.
Is It Ok To Use Jumper Cables on New Cars?
Regardless of the brand or model, all cars have a battery, and jump-starting that battery is a viable way to get it started again.
Just because your car didn’t include a set of jumper cables as standard equipment doesn’t mean you can’t use jumper cables on that car.
It’s always better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.
The biggest concern for newer and luxury vehicles is voltage surges.
Since newer vehicles normally have a wide range of electronics and computerized features, incorrectly connecting the jumper cables or revving the other vehicle too much can cause voltage surges and may damage or short out the electronics.
This is easily avoided by having the other vehicle turned off when you are jump-starting, or you can have the other vehicle turned on but left at an idle and not revved at all throughout the jumpstart process.
This will prevent the potential of a voltage surge and help ensure your electronics are undamaged.
Can You Jump a Car Without Jumper Cables?
If the idea of a jump start and either depending on strangers or potentially damaging your electronics is too unappealing, another excellent option is to use a battery pack.
These tools do not require the use of jumper cables and have built-in fail-safes to prevent voltage surges.
They are completely safe to use on even newer vehicles with ample amounts of electronics onboard.
Having a battery pack is a great investment to make, in fact, the cost of a new battery pack won’t set you back much at all.
You can find them at most automotive supply stores as well as online retailers such as Amazon.
Some battery packs even include a small air compressor that can top up low tire pressure too!
Extremely easy and very safe to use, a battery pack simply connects to your dead battery and acts as the other vehicle would.
Some battery packs can trickle power into your battery and may take some time to get enough charge for a start, while others will allow you to start the vehicle instantly.
Be sure you know which battery pack you are purchasing in advance.
While it may seem strange that vehicles do not come equipped with jumper cables, these necessary pieces of equipment are highly affordable and easy to purchase on your own.
Having jumper cables handy can save the day when your battery dies and you don’t have roadside assistance.
Additionally, investing in a battery pack or trickle charger can be a worthwhile decision.
These pieces of equipment are not very expensive and can get you back on the road quickly.
This is a great thing to hear if you are stranded in unfamiliar territory, or stuck somewhere at night, or if you are unable to contact friends or family to come give you a jump.
Just be sure you keep your battery pack fully charged between uses so it can get you going when you need it most.