Jumper cables

Booster cables . . . what’s sufficient gauge? Rocketman

I prefer 4 gauge cables over the 6 gauge due to their better perfomance.

The lower the gauge the better. 8 Gauge is marginal and may sometimes fail.

Agree, mine are 4 gauge, 16 ft “ProBoost Professional”. They are heavy but do the job. The clamps are industrial strength as well!

Make a set out of welding cable. You’ll be able to jump start ANYTHING.

You’ll never regret it.

4 guage. You’ll never regret t.

Thanks guys! Winter is coming and I wanted to replace an old set I have. Rocketman

The thicker the better, however the harder to roll up. Make sure they come in a box.

You can use thinner cables just have to wait longer to transfer the charge battery to battery.

Mine are 10 gauge with small clips. They don’t take up much space and I only need them about once every 5 years or so. You do have to wait about 2 minutes after hooking them up before trying to start the vehicle with the dead battery.

If it won’t start after that, you don’t really want to start the dead vehicle. If it won’t start, then either the battery has internal shorts and could damage your alternator if you used larger cables or the starter is bad and there isn’t a set of cables large enough to start the dead vehicle.

Now if you are a professional mechanic with a tow truck, then you need professional 2 ga copper cables with parrot jaw clamps.

10 gauge jumper cables?!?! That’s tinsel! I would be afraid of melting the insulation while trying to start a dead battery. It might work on a weak battery in the summer, but I’d go for the 4 gauge cables myself.

Not just the gauge, but the material…

I recommend 4 gauge COPPER…Not Aluminum.

Does your car have an ECM? If so, you might consider the Smart Jumper Cables from Michelin. A quick web search shows that they cost between $40 to $50. You might do better if you look around. Maybe one of the warehouse stores sells them.

The longer the cables are, the heavier they have to be. I have an eight gauge eight foot long set and a four gauge sixteen foot set and they both work fine providing the shorter one will reach.

I’m going with the welder type cable as the most ideal set. I have a set I put together myself, and while the cable didn’t come from a welder, it did come from some other industrial piece of equipment. I welded the cable to the clamps. I think rubber coated copper wire is about a 00 size (double ought), but man do they transfer the current. No sitting around waiting for the other battary to charge up. If the other vehicle won’t start after hooking up these cables between my truck and the other vehicle, the problem is other than a dead battery. Never failed me in over 25 years.

How much currant can flow through the clamps is often the limiting factor, even with thick copper cables and heavy clamps - there just isn’t that much surface area to clamp to. Buy thinner, lighter, easier to stow cables and just give them enough time to transfer some charge to the dead battery, like 5 or 10 minutes. Then, when you turn the key, you’ll be drawing mostly from the formerly dead battery and not so much through the cables from the battery giving the jump. Think “Jump charging”, not “Jump Starting”.

Dead battery: A battery with zero volts and zero amperage output. Needs JUMPER cables.
Discharged battery: A battery usually discharged to about nine volts (which can’t cranked an engine), and has about 100 amps output. Needs BOOSTER cables.

I take pretty good care of my cars and at the first time a battery shows its age, it gets one jump and then its direct to the parts store for a new battery. I rarely sue the jumper/booster cables and I haven’t melted them yet.

I have boosted batteries for friends, I give it two minutes. If their vehicle doesn’t start, I pull the cables off and they will just have to find another way to get their vehicle started. I will give them a ride to and from the nearest parts house if they are ready to get another battery.

I agree. Aluminum should not be used for low power current conductors, especially ones that are not permanently installed. And if there is a choice, OHFC copper is preferred; don’t get any alloying elements or high residual impurities in the mix.