It is very easy to confuse the difference between a charger and a starter. Most especially when you are not a car enthusiast, you might even use the wrong tool for charging or starting up your car. Although it is not really that big of a deal to use one over the other, it is still best to know which one is used for a specific purpose so that you will be able to buy the right thing. Do not worry as we are not going to be so technical about it that it will be so hard to distinguish the two.
Both of them are actually used when you have car trouble especially when you are dealing with a dead car battery. Here comes that dreaded car issue which is very common. Imagine all the times you got late to work because of your car battery. Definitely, it is really a great inconvenience when your car battery just conks out. What is more frustrating is you can actually do something before this even happens.
What can you do? Of course, you can utilize car jumpers and chargers. But again, just like what we said earlier, these two actually varies in purpose. You can use both or even just one in order to bring back your battery to life. To learn more about that, just read on so you can also have an informed choice before buying anything.
What is a Car Charger?
Just to make our discussion a bit easier, think of a car charger as just like any charger. Let us take a phone charger as an example. When your phone battery runs out, you have to use a charge to put power back into it. This is the whole process behind using a car battery.
Keep in mind that each unit has varying times when it comes to fully recharge a battery. The rule of thumb is that the higher the output is, the lesser time it takes to fully charge a battery. At the same time, you might notice that the prices also vary based on output increases which means that you get to save on power and electricity as what happens is that there is an increase in the speed of the cycle and the number of amps.
There are a lot of types to choose from but the bestsellers are definitely the automatic type. This simply means that it can automatically shut off once the battery is fully recharged. Actually, this is such a good feature because it lessens the risk of damaging your battery due to overcharging. Not only does it prevents damage but it also saves on power. In sum, a car charger is a device used to recharge a battery that can deliver a current flow that is steady.
What is a Car Jumper?
Let us now move on to the counterpart of the car charger which is a car jumper or starter. To put it simply, it can jumpstart your battery. Your battery might be dead, but with the use of this device, it can bring it to life. Therefore, it has a power signal that is instant. But that power can only last for a limited amount of time.
There is a term called “peak” and this refers to the amperage that a unit can give as an output. In the case of the jumper, it can give the highest possible one. But just like what we said, it is not that consistent so once the peak is reached, it all goes downhill from there. There are also a limited number of peaks or cranks a unit can give.
When it comes to the difference in prices, they vary because of how high a peak can one jumper can give. Unlike the charger, a car jumper can also be used to crank a lot of different things. Some of the releases off jumpers even have added features like USB, LED, and even micro USB, and many more. So technically, you can use it for emergency purposes only when your car needs extra juice.
Lastly, it is more portable than a car charger because some designs can even fit in the glove compartment. This is the reason why some people take their jumpers with them on camping trips, hiking, and other activities. But again, think of it as just a boost of energy.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The biggest advantage is definitely the fact that you are assured that your battery will be fully recharged. This is very beneficial when you have a broken alternator which does not automatically charge the battery while the car is in motion. You are assured that your car’s battery will run out because again, it was fully recharged.
Not only that but you can consistently restart your car even with a broken alternator, well until the car runs out of battery. Which again is not a problem when you have a charger with you. On the other hand, a jumper can help with a broken alternator because it can jumpstart your car, but you are on the road nervously as your battery might not have enough juice.
The biggest setback of getting a car charger is the fact that it can be very expensive. But this is actually expected because you are just going to purchase it one time. As we have discussed previously, it will be used for a long time. So take this con as you will, but it can also be an advantage. Also, the time it takes to fully recharge something can take too long. This is approximately 10-12 hours.
But the point is, the prices will go up based on a possible higher output. More than that, there is also a problem when it comes to its portability. Most of the units are bulky and heavy which makes it much harder to move from one place to another. There is also a question on where you are going to store it. Definitely, a car charger should have a designated place. In line with this, it is harder to pull out in case of car emergencies.
Just like what we mentioned before, car jumpers can really be compact. Not only that but they can also be very convenient to use. These are the reasons why a lot of people tend to gravitate towards them. There are even units that can fit in your pocket and of course the glove compartment. Further, it can act as a portable power station where you can charge smart devices and even illuminate areas that are dim.
In fact, anything and everything that will go well with a 12V connection can be used with a car jumper. Of course, it can also jumpstart your car when it needs an extra jolt. This high output will lead you to use your car for a few hours even when the battery is not fully charged. This also works well even if you have a broken alternator. Think of it as car boosters.
Keep in mind that even if these jumpers are very portable, they still do weigh a little more. There are even units that weigh as heavy as a car charger. Therefore, it can also be hard to move from one place to another. At the same time, they also lack consistent power which really cannot bring your car to life for extended periods of time.
In addition, when it comes to weight, the bigger the output power, the bulkier the unit will get. So remember that when you are going to get one that has a larger output. This will really pose a problem because some cars need a lot of power so you really do not have much choice when you purchase a jumper.
Which One to Get?
It is really up to you. We already gave you a general idea of the different purposes that each device can do. So it will practically boil down on what you need and your personal preferences. There is really not a permanent guideline for both as they keep on changing the design, extra features, and overall ease of use.
But again be in tune with your needs. Just like what we said, if your main concern is the charge of your battery, go for a car charger. On the other hand, if you just need a boost, a car jumper is worth looking at. Further, keep in mind the amount of storage space you have as there is a huge difference in storage and portability for both of them.
Lastly, you can also compare the prices as well as the features that are added with every price increase. This is very easy to spot because, for both devices, the prices will increase based on how much output it can give. Lastly, look for something that can benefit you in the long run and not just one that can be there for your quick fix.
The truth of the matter is, it is best to have a car charger and a car jumper. In fact, they will work harmoniously and can ensure the quality o your car’s battery. But again, that is just the ideal situation. If you really cannot get both, focus on what you need the most.
In general, you can look at a car charger as a purchase that is worth a long term use. If anything goes awry for your car’s battery, you do not have to spend a lot because you already have a device that can really take charge of the power of your battery. On the other hand, a car jumper can be viewed as a short term fix, but that does not necessarily mean that it is less of a tool than that of a charger.
In fact, it can also be seen as a mini charger because you can use it every day and still deliver the same result, only that, the power is a bit limited. Again, this will depend on your lifestyle and regular use of the car. By this time, you already know their differences so you can fumble with the added features and other enhanced user-friendly features to make an informed choice.
More than that, we cannot stress enough how important it is to get both tools from reputable brands. Of course, we are talking about the outputs of power here. If ever you land with a dud, that might call for safety and fire hazards.