The jumper cable is a heavy-gauge
double electric cable with clamps in both ends. The cable is used to start a car with a dead battery with the aid of another car or a fresh battery.
There are two different types of jumper cable available:
The simplest one is just a set with the two cables, usually coloured in red and black to avoid any confusion under use.
The other type is more advanced and designed for modern cars. The modern car has a lot of sensitive electronics and is prone to electrical faults. Giving or receiving power via a cable like this makes the voltage very unstable with peaks that may harm you electronics. So the new kind of cables have a heavy-duty condensator to even out the voltage and eliminate the peaks to protect the in-car electronics.
What you should look for in a jumper cable:
- The latter type is prefered for used today. Even if you have a car with no electronics, the car you help or that helps you may prefer to use the safer kind.
- The cables should be long, at least three times the width of your car.
- Try the clamps. They should have a very powerful grip and strong springs.
- Make sure the clamps have a plastic coating on the whole clamp. This makes it a bit more bulky, but eliminates that nasty accident you would have when holding the two clamps in the same hand when you didn't follow correct procedure.
For information on how to use a jumper cable go to this node: How to jump start a car.