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Everyone knows how to jump start a car, it is one of those skills you learn before you start driving. This mini instructibles is about how to start your car using a portable jump starter. I chose a smart jump starter from 1byone: jump starter. It is quite small and surprisingly well made for the price. It even comes in a sturdy case that tucks away nicely in your vehicle for emergencies.

This particular jump starter also has a USB port for emergency phone charging. I can see that coming in handy for extended camping trips when you don't want to run your vehicle battery down (but if you do you can always just jump it).

Step 1: Locate the Battery

First pop your hood and locate your battery. This may sound straight forward, but on some vehicles this isn't the case. Certain vehicles have the battery in the trunk or even under the back seat. Usually if the battery isn't in the engine compartment there is at least a terminal post that you can clamp onto for jump starting. All of this info will be in the manual which is hopefully in the glove compartment. Once you locate your battery or identify the positive terminal. This is usually indicated by a red wire or cover, in the event that it isn't the battery will have a "+" etched on it.

It is important to not mix the positive and negative up. Red is always positive or "+" black is always negative or "-".

Step 2: Connecting the Jump Starter

Connect the jump starter to the corresponding battery terminal. Be sure that you are getting good metal to metal contact between the spring clamps and the battery terminals. If your battery is heavily corroded you will need to remove the corrosion with a wire brush. Vinegar can also be used to really clean things up (obviously this is not necessary during an emergency jump situation).

Grab the battery pack and locate the back pack port. On my charger this has a little cover to protect it. Pop the cover off.

Step 3: Start Your Engine

Plug in the back pack to the main battery pack. On this model there is a button on the side of the back pack that enables the battery. Press the button and the display will show a count down. Once the count down starts go start your car. The size of this device is deceiving, even after jump starting my V6 truck the unit was still at 100%. That's the power of lithium!

Hopefully your vehicle is now purring happily. Disconnect the device and store it away for future use. Don't forget to charge it back up for future emergencies.

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