Are You in the Market for a Car Battery Jump Starter?

Recently, I bought a new-to-me Hyundai Elantra from my mechanic, only to find out that I'd be frequently in need of a jump.  At least, that's how it seemed for the first few weeks.  Unlike cars that I had previously driven, this Elantra had no warning beeper if you left the lights on.

Making things even worse, I often work late at night, and wouldn't have anybody to jump me.  I definitely didn't want to rely on a stranger!

I needed a solution for my dead-battery dilemma!

My Choice : Schumacher XP400 Instant Portable Power Source

Jump StarterCredit:

This reality led me to buy a jump starter pack for my car- so that no matter where I was, I could jump myself or anybody else in need on the side of the road!  This was probably a long overdue purchase, as I do often help people jump their cars, but also want to keep myself and my car safe from bad jumping technicques.

My choice, upon close review of, was to buy the Schumacher XP400 Instant Portable Power Source, and I'm really glad I did.  You can laugh all you want, but when I'm stuck at a state park, Wal-Mart parking lot or at work, all I have to do is pop op my trunk and hood, connect the clamps and start up the car- it's that simple!

This unit by Schumacher is a cheaper unit, as I got for for about $40 shipped.  This was about $5 cheaper than picking it up at Wal-Mart locally.  The unit is rated to jump any car, van or SUV, but may not be heavy-duty enough to jump engines larger than V-8's.  The upside to this is that it is not heavy.  My 6-month pregnant wife has no problem using it!

In addition to the jumper cable clamps, it also features a 12v DC plug that fits any of your typical car accessories, so it's a perfect power source for camping.  The unit does feature an LED flashlight attached, but don't count on it to do much for you unless it's near pitch black outside!

Care and Useage

Upon receiving the unit, there are multiple stickers urging you to plug it in and charge it for 36 hours.  You do this via a swiveling, 2 prong plug that is located on the back of the unit.  You will need to provide an extension cord, as that is not included with the packaging. has one that they recommend if you don't already own an extension cord.

I did this, and notice that the charging meter read full long before that, but I still charged it for the full day and a half, just to be sure the battery was topped off properly.  The manufacturer also recommends that you charge it until green monthly, but I'm just going to check the battery status by pressing the button on the unit itself and charge it if needed.  Thankfully, this product has enough juice to jump a car even if it is not fully charged!

Though the Schumacher XP400 isn't feature filled with such options as an air compressor, removable flashlight or high power, it's a really great buy for the money.  I highly recomend this portable jump pack for those on the cheap.  However, if you're looking for something a little nicer, this article will help you out!