The engine is a vital part, but it is nothing without a healthy dose of electricity to get it started. The battery is then a vital part too. But batteries can and do fail without warning. And then what? Call the breakdown people and wait for hours? Abandon the car to get help? Sit there in the cold, wondering what to do? None of that sounds fun. As such, you need to invest in one or two of the items listed below. From jump leads to boost packs to battery conditioners, we’ve got your electrical needs well and truly covered. You’ll never be stranded again.
1) Jump Leads
We might live in a technological age, but that doesn’t mean the old-school ways are to be ignored. There is no reason to not carry a set of jump leads in your car. Not only will they be of use to you, they’ll also give you the chance to be the electrical saviour for other stranded motorists.
From the AA, these are leads you can trust. They’re also man enough for anything up to 2,500cc. Never, ever use thin, weedy leads on a big engine, as you’ll just burn them out. Instead, buy these and be safe.
While there is a heavy-duty boost pack in this list, there is no escaping that said booster is a big old thing to have to lug about, especially if you have a smaller classic. A few years ago, your only option would have been a set of jump leads. Not now though. Thanks to impressive advances in technology, there are now pocket-sized battery packs that are more than capable of firing up your car.
This boost pack from Yaber has enough electrical grunt to start anything up to 4,000cc, which is mighty. And on a full charge, it can start a car up to thirty times – that’s incredible. And when you’re not using it, it fits snugly in your glovebox. We truly do live in the future!
For many of us, our classics are fair weather friends, in that we don’t take them out during the cold, salty, winter months. Over this period though, our batteries can and do go flat from a lack of use. The answer to this is to of course use a battery charger and conditioner, and the conditioner part is important. Rather than just forcing charge into the battery, the conditioner maintains the battery, topping it up as it drops, keeping it unstressed and healthy.
Yes, there are cheaper options. But this is a device you can leave connected to your car for months, so you want peace of mind above all else. This conditioner from CTEK celebrates thousands of five-star reviews, so that’s peace of mind aplenty.
Do you have more than one car? Maybe you’re a trader and you have a selection, or a mechanic with cars in varying states of repair. What you need is the trusty, heavy-duty boost pack from Amtech. It has more than enough grunt to start most vehicles, but it is still highly portable.
The other bonus here is that this boost pack has a light fitted, which means no more fumbling in the dark. Furthermore, there is a compressor built-in too, so if the car you’re trying to start after a long rest now has flat tyres, you can pump them back up.
Why not get Mother Nature to help you out? The sun can give you all the electricity you need, just so long as you have a means of catching it, like a solar panel for example. This kit from Allpowers uses the sun’s energy to charge up or maintain the charge in your car’s battery, which is pretty darn clever. Simply set up the panel and either plug it into the cigarette lighter or direct to the battery and away you go.
This is not the fastest charger, so be aware of that. However, for campers, or if you’re at a car show, or even if you have a car with a well-hidden battery (the cigarette lighter feature is brilliant here) this is a great, and eco-friendly way to stay topped up with volts!