What Gauge Jumper Cables Are Best for Mid-Size SUVs in Cold Winters?

QuestionsCategory: Ask An ExpertWhat Gauge Jumper Cables Are Best for Mid-Size SUVs in Cold Winters?
Susan Hill asked 8 months ago
I live in Ohio, where winters can be quite harsh, and I've noticed that either I or someone I come across often needs a jump start. Both my wife and I drive mid-size SUVs (a Rogue and a CR-V). Considering the winter conditions here, I'm looking to buy a pair of jumper cables to keep in our vehicles. What gauge of jumper cables would be recommended for our cars?
1 Answers
Zack Norman Staff answered 8 months ago
Hi there, Susan! It's good to hear that you're earnestly preparing for winter by considering jumper cables for your SUVs. The gauge of jumper cables is an important factor as it determines the capacity of the cables to transmit current from one vehicle's battery to another. For mid-size SUVs like your Rogue and CR-V, a few key points should be considered:
  1. Cable Gauge: Generally, a lower gauge number means a thicker cable, which is better for transmitting more power. For your SUVs, a 4 or 6 gauge should be sufficient. These gauges are capable of handling the current needed to jump-start mid-size vehicles.
  2. Cable Length: Shorter cables are easier to store and handle, but longer cables offer more flexibility in positioning the cars. A length of around 12 to 20 feet should be ideal.
  3. Clamp Quality: Ensure the clamps are sturdy and have a good grip. Poor-quality clamps can be a weak link in jump-starting.
  4. Alternatives to Traditional Jumper Cables: Consider portable jump starters. These are battery packs that can be used to jump-start a car without needing another vehicle. They're especially useful in situations where you're unable to position another car nearby for a jump.
  5. Modern Vehicle Considerations: Be mindful that newer cars with advanced electronics need to be jump-started carefully to avoid damaging the electrical system. Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines.
  6. Safety First: Always connect and disconnect the cables in the correct order to avoid sparks or short circuits. And it's advisable to have the engine of the donor vehicle running while jump-starting another car.
Stay warm and safe this winter, and remember, it's always better to be prepared! I hope this helps :-) Zack - Motor Verso Mechanics Team