Tech Stuff

Tool review: Jump-N-Carry jump starter -- Portable model packs a punch for quick battery boost

Clore’s Jump-N-Carry model JNC4000 weighs in at 18 pounds and offers 1,100 peak amps and 325 cold-cranking amps. Other Clore jump pack models offer even higher ratings.
<p>Clore&rsquo;s Jump-N-Carry model JNC4000 weighs in at 18 pounds and offers 1,100 peak amps and 325 cold-cranking amps. Other Clore jump pack models offer even higher ratings.</p>

Portable battery jump starters are a mainstay of just about every shop, especially dealerships and fleet shops. The convenience of a portable battery pack is obvious, allowing a weak battery to be jump-start boosted quickly enough to allow an engine start for vehicles parked in storage lots or to rescue a stranded motorist.

In this article we’ll review the Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry model JNC4000. This model (one of many offered by Clore) features 1,100 peak amps and 325 CCA (cold-cranking amps). Other models range up to a whopping 3,400 peak amps with 850 CCA and 2,000 peak amps with 925 CCA.

We opted to try out the JNC4000. Although all of the firm’s jump starters offer high quality, we wanted to try what we might call a smaller capacity “entry level” starter. If the JNC4000 passed muster, we can assume that the higher-rated models would fare even better.

Built to last

The unit weighs in at 18 pounds, light enough to easily carry across a huge parking lot but hefty enough to feel like a serious contender.

The molded carry handle is robust. Short of taking a saws-all to it, I can’t see the handle ever breaking in even abusive conditions. The #2 AWG positive and negative cables are 23 inches long (long enough to rest the starter in the engine bay and reach any battery location) and securely wrap/store onto the sides of the unit.

The unit’s battery employs Clore’s “Proformer” technology and is a sealed, non-spillable design, allowing the unit to be stored in any position.

The Jump-N-Carry’s convenient charge indicator reveals the unit’s stored voltage.
<p>The Jump-N-Carry&rsquo;s convenient charge indicator reveals the unit&rsquo;s stored voltage.</p>

A 12V DC power port is featured that comes in handy for maintaining electrical component memory while servicing a battery. By plugging the male/male adapter cable into the Jump-N-Carry and the vehicle’s 12V accessory port, the charger can be used to maintain memory in radio presets, phone, etc.

This 12-volt DC port also can be used to power 12V accessories (up to 12 amps) that feature a male plug (phone chargers, camera chargers, power drills, trolling motors, small refrigerators, etc.). When the Jump-N-Carry is used with a DC to AC power inverter, it can operate appliances normally powered by 120 Vac or 220 Vac. The recommended inverter for the portable power source is 400 watts maximum. The unit is equipped with an automatic rest circuit breaker which kicks out if the current exceeds 12 amps.

A twin-post male-pronged connection is located in a recessed pocket, placing the prongs out of harm’s way (a standard extension cord plugs into this for charging the unit). An easy-to-read voltmeter provides the charged status of the unit’s on-board battery. A charging/charged indicator light panel is located to the right of the voltmeter. A handy load tester button is located below and to the left of the voltmeter.

Once plugged into a charging source (120-volt AC or 12-volt DC), an amber charging light illuminates to indicate that charging is in progress. Once full charge is reached, a green indicator light illuminates (the unit may be left on charging mode continuously without damaging the unit).

You can also charge the Jump-N-Carry unit from the vehicle, however, you should frequently monitor the 12-volt charging process to make sure that the unit is not overcharged, which could damage the unit.

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