Jump-starters are life-saving little battery packs that get you going when your car battery is dead. So you don’t need to wait for emergency services or tow your car to the nearest mechanic shop to get the battery charged or replaced.
These portable jump-starter packs have lithium-ion batteries inside. And these batteries can catch on fire or even explode if not handled (charged and discharged) properly. So There are a lot of people who are concerned about overcharging a portable car jump starter.
The short answer is: No, You can not overcharge a jump-starter because of the built-in protection circuitry. This protection system protects the lithium battery inside from overcharging and over-discharging and even monitor the temperature to avoid it getting overheated.
While this does not hurt the battery at once but it still degrades the lithium-ion battery over a long time. It is a good idea to unplug the jump-starter, or any portable electronic device with a lithium-ion battery, to prolong its battery capacity.
Why are lithium ion batteries so popular?
Lithium batteries are very popular inside portable electronics because of their high energy density and lightweight. These batteries do not suffer from the horrible memory effect that nickel-cadmium batteries (old technology rechargeable AAs) do.
Lithium batteries are also maintenance-free and are very lightweight when compared to older battery technologies like lead-acid batteries. Lithium-ion batteries store five times more energy for the same weight when compared to flooded lead-acid batteries.
This is why lithium-ion batteries are used in almost every portable electronic device that you can imagine.
Why do lithium ion batteries go bad?
Current technology has enabled us to store a large amount of energy in a small light-weight package. It is safe but only if handled (and manufactured) properly.
Bad things do happen, and lithium batteries fail. Some of the common reasons lithium-ion batteries fail are:
- Defects in the manufacturing process.
- Failure of battery protection circuitry.
- Environmental changes like heat or, in some cases, water damage.
- Bending or puncturing the lithium-ion cell.
- Not properly recycling the batteries.
Like a jump starter or a portable power bank, your phone also contains a lithium battery, and so does your laptop. You can not overcharge these gadgets because of the built-in protection features, and the same goes for your jump starter.
If you buy a jump starter from a good, reputable manufacturer, chances of it going bad or catching on fire are very low. Here I have tested and reviewed several jump starters from different manufactures. In my extensive testing, I found out Noco GB40 to be a pretty reliable and budget-friendly jump starter.