One of my prized possessions is my car. Recall the old car insurance TV commercial where the man is washing his giant baby, taking it out to the park, and doing everything with it. It’s not until the end of the commercial that the giant baby turns into a car indicating that his car is his baby. This is me.
Yet, for as much care as I take care of the car, it still has its faults that need to be worked on. Some are common, some make noises before they fail, and other just fail without warnings. One of those failures was a dead battery.
Driving down the road and turning and then suddenly the entire car turning off on you can be a frightening thing. You lose all power steering, power breaks, and literally everything else.
As I slowly pull off to the side of the road, I noticed the car had reported that the battery had failed. Luckily, I turned off the car with the key and restarted it as I would normally and it had enough juice to spring to life.
Though, what if the car hadn’t restarted? I would have been stuck on the side of the road waiting for either a friend, family member or a tow truck. All of which could take hours.
Batteries give no sign of failure, so we need to be ready when they do fail. IClever’s new car jump starter is a superior device that can get you out of such a bind. With the ability to jump-start gas and diesel engines, warn other drivers of your car on the side of the road, and charge smartphones and laptops, this is easily a device that can be a life-saver.
Welcome to my review of the iClever IC-JB21R Jump Starter Power Station.
I’ve reviewed these devices in the past, like the RAVPower Car Starter, and each one of them focuses on the car jump starter portion of the product, when in reality, they do a lot more than that.
IClever’s call for a power station is a far more suitable name as it can not only jump-start a car, but also charge smartphones, laptops, power up lawnmowers, boats, quads, motorcycles, and other engine powered vehicles.
With so many different types of devices that it can power, iClever includes adapters for them all. Self-contained in a sturdy nylon case, there are adapters for the aforementioned devices and vehicles. Additionally, the nylon case has a carrying pouch for the actual power station.
These accessories or adapters include car battery jumper cables, a micro USB smartphone cable, common, but old, laptop charging ports, and both a car and wall recharger for the power station itself. In the future, I would like to see iClever include an Apple lightning cable and a mini USB cable as well. Perhaps on an octopus cable like the one included with the RAVPower unit.
Another gripe is with the included laptop charging cables. I understand that iClever cannot include every type of laptop connector in the world, but more common and updated connectors should be considered, like the Lenovo square charger adapter.
IClever’s power station is a solid, sturdy, but large battery bank that has a battery load big enough to handle the cranking amps of a starting car or small engine. Protecting those internal batteries is a durable, dirt-resistance plastic housing that can seriously take a beating.
Weighing one pound and measuring 4.5 x 1.8 x 3.5 inches, the plastic housing is wrapped in a red and black finish that I find visually appealing, certainly a lot better and safer than the solid black competitor models. The only poor color choice was using shiny silver wording on the rear of the unit that gives you specifications of the product.
Now, these car starter packs are typically all the same and have similar I/O for the most part. IClever stuck with those words, but added in a few extra bits that help it stand out among others. The first is the included compass on the face of the power station. Next, is the backlit LCD display indicating battery percentage and settings.
More of the I/O will be discussed below, but the power station also has two 2.1A full-sized USB ports, a multipurpose button, power input, a 12V/16V/19V output, and a connector for the included battery jumper cables. There are two high intensity LED lights, one which is a spotlight and the other is a red light bar for when you want to warn drivers if you happen to be stopped on the side of the road.
IClever’s power station is incredibility easy to use. The top-mounted I/O is clearly labelled as to what it does and what purpose it’s used for.
Since the main purpose of this device is to start a car, the steps couldn’t be easier. You first turn off the power station by sliding the power switch to off. You connect the included jumper cables to the positive (red) and negative (black) leads to the battery. Then, plug the one-way directional plug into the power station and turn the power station on. To finish, it’s as easy as pressing the start button on your car or twisting the key.
No matter how well your car is maintained or how much you spend on it, batteries all have the same lifecycle with no warning that they are about to fail. Therefore, having a car starter in your car can be a lifesaver if you can’t get the car to start.
That said, I’ve used this tool not only on cars but on a lawnmower and a quad. The steps don’t change and its incredibility easy to jump-start the engine to get the alternator to begin charging the battery again.
The internal 18,000mAh battery can handle 30 to 40 jump starts with a 600A peak current. It’s meant for 6.5L gas or 5.2L diesel engines, which in simple words means it works with practically every make and model car available for sale in the US. Just don’t use the device to jump-start a tractor-trailer truck.
If you do happen to mess something up by accident, there’s no need to worry as the device is designed to harm itself and not your devices or cars. The jumper cables have a fuse inside that shorts if you accidentally touch the two live ends. Additionally, there is current, short circuit, overload, over-voltage, and over-charge protections installed for all outputs.
That multipurpose button I mentioned earlier serves three different functions. The first is to swap the power station between a 12V, 16V, or 19V output for laptops. Next, it can turn on the bright white LED spotlight or start flashing the bright red LED light bar.
The spotlight is more than bright enough for on-the-road repairs and it can also warn drivers if you are stuck on the side of the road. Pressing the button after the LED light is on will make it either flash or pulse SOS. The red-light bar only flashes and you can have both on at the same time.
Lastly, the battery seems to last forever on standby. I have left my unit fully charged over a month ago and turning it back on for the review it reports that it is at 97% charged. I would only recommend recharging the device every six months.
My Final Thoughts
This is another device that you won’t need until you need it. Car batteries can be tricky, especially during the winter, and being stuck on the side of the road can not only be dangerous but very inconvenient.
The safety lights built into the power station help inform drivers of your car on the side of the road and should help slow down speeders and those texting and driving so they do not rear-end you.
For $69.99 it’s a little expensive knowing that you may never need it, but I have found myself once or twice using the device for other applications like charging my phone, using the light, and jump-starting a lawnmower.
If you do pick one up, it would be a great future purchase and a lifesaver for those unwanted times. Plus, it comes with an 18-month replacement warranty and lifetime support.
© 2017 Justin Vendette
Tagged Amazon, Battery, car, iClever, Jump, review, Road, start, Starter, Stuck.