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Thread: Battery Jumpers

  1. #1
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    Battery Jumpers

    After reading all the stories in the Electric Car thread, I started thinking what is the best 12 volt battery jumper for emergency jumps. You know these battery packs that you can carry in the trunk. Do they work and what are the do's and dont's with them? Are they worth it. I see ones advertised on QVC many times. How long do they last? Thanks.
    John T.

  2. #2
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    With some of my vehicles it was always prudent to carry a set of jumper cables. If you are the type to wonder off to the middle of nowhere with an older vehicle high on the possibility of needing a jump, then it might be a good idea to have the back up battery. Back in my days of not having two nickels to rub together, my old '57 VW bus was best parked on a hill. One time it took about two blocks of rolling down hill in gear to get the motor to start due to a low battery. Fortunately it was close to payday. See the story below about keeping the battery clean.

    The way around this is to take care of your vehicle and be aware of signs of an old or weak battery. If you leave your lights on when turning off the engine and the lights go dim, your battery is close to failure. There are other signs if you are good at trouble shooting with a voltage meter.

    It is also wise to make sure the battery is kept clean. Someone once gave me a demonstration by placing a couple of quarters on top of my battery and then touching the probes of a volt meter to the quarters. It indicated the dirt on the top of the battery was conducting electricity and draining my battery 24/7.

    Decent jumper cables are usually easy to tell by the quality of their build and making sure they are made with an adequate size wire. The clamps/clips at the ends should be able to connect to top mounted or side mounted battery terminals.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 10-13-2021 at 3:04 AM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
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    Noco..........

  4. #4
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    I have an old Warn 1 GA jumper set in my car. One end is "permanently" affixed to the battery with a quick disconnect. Seldom used anymore, but they are the best. I also have a pocket sized jumper used for my snowmobile (no pull starter) which I have also used with my boat. Amazing what those little jump packs can do.
    NOW you tell me...

  5. #5
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    I carry a jump start battery in my vehicle. They can be very handy and can be used for other purposes in addition to an emergency jump start of the vehicle. Mine is the often recommended Noco

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    BTW...the one thing that folks sometimes forget about these things is that they have to be charged back up from time to time. Set a reminder on whatever electronic calendar you use (or paper if that's your thing) to be sure you don't have a jump pack that can't jump...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    They work
    For the price of one tow or other inconvenience, they pay for themselves.
    There are tons of models out there, mine is a Halo Bolt, sort of basic+ but has USB ,AC power and a air compressor. It can get you out of trouble, cheap insurance IMO

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Terefenko View Post
    After reading all the stories in the Electric Car thread, I started thinking what is the best 12 volt battery jumper for emergency jumps. You know these battery packs that you can carry in the trunk. Do they work and what are the do's and dont's with them? Are they worth it. I see ones advertised on QVC many times. How long do they last? Thanks.
    I have several and have used them often over the years. Those I have are large and heavy, with built-in inverters for 110v, one with an air compressor.
    But I wouldn't be without good jumper cables. While the battery jump starters work fine for the most part I need way more power to jump start my skid steer with a diesel engine.

    One thing I WON'T ever do again is buy one of those tiny units like this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084ZPSG5N
    I don't know if they lie about the capability, if the one I bought was not up to par, or if my expectations were too high but even after a fresh full charge it wouldn't start a car here.

    JKJ

  8. #8
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    One thing I WON'T ever do again is buy one of those tiny units like this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084ZPSG5N
    I don't know if they lie about the capability, if the one I bought was not up to par, or if my expectations were too high but even after a fresh full charge it wouldn't start a car here.
    One thing to consider is the laws of physics. As woodworkers we know a 1 ounce hammer isn't going to do very well to drive a 16d nail.

    The same with energy. We have not reached a state where something that will fit in your back pocket isn't going to deliver 1200 amps long enough to turn over a large engine, let alone start it. If there were sources of that much energy density, we would all be driving electric cars and loving them.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #9
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    I've got this one from Amazon; it can turn over my diesel truck when it's 10 degrees out. You only get one shot pulling that much current, but it's worked when it needed to. It starts the cars with ease and holds charge for a long time between uses. I find it much handier than trying to maneuver the cars into place for jumper cables (which I also carry in each car)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    I've got this one from Amazon; it can turn over my diesel truck when it's 10 degrees out. You only get one shot pulling that much current, but it's worked when it needed to. It starts the cars with ease and holds charge for a long time between uses. I find it much handier than trying to maneuver the cars into place for jumper cables (which I also carry in each car)
    After significant research, I chose a Clore as well. However I got the 950, which is even larger than the 660 listed here. I wanted as much capability as I could get with the type of winters we can get here. I have yet to recharge it despite using it for multiple jumps.

    Clint

  11. #11
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    I've got a couple of the mid-size Gooloo units: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XPNGD4H
    [EDIT: that model shows as 'unavailable', but it looks like there's a newer model with the same specs.]

    Each has worked the one time needed, on a 3.5L V6 Honda and a 3.8L V6 Buick respectively. I check the charge before vacation, but if they have any self-discharge, it's very low.

    And they have USB outputs...probably have enough capacity to run my laptop for a month, or charge my phone for a year.
    [EDIT: that model shows as 'unavailable', but it looks like there's a newer model with the same specs/price.
    Last edited by Lee DeRaud; 10-13-2021 at 5:56 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weber View Post
    They work
    For the price of one tow or other inconvenience, they pay for themselves.
    There are tons of models out there, mine is a Halo Bolt, sort of basic+ but has USB ,AC power and a air compressor. It can get you out of trouble, cheap insurance IMO
    I like the air compressor idea too. Thanks.
    John T.

  13. #13
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    I opened up a few basic ones. All they have is a simple wet battery like a barbie car. If yours dies just replace the battery for about $25 dollars. Keep it recharged with a low power solar panel. Panel in the window, battery on a shelf.
    Jumper cables, cheap ones have thick, stiff insulation. good ones have thick copper wire, insulation is not as thick as it is one the cheapies. Good idea to cut one or both ends, by 6-8 inches so the clamps at that end can not touch and short. Walmart has some decent ones for cheap.
    Bill D
    .

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    I carry a jump start battery in my vehicle. They can be very handy and can be used for other purposes in addition to an emergency jump start of the vehicle. Mine is the often recommended Noco

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    BTW...the one thing that folks sometimes forget about these things is that they have to be charged back up from time to time. Set a reminder on whatever electronic calendar you use (or paper if that's your thing) to be sure you don't have a jump pack that can't jump...

    +1 on Noco. They come in a couple sizes--I got the big one.
    Regards,

    Tom

  15. #15
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    Mine is a NOCO GB40 from Amazon. Hint: look to see how many reviews an item has when comparing similar items. The NOCO has nearly 46,000, the next closest has 14,000, some as few as 25. Tells you of the popularity. Crap products don't hit those number of reviews.
    NOW you tell me...

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