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Jump Start

  #1  
Old 09-05-2018, 05:43 PM
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Jump Start

Does anyone else carry a jump start device? Not just for your own car, but sometimes you need to help out a buddy or even a stranger on the side of the road.

I used to use those booster cables that you wired into your battery, and had a quick disconnect.


Then I started carrying around those big, heavy jump packs.



Now I'm using the lithium battery type.




Anybody with input on these devices? Which do you use? Any failures?
 
  #2  
Old 09-05-2018, 09:40 PM
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At work: I have two "big" JNC jump boxes at work. They are hard to beat the raw CCA they offer
In my truck: I have a lithium box I bought from Lowes around 2 years ago for under 100 bucks on sale. I charge it every few months to keep it topped off, usually works to jump weak/dying batteries.


my experience at work is the Lithium style just don't have the punch needed to get a totally dead battery going, but it seems to work well for the low charge bateries
sometimes even takes my second JNC to get a bad cell battery to jump start, or some newer cars that have a ton of electronics in them that have to come on board to get the PCM to crank
 
  #3  
Old 09-05-2018, 11:19 PM
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It looks like nobody uses those cables anymore. At least not professionally. That was how I got my first set. Years ago, a guy in The City's shops division gave me a set. They used to install them on police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, public works vehicles, municipal railways......any city worker with an emblem on the door, who may give a citizen a helping hand. Due to too many mishaps, they decided citywide to adopt the policy of no jump starts, changing tires, and unlocking vehicles. Remove all cables, tire change tools, and automotive unlock devices from all cars. Install Priority Start devices so that city workers will have a decreased incident rate of dead batteries. Any citizen who needs help? You can call a tow truck for them. City workers are not tow truck drivers. A good move, since a lot of city employees were getting hit by cars on the side of the road, while performing auto club service for free.

The Priority Start saved my butt a number of times with the F-150. My truck did not have the automatic headlights that turned off with the engine. It was completely possible for me to leave the headlights on, which I did more than once.

Today's modern vehicles all have headlights and radios that turn off with the ignition, or shortly after the ignition turns off. Leaving your headlights and radio on overnight is no longer possible. When a modern car cannot start, the car battery is probably in need of replacement.

What I like about the older style, bigger, heavier jump starters is that some are serviceable. You can actually open it up and replace the battery. Not a single use, disposable device. And those replacement batteries are still readily available.

The real problem with buying the current crop of lithium battery jump start devices is that you just don't know what to buy. They claim an amp rating, such as 200A or 1,200 A. One model claims 4,000A. Your car's battery will be rated for cranking amps, and cold cranking amps. Most cars have 600A or 800A batteries. Then there is the mAh which is suppose to describe the capacity of the battery. 10,800 mAh. 18,000 mAh. To further confuse you, some sellers will claim that their unit can start up to certain size gas or diesel engines.

Now comes the sad truth that a lot of the sellers are advertising amperage ratings without any truth whatsoever. As per amazon.com customer reviews, some people have taken apart and tested their devices to report that the device does not come anywhere near what they advertising claims.

Then there are the devices which just don't work like they are suppose to. Because the seller posted misleading information online, the device has a dead lithium battery, or it is a defective unit.

We had a DBPower N01 unit which claimed 1200A, 10800mAh, and could start gas engines up to 6.5L and diesel up to 5.2L. The vehicle was a Ford Econoline E-250, with the 4.8L engine. Very similar, almost identical mechanically, to the F-150 & F-250 trucks. The device displayed 100%. Connected the cables, and the device display immediately dropped to 25%. The unit has an LED which is suppose to indicate status, with green meaning that the unit is ready, red and flashing red for several "not ready" conditions. The LED flashed, alternating red & green. This was not in the user manual. Every attempted start, as the key turned, the display went to zero. Wait 5 minutes, try again. The van never started. After 20 minutes, the display and device completely turned off. With a charger plugged in, it read 0%. Seller never responded to inquiries. DO NOT BUY THIS UNIT




In the old days, Clore, DieHard, Schumacher were completely reliable. 600A - 1000A was more than adequate for personal use. And those companies did not flat out lie about their product, like all of these sellers on amazon, eBay, and AliBaba.
 
  #4  
Old 09-06-2018, 09:11 PM
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ive got cables, honestly cant remember the last time I used them.....

jumper cables use are pretty rough on the running/donor vehicle providing the jump charge, especially with modern alternators being precision controlled through on board computers
 
  #5  
Old 09-06-2018, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Patman View Post
ive got cables, honestly cant remember the last time I used them.....

jumper cables use are pretty rough on the running/donor vehicle providing the jump charge, especially with modern alternators being precision controlled through on board computers
The 3 most common calls for roadside assistance used to be, in no particular order, flat tire, jump start, and lockout. Some assistance services don't even operate tow trucks anymore. Send out a guy in a 1/4 ton pickup with a jump start pack, a slim jim, a floor jack & lug wrench, and a bunch of batteries to sell to people with dead batteries.

With modern vehicles, the headlights & radio turn off with the ignition, when you remove the key, or when you activate the lock button on your remote. Almost impossible to leave your lights & radio on all night after a night of partying.

Where I live, a few years back, The City decided to remove all the jumper cables, slim jims, jacks & lug wrenches, et cetera from the police cars, fire department rigs, and all other city vehicles. New policy was that city workers are not tow truck drivers. Someone needs help? Call a tow truck. Maybe, if you are in a bad neighborhood, you can wait with them until the tow truck arrives. Too many city employees were getting hit by cars as they were changing flat tires for other people, causing damage to new cars which the slim jim didn't work so well on, one guy got shocked trying to jump a car, and several reversed jumper cables caused $$$XXX damage to the city vehicle & the citizens' vehicles. If I were smart, I would have gotten a buddy to hook up his fire truck to my car, fry it, then sue the city to get a new car.

Today's market seems to be saturated with junk lithium jump starters that don't work. Very poor quality control. Sellers that flat out lie about the cranking amps and capacity. And some have even been reported, as per online reviews from buyers, to explode and/or catch fire.


 
  #6  
Old 09-07-2018, 10:55 AM
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I've had one of these for several years now:

http://www.powerstationusa.com/brand...t.php?mod=PSX2
 
  #7  
Old 09-07-2018, 12:09 PM
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I had one of those cheaper jump start boxes with built-in air compressor that I didn't use for several years. When I attempted to use it, it was dead and couldn't be charged. I took it apart and found a 19amp/hr motorcycle battery inside. The box had 500amps printed on the side. Now, I carry a second marine battery with me for a jump starter in my boat.
 
  #8  
Old 09-07-2018, 03:43 PM
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Mine needs a new battery - apparently this is the battery that fits:

http://www.batteryspec.com/cgi-bin/c...ink&product=67

Every time that I've had to use it, it's had plenty of power to start a vehicle. The air compressor even works well.
 
  #9  
Old 09-07-2018, 04:05 PM
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$34 is really cheap. An AGM battery for my motorcycle costs closer to $100.
 
  #10  
Old 09-07-2018, 06:08 PM
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I'm not going to order one, I'm going to pull mine and take it over to Battery Outfitters and see what they have.
 
  #11  
Old 09-08-2018, 08:29 PM
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Try Interstate Battery in Joplin. The local Interstate outlet in my area is pretty good. In the F-150, I'm using an Optima Yellow. I installed Interstate into my Ford Explorer, Honda Accord, & Acura TL. My Transit Connect is still using the OEM Motorcraft. Some guys will ditch their OEM battery, and install an upgraded battery as soon as possible. I never do that. I will run that OEM battery for 8 or 10 years, or as long as it will last.
 
  #12  
Old 09-08-2018, 09:59 PM
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Nothing wrong with the battery in my truck, it's a Duralast Gold.

I bought a battery for the jump box today at Battery Outfitters, it was $50 after sales tax and environmental fee.
 
  #13  
Old 09-09-2018, 04:51 AM
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Interstate carries batteries for almost everything. The motorcycle size batteries that jump boxes use should be in their stock. What they did not have and could not source was a battery for my Streamlight. Which oddly enough, since almost every auto mechanic, fire department, & police department uses Streamlight, they could not source. Sure, it's easy enough to order online. I just wanted to be able to buy one at that moment, when I wanted it. Instead of waiting a week for shipping. And I was too lazy to drive 15 miles downtown. The guys who work there have Streamlights on their belts. Apparently they all got theirs from Snap-On, and when they need a new battery or charger, they call the Snap-On guy.

I'm old school with my Streamlight SL-20.
 


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