Portable Emergency battery jump pack.

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  #1  
Old 07-21-10, 03:35 PM
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Portable Emergency battery jump pack.

I have a college age daughter who wants a portable battery booster pack to keep in her house she has rented in case she leaves her lights on again. This is out of my field of expertise. So who has one they like? What is it and where did you get it.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-21-10, 05:30 PM
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I have never tried one. I have though tried to start a truly drained battery using a fully charged full size auto battery. My success was around zero. I have a hard time believing the smaller batteries will work where a larger auto battery won't. However if the battery is not totally drained they may be enough to get the car started.

With a totally drained battery you either need to start it from another car after leaving it hooked up to a running engine on the car long enough to put a partial charge on it or hook it up to a battery charger. 6 amp battery chargers are cheap and what I have always used. Often only an hour are so is enough though it could take all day on a really drained battery. Of coarse you could go all the way up in price to one with a boost-start setting.

If this is really a problem I would just suggest she buy a spare battery and keep it on a trickle charger then just swap out.
 
  #3  
Old 07-21-10, 05:46 PM
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The best investment would be, IMO, a really good set of jumper cables. Unless she is out in the middle of nowhere, there would always be someone around to help.

If you still want to go with the booster pack, the garage I was associated with used one for a couple of years before they closed and it worked great. For a small package it held a lot of cranking power. They stay plugged in all the time, so are ready to go when needed. I never paid any attention to the brand they had, but I would start by looking at some of the auto supply stores.

Let's see if anyone jumps in with a brand.

Bud
 
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Old 07-21-10, 06:10 PM
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I was thinking about it until a mechanic I know told me how one of her friends had one explode while using it. I have a cell phone, jumper cables and an auto club membership.
 
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Old 07-21-10, 06:17 PM
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my son and I each bought no name cheopo ones at one of the traveling tool sales probably 10 years or so ago , they worked pretty well , in fact I used it to start the truck for a couple of weeks before I got around to replacing the truck battery

start the truck then charge the pack off the cig lighter adapter

they held up for two or three years as I recall

in this situation a cheopo one replaced every year might be a good investment

I also agree with a pair of quality jumper cables ..4ga or so and 20' length are handy I bought a set for each of my sons for Christmas one year and Ive carried a pair in the truck for years .

also look into road service with the cell carrier ., I pay 2 a month with Verizon and it includes jumping services
 
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Old 07-21-10, 06:50 PM
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I agree with jumper cables. Once when I couldn't find anyone to give me a jump I called a cab. Offered the cab driver $15 for a jump. Everybody drove away happy.
 
  #7  
Old 07-21-10, 07:43 PM
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Jumper

If you want something that really works be prepared to spend at least a couple hundred bucks. And if you forget to keep it charged its worthless. They make a warning buzzer that can be added to a vehicle fairly cheap to wake you up if you turn off the ign with the lights on.
 
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Old 07-21-10, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by retired wrench View Post
If you want something that really works be prepared to spend at least a couple hundred bucks. And if you forget to keep it charged its worthless. ....
Well heck for $200 you could put in a second battery just fror starting and use an isolator.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-21-10 at 09:35 PM.
  #9  
Old 07-21-10, 11:07 PM
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Ahhhh.... the "instantaneous gratification" generation!! Gotta love it.... just get her an extension cord and a six amp charger and tell her it will take fifteen mins to get enough power to start the car. You can probably get away for about twenty bucks!!!
 
  #10  
Old 07-22-10, 04:43 AM
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Skip the jumper cables. As noted can be dangerous for two reasons; a spark igniting hydrogen gas from the battery plus reversing polarity (although some cables now have warning devices for this). PLUS, on many cars nowadays there are specific steps that must be taken when doing a jump start; these often involve such mundane things as turning off the radio. Modern electronics in cars can be sensitive to jump starting and be expensive to repair.

If you are intent on going the jumper box route you can spend anywhere from under $100 to, as wrench notes, over $200. FWIW the one I carry in the wrecker I got from Sam's Club and I think it was $69. I also carry cables on the truck, but I try the box first. It has reversed polarity warning and an on/off switch to lessen the chance of a spark while connecting.

Cell-phone based motor clubs run about $3 a month and a friendly Tow Guy will come out and do the jump with no risk.

Installing a lights-left-on warning unit might also be a good idea.
 
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Old 07-22-10, 05:02 AM
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Thought all cars had that annoying beep when you left the lights on.
 
  #12  
Old 07-22-10, 05:43 AM
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I like the idea of a battery pak.
I agree with tow guy that cables are dangerous.
With as many cables I hooked up over the years I had one blow. Lucky I had correct procedure and I was making the ground connection on the car frame about 4 feet away from the battery so I did not get hurt.
The booster pac would be good for emergency power in house for when power goes out.
But as with anything, the more you got the more problems you got. They can be a problem also.
But I do plan to get one when my kids start driving.
For the user friendliness of boosting and also the backup power in a blackout.

One poster said that his power pac blew up!
If there are more storys about them blowing up then I would not get one.
 
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