Help me buy jumper cables for a 2016 Ford Explorer


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Old 12-14-21, 09:56 PM
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Help me buy jumper cables for a 2016 Ford Explorer

I live in northern Illinois so we can get sub-zero weather, but having a good battery, it's unlikely I'll need the cables but for peace of mind's sake I'd like some. I once bought jumper cables that looked nice and thick but wouldn't jump a car, so I've learned a bit since. The gauge is what's important. So what gauge for a 2016 Ford Explorer? I'm figuring 4 gauge should do it and if that is correct I'd love to buy these guys https://www.menards.com/main/tools/a...7211818&ipos=3

Is that doable or do I need 2 or 1 gauge? I'd really like to do this as economically as possible. If you have some links at the likes of Home Depot or Lowes or Menards I'll appreciate it. Thank you.
 
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Old 12-14-21, 11:44 PM
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8 ga is probably fine but the ones I carry are 4 ga.
 
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Old 12-15-21, 02:57 AM
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IMO it's important to have cables that stay flexible in cold weather. I've had cheap cables that didn't like to uncoil when it was real cold. The better cables usually aren't that way. Sorry, I don't have any specific cables to recommend.
 
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Old 12-15-21, 04:44 AM
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I'd really like to do this as economically as possible.
As it happens, I just got my usual "sale paper" from Harbor Freight in my email this morning & they have their so called heavy duty 4 ga, 250 amp, 20 ft battery cables which comes in a "heavy duty" storage case. It looks like its a hard plastic case. Its on sale for $30.
I don't know anything about these cables.
https://www.harborfreight.com/20-ft-...sday_DY&plcc=N

I understand that you have indicated you want jumper cables & something economical (priced I assume) but have you considered a jump pack?
I have one of these & use it somewhat regularly for several things. Jump start lawn mowers. My wife actually used it last week to start her Yukon.
It has USB ports among other things so, when we have a power outage, I take it in the house & use it to charge phones etc. This thing is handy for a lot of things & of course is portable.
I have this one:
https://www.samsclub.com/p/1000-peak...a/prod20581005
 
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Old 12-15-21, 04:54 AM
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I also find longer cables to be a big help. Shorter, cheaper cables might require the vehicles to be nose to nose in order to reach while a longer cable offers a bit more flexibility.
 
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Old 12-15-21, 09:34 AM
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The cables you linked to are a bargain. Make sure the wire is actually copper.
The PVC jacket will be a little stiff in the cold.

I use jumpers that are 20' long, fine strand #4 copper and rubber insulation.
They are never stiff but run closer to $50.
 
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Old 12-15-21, 12:16 PM
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most inexpensive cables are not copper they are copper plated aluminum they may still work but will carry less amperage, so may depend on how bad the battery is your jumping and how much help it needs.
 
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Old 12-15-21, 03:41 PM
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@stickshift Thank you

@marksr Thanks. Good suggestion about the cold weather stiffness.

@Dixie2012 Thanks and thanks for the links. I probably won't ever use the jumper cables (just getting them for safety), so I won't be getting the jump pack, but it looks like an awesome tool. (I especially like the air compressor.)

@Pilot Dane Thank you. Good point. Those ones I linked are 16'. Should be enough.

@PJmax Thanks Pete. The ones I linked say: "Copper jaw clamps." I'm sure there are much better copper jaw clamps, but for my purposes I think they should work okay. It also says: Tangle-free flexibility engineered for warm and cold climates I think I'm going to grab them.

@alan73 Thanks. Yeah, I'd love to buy 1 gauge 30 footers but they're a bit too much for my budget (and needs). Anyway, the ones I linked do say that they have "copper jaw clamps" and 300 amperage.
 
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Old 12-16-21, 05:18 AM
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Skip the cables and go with a decent jumper box. Much more versatile and on some modern vehicles, jumping using the higher output of a running vehicle can be very bad. Among other things, if you have a dead battery while in a garage or a parking lot, for instance, you don't have to figure out how to get the jumping vehicle close enough for the jump. Also, a better quality box will prevent you from accidentally doing a reverse polarization connection and frying your whole system.

My tow buddy recently upgraded from the old standby box (sealed lead-acid battery) to a much more compact and powerful Li-Ion unit. He loves it. Of course, he bought a commercial grade one that is way more than the average driver would need. Holds a charge for a long time and can perform multiple jumps before needing recharge. Me? I'm still carrying the old style mainly because it's still serviceable; next time it needs a battery replaced in it, I'll probably upgrade as well.
 
 

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