Car battery jump starter advice
There are alot of vehicle battery jump starters out there these days. They seem like a great replacement to the old cables.
I am fine tuning our 2 vehicles car kits in prep for winter in the Northeast of US and want to add 1 per vehicle in place of cables. That said I didn’t see any official TP gear review and wanted to see if anyone has any thoughts or advice?
We have been AAA members for over 25 years so they are only a phone call away if needed but as everyone says on here, have backups to the backups and plan for the worst case.
Thanks for any comments from those that have or used any of these jump starters.
Joker - October 18, 2022
I’m still using high amperage jump leads because I drive diesels which can take a real kick to get them going. I would be interested in finding out more about those jump starters.
Liz Klein - October 18, 2022
Just this month someone asked me to jump start their lifted truck because they listened to the radio for too long in the parking lot. I pulled out my battery jump starter from Harbor Freight, connected it to their battery terminals, they turned the key and it started the truck up instantly.
You mention how those vehicle jump starters would be a great replacement for the old cables. I would have thought the same until my friends mentioned that they did exactly that and when they went to use the battery pack, it was dead. So I’ve kept the battery pack in my car to be able to take care of myself when no one is around, to help out others without putting any risk on my vehicle’s electronic system, and have those jumper cables as a backup for the rare time that the battery pack is dead.
SailorRunner - October 18, 2022
That is a good point and good advice about the cables.
What Harbour Frieght model do you have? I note some units come with extra ports for charging other things as well is this an option with your unit?
Liz Klein - October 18, 2022
It’s a model that they no longer offer but this is more or less like it. You have jumper cables, USB charging, cigarette port charging, lights, and a air compressor in one pack. It does use the older lead acid batteries, so it is big and heavy compared to the slim lithium ion backs you can slide under your seat.
doorwild36 - October 19, 2022
I use the NOCO brand jump starter. I like it because I can charge it multiple ways and also has a decent light and I can charge my phone with it if needed. They have a heavy duty model for large diesels but opted for the mid range model and still boosted a 6l gas. I still always keep a set of booster cables just because lol.
SailorRunner - October 19, 2022
I have been eyeing the Noco brand, good to hear you like it.
It seems like keeping the old style cables on hand is a good recommendation.
Tina - October 20, 2022
We got a NOCO brand jump starter two years ago, and I’ve been happy so far. Gives us a little extra peace of mind when we stay at a remote cabin up in the mountains. Not many people passing by to help with jumper cables, and AAA doesn’t come out on the gravel roads.
The best part has actually been how easy it is to help out other people with a boost. I’ve always been a little intimidated by the jumper cable routine, but this battery jump starter is very easy to use.
Last summer we were driving through Wyoming on I-80, and we stopped at a rest area to change drivers. A young woman approached us and asked for a jump start, saying that she’d run down her battery by leaving the car accessories on while taking a nap. Even though I was in a bit of a fog after driving a couple hours through thunderstorms, I was able to grab the jump starter out of the back, hook it up, and get her going in just a few minutes. (And these battery jump starters are a good preparedness gift to any young women in your life, if you don’t like to think of them having to approach a stranger in a rest area for a jump start. We were probably a good choice to ask, as we have the “friendly grandparent couple” look, but you never can tell.)
Alicia - October 21, 2022
I’ve also been impressed with a battery jump starter. Our 20yo pickup had the battery drain due to inactivity. The jumper pack jumped it quickly and barely drained it. We used it several times until it we replaced the truck battery and determined a method to prevent its draining. Still the jumper was only 25% depleted. I don’t recall the brand that we got at Costco. One additional thing is how much faster it is than getting to get another car within jumper cable range. But as mentioned, it’s a prep that needs maintenance/charging.
Liz Klein - October 21, 2022
I’ve ran into that problem many times, where because of how I am parked, the location of my battery compared to the other cars, and length of jumper cables, it can be tricky to align everything just perfectly at times to be able to jump a car. These battery packs don’t run into that issue.
Alicia - October 23, 2022
One FYI – I learned that the AAA App for roadside assistance was MUCH faster than calling. I hit a curb and got two flat tires on a Friday about 5pm . I called and was put on hold which occasionally repeated that there’s an app. So while still on hold, I downloaded an AAA app, did all the logging in, then realized there’s a different AAA App for my region, downloaded that, pulled it up, logged in, and got a tow truck scheduled. This all took about 20 minutes and I was still on-hold with the phone call and thankful that my phone could multi-task. When we got to the tire place (Costco which sells/installs tires until 8pm!), a guy came up to the tow truck driver for help because he’d been on-hold with AAA for 40 minutes. This was in a large city during the pandemic shut down, YMMV.
TxWyGuy - October 23, 2022
These are great things, my grandparents have had great success with these, a NOCO I believe. Also, some friends of ours have also enjoyed having this one from Sam’s Club. We’ve just been looking at reviews and trying to figure out which one we want get so it’s nice to see some other peoples experiences as well.
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