Give Yourself A Boost


Chances are, either you drive a car, or your know someone who does. You may even own more than one vehicle.  I’ll also bet that at some point you’ve had to deal with a problem that is somewhat common to vehicle ownership – a dead battery.

Batteries are awesome pieces of technology and they get better every day, but they are what’s considered wear items, and are subject to being drained to the point of not having enough juice to do the job that we ask them to do.  That could be either because of the age of the battery, some fault in the electrical system, or mistakenly leaving an interior light on when we park at home for the night. My cars’ batteries have been plagued by my kids leaving lights turned on or not closing doors all the way.

When we run into a dead battery in our cars, it’s rarely expected or at an opportune time.  My battery seems to wait to die on mornings that I have to go to work and am already a few minutes behind schedule.  I don’t think I’m alone on this.

The fix is typically simple, but not easy, provided that the problem is in fact the battery and not the alternator, but that’s for another post.  You, historically, have needed a second vehicle and a set of jumper cables or a really big battery charger and an extension cord. The jumper cable method is pretty quick, provided that there’s another vehicle and your cables close by, and the charger method usually takes a few minutes.  Unless you’ve got a 70 amp, or larger, charger. Then it’s pretty quick. Another problem with the jumper cable method is whether or not the second vehicle can get to a position where the cables can reach both batteries. Park in the wrong spot, and you’ll find yourself having to push your dead vehicle out into a place where the cables can reach.  This is most common during torrential downpours.

If you have a second vehicle, you can probably be up and running in under 10 minutes.  If you have to rely on another person, like a neighbor, relative, or stranger, you’re at their mercy.  They may be able to come right over, or they may be away from home and who knows when they’ll be back. If you need to call a wrecker, a half hour is probably as fast as they’re going to get there and now you’re looking at a bill for $100.

What if there was an easier way?

There is.  

What we’ve got here is a $50 solution to this common speed bump that, every time I’ve taken it out, has been doubted that it was possible that it could work.  It is a 5”x8” battery that’s job is to jump start your car. I’ve successfully jumped off 7 different vehicles, from 4 cylinder cars to V8 pickups with the same battery.  My wife, who is not mechanically inclined, has jumped her van off before work quickly enough that she wasn’t late for work more than once. My 70 year old mother-in-law, who is most assuredly not mechanically inclined, has used hers a few times.  I’ve jumped off people at camp grounds, in parking lots, even at someone else’s house when they were visiting. I’ve had every vehicle that I’ve hooked this little battery pack to running in under 5 minutes, and none of them believed it would work until their engine roared to life while I stood there smiling.

Each time I’ve exposed a new person to this wonderful little box, they’ve wanted one.  This thing makes owning one a no-brainer. If you could make sure that either yourself or a loved one could get their car up and back on the road in under 5 minutes, without taking the chances that come with asking a stranger for help, being late for school or work, or generating a charge from a roadside service why wouldn’t you?  Maybe there’s an emergency and waiting for transportation is a make-it-or-break-it item. Now what? Stand there and plead for “somebody” to help? I’d personally rather not. It’d be really cool of us to see if we can keep our loved ones out of those situations, too.

This jump box is so simple to use.  There’s a set of battery clamps with a connector that gets plugged into the box.  After you’ve plugged in the connector, you hook the clamps to the battery. Next, there’s a power switch that you turn on, that will display the jump box’s power level.  On the cables is another box with a small button on the side of it (some newer models don’t have this button) and an LED on the front. If the batteries are connected properly, that LED should be red.  Press and hold the button on the side of that box (if equipped) until the LED turns green. Start your engine. Now, carry on with your day, while singing the praises of your magical little box that just saved the day to all who will listen.  That’s literally all there is to using this thing to give your car a jump. Now, there are limitations to these. If your battery is DEAD, like not enough power for the electric door locks to operate dead, this thing probably won’t bring it back to life.  I’m also not sure if it would jump a diesel pickup with a dual battery setup. I haven’t tried it, but I wouldn’t count on it. Batteries are like buckets of water. Water goes into and out of the bucket and everything is fine. If the bucket gets a hole in it and drains some, as long as we use a big enough cup (charger), we can splash some water on top and be ok.  If the bucket is totally dry, we’ve got some work to do. If the hose that fills our bucket (alternator) stops putting water in, as previously stated, we’ve got another problem, albeit a less likely one.

As far as how long the battery will hold a charge while it’s being stored, I’ve left mine in the car for 6 months and it still said 98% when I checked it after the summer. Not bad at all.  I’ve also jumped 3 vehicles before recharging it. Also not bad.

But wait! There’s more!

This battery also has 2 usb-c connectors for use as a backup booster or a tablet or phone, and a it has a reasonably useful flashlight.  It gets charged via a micro-usb cable, common to several different cell phone makes. It also comes with a bag to keep all of this stuff together.  Throw in some adapters specific to your phones or tablet, and you’ve got yourself a nice little “get me through electronic issues” package that fits easily into a glove box or map pocket.

I wish I could write a longer, more convincing write-up on this thing, but it really is that simple and convenient. At $50ish bucks on Amazon, there’s really no reason not to have one of these in every vehicle as a very easy solution to a common problem.

Take care of yourselves.

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