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Discussion: Jump

in: iansmith; iansmith > 2017-01-06

Jan 7, 2017 1:22 PM # 
I have found this to be an extremely useful alternative to jumper cables. Of course you would have to carry it with you to be entirely independent, but I seem to have most of the opportunities to use it right around here.
Jan 7, 2017 1:48 PM # 
Ah, interesting. It's a little misleading that the manufacturer is named "solar!" I haven't had any trouble since the jump, so I suspect I just left something on overnight. I should probably join triple-A (triple Eh?) as a precaution.
Jan 7, 2017 2:03 PM # 
Triple A has its place, and I am a member and have used it. We had an incident a couple of months ago when we returned to the airport from a trip and had a dead battery because "someone" had not closed the door all the way when we left. Thought we might have to call triple A and wait until they showed up, but luckily we got a jump start from the guy whose job it is to drive around the parking garage at night making sure things are ok. He just happened by within about 5 minutes and then we were on our way.
Jan 7, 2017 3:59 PM # 
Even in winter, if leaving something like a light on is draining the battery overnight, that's an indication of a battery that you might consider replacing. Sure, driving around will charge it up, but how much margin do you have?

But that's for a conventional car. A Prius has a lot more battery (is there a separate battery for the electric motor than there is for starting the gas engine, or is it all one?). I don't know what the situation is there.

My favorite jumper cable story is from the summer of 1990, when I went to a Grateful Dead concert at RFK Stadium with peggyd. We came out at the end to find that her car wouldn't start, and she initially got really upset, wondering what we were going to do. I reasoned that we were in a parking lot full of Deadheads, i.e. people who probably drive unreliable cars and who would therefore be equipped for problems. I shouted out, "Anybody got jumper cables?", somebody nearby hollered that he did, the car right in front of us popped his hood open, and her engine was running within a couple of minutes.
Jan 7, 2017 5:29 PM # 
Not just overnight. It was there 5 days. Although maybe overnight would have been enough.
Jan 7, 2017 5:51 PM # 
Yours was for the duration of a trip, but Ian's was overnight.
Jan 7, 2017 6:02 PM # 
Hybrids typically have a separate 12v system for starting, accessories etc. Drive battery runs much higher voltage.
Jan 7, 2017 6:30 PM # 
My 2000 Prius had separate batteries.
Jan 7, 2017 7:02 PM # 
Yeah, my Prius has a standard 12 volt battery to start the car, which is apparently independent of the hybrid battery.
Jan 7, 2017 7:30 PM # 
Second the battery pack - we used it once in ours but saved many others while out and about with it!
Jan 7, 2017 8:57 PM # 
Wow, I don't even remember the dead battery part of that concert outing. Getting really upset, yeah, that sounds right. Unreasonably, of course.
Jan 8, 2017 4:37 AM # 
Well, you didn't like that they played "Dear Mr Fantasy".
Jan 9, 2017 12:43 AM # 
I've been using Volkswagen's recommended battery test method as a general check. You need a min-max voltmeter, though, which isn't that common. If the min voltage drops below 8V during the start, VW recommends replacing the battery (assuming a working alternator). I made a voltmeter cable with a cigarette lighter plug so I can measure it from inside the car and without opening the hood. I have two voltmeters with min-max capability. Each was over $100. I haven't looked for cheap ones yet. For those who don't know, the general procedure is that you attach the voltmeter and get it viewing the battery voltage (nominally 12-13 V), then you set it to min-mode and reset, then do the start.

This discussion thread is closed.