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Author Topic: Portable car jump starters  (Read 253 times)
Silver Bullet
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« on: October 15, 2020, 08:56:17 AM »

I got interested several months ago in the lithium battery jump starter packs to start your car when it has a dead battery.

I looked at a lot of YouTube videos.  Many of them were someone who received a free one to test, and so their video only featured that starter.  A few were claiming to list the “5 Best” but their videos rated the starters by the advertised specs, no real physical test in the video.

This video is by far the best of the ones I’ve seen:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN8A2nIMUWA

That fellow tests about eight different units and performs actual voltage and current measurements, and tests at both ambient and very cold temperatures.  The winner of his review was the Audew:

https://smile.amazon.com/Audew-20000mAh-Starter-Battery-Charging/dp/B07GR17R3X/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=audew&qid=1602780072&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFDN1VYVk9HMlRGRksmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTEwMjA3MjAxVE80NVZWUklaMk1HJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTAzNDU4MDQySjE1U1hNSVY4NVRJJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

Amazon also has a few other Audew models with just slightly less capacity, at $20 to $30 less.

I found several other YouTube videos specifically testing Audew, and the results were almost always superb.  

But that is $100.  If you want a super reliable all-weather unit, that might be the one for you.  Some of the videos I saw showed it starting a 10 cylinder pickup with dead battery, 7.3 liter diesel engines, and a backhoe.  The 20000 mAh model shows the lithium battery charge in per cent; the cheaper models will typically show four LED bars to represent charge state.  I charged mine up about nine months ago and only used it once.  Right now it still shows 95%.  How many times you can start a car with one depends on how many seconds you spend starting the car with it.  I would say you can typically get between 10 to 30 starts, but that's a vague surmise.  In the videos I watched it generally started a vehicle immediately, but they weren't necessarily in cold weather.

But going the other direction, I also got a super cheap model of a different brand that seems to work okay.  I gave one to my stepson who always adds electrical devices to his cars causing the batteries to die often, and he was able to easily start his six-cylinder Chevy pickup.   I suspect it will be overmatched with a big V-8, at least in cold weather.  This brand appears to be Kingslim, although the brand name doesn't appear in every place I see this device advertised:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Portable-Mini-Slim-20000mAh-Car-Jump-Starter-Engine-Battery-Charger-Power-Bank/192441095037?hash=item2cce62137d:g:TPYAAOSw~3pabtRO&var=492450318045

And here's a fairly fun video of someone demonstrating it.  These are amazing small, 3"x5"x5/8", almost exactly the same size as my phone.  I don't believe their 20000 mAh spec.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhUG8bDWL_A

I only paid $24 for my Kingslim several months ago, they’re a few bucks higher now.   A few users had problems with the Kingslim burning up, but I suspect they weren’t following the directions that say try to start for a few seconds; wait 30 seconds; try starting again.  It appears that this brand doesn't have nearly as much circuit protection built in compared to the Audew; probably easier to fry it if you make a mistake with connections, or if you leave it on after starting the car.  Kinda hard to make a mistake with connections, I would think, if you've ever used jumper cables.  By contrast, the 20000mAh Audew I referenced claims short circuit protection, over current protection, over charge protection, reverse charge protection , over discharge protection, over temperature protection, reverse connection protection, and reverse polarity protection; I don't know what the difference is on those last two.

In cold weather many of the lithium starters do better with successive attempts as the lithium battery warms up.  Very compact, surprisingly capable, and do not require a "donor" vehicle to use jumper cables.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 03:21:34 PM by Silver Bullet » Report to moderator   Logged

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Ben
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2020, 09:48:47 AM »

I didn't look at your links, but I have this one and have used it a couple of times, and am happy with it and the quality.

https://www.amazon.com/NOCO-GB40-UltraSafe-Lithium-Starter/dp/B015TKUPIC?ref_=ast_sto_dp

I have another one as well - one of the Chinese whatever weird named ones that was about half the cost and half the size, but I haven't used that one for jumpstarting. I have used it several times as portable power when car camping.
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MechAg94
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2020, 10:11:33 AM »

I got one through a safety point system at work, but have never actually used it.  I will have to check the brand later.  I got it after having battery problems with my last truck. 
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2020, 10:17:43 AM »

I have one of these in each of our vehicles:
Audew 1000A Peak Portable Car Jump Starter (Up to 6.0L Gas or 4.5L Diesel Engine) Auto Battery Booster, 12V Car Jumper, Power Bank Power Pack with Dual USB Ports and Flashlight https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G74CY3K/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_ehjIFbHGPDYBD

They are $60 each and currently I show a 25% discount on them. Definitely recommend.  My wife’s battery had issues a few months ago and it was very simple to use.
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Silver Bullet
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2020, 12:04:00 PM »

I have one of these in each of our vehicles:
Audew 1000A Peak Portable Car Jump Starter (Up to 6.0L Gas or 4.5L Diesel Engine) Auto Battery Booster, 12V Car Jumper, Power Bank Power Pack with Dual USB Ports and Flashlight https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G74CY3K/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_ehjIFbHGPDYBD

They are $60 each and currently I show a 25% discount on them. Definitely recommend.  My wife’s battery had issues a few months ago and it was very simple to use.

So only $45 with the click-on discount; very nice.  About half the peak current and half the capacity of the one I linked and guaranteed to start 6.0L gas and 4.5L diesel, compared to all gas engines and 8.5L diesel of my model of Audew, but less than half the cost with discount.  More than plenty big for my vehicles, I think I'll get one for my wife's car at that price.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 03:25:02 PM by Silver Bullet » Report to moderator   Logged

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Silver Bullet
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2020, 12:50:53 PM »

I read where someone commented that the Audew worked better to start his vehicle than did jumper cables.  I think the lithium battery starter advantages are

1) My Audew has 16.36 vdc no-load voltage, compared to probably about 14.4 from the alternator on the car you use with the jumper cables.  If it has a similar voltage advantage under load then it will push more current.

2)  My Audew uses much shorter cables than regular jumper cables, and thus has much less resistance to get through if they are equivalent gauge.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2020, 09:42:24 AM by Silver Bullet » Report to moderator   Logged

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cordex
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2020, 01:18:02 PM »

I read where someone commented that the Audew worked better to start his vehicle than did jumper cables.
This was my experience as well. 
There is no time spent waiting for the battery to charge up before you start, just clip the leads on, press the boost button, and start the car to say nothing of the other issues of finding then positioning the donor car and wrangling the jumper cables between them.

I've jump-started quite a few cars and never had one go as quickly or as easily as with the lithium jump starter - even with another person to help.  I still carry jumper cables, but wouldn't choose them over the booster pack.
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Silver Bullet
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2020, 01:43:16 PM »

Quote
I still carry jumper cables

I do too, as a redundant system with an entirely different technology.  Someday the lithium battery will be dead or its electronics will be dead.  

If I need a jump, that means I'm in a situation where I could potentially be stranded, so it's nice to have the alternate approach.  Of course, if I am stranded, it's all the more reason to have the lithium jump starter.  

AAA membership is another alternate approach, but now we're talking about really long waiting times.  

$45 well spent for the jump starter.

20 years ago my wife and I drove from Los Angeles to Pebble Beach.  My battery died there just when we were set to return home.  I asked a dozen people if I could get a jump, and they all said no.  Somebody loaned me his cell phone and I called AAA.  AAA gave us a jump, but we didn't have enough gas for the whole trip home so we stopped off and got gas.  The attendant then gave me a push and I popped the clutch to restart.  We decided to stop at a restaurant we knew along the way, thinking we would just get another push start.  Very fortunately the restaurant was at the high end of a very steep parking lot.  I figured after dinner I'd just let the car coast down the slope, pick up speed, and pop the clutch again. Hilariously, I forgot to put the car in gear at the top of the hill, so when I popped the clutch nothing happened.  Face Palm!  Someone from a motel at the bottom of the parking lot came out and gave us another push start.
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2020, 04:14:19 PM »

I'm always perplexed by people who need a jump, but don't have cables. Running out of gas is understandable, but failing to buy some cables for 20 bucks, and stowing them somewhere in the car for later use? How you do dat?

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Silver Bullet
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2020, 04:40:29 PM »

Quote
I'm always perplexed by people who need a jump, but don't have cables.

Interesting question, because I was trying to remember when I needed a jump at Pebble Beach if I had cables.  

I've always have cables in my cars, so I think I must have, which means everybody who turned me down for a jump did so even though I had cables, not just because they didn't have cables.   angry

But now I have my own cell phone and a lithium battery jump starter and jumper cables and AAA.  Maybe I should take along a spare battery ... just in case.   grin
« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 02:38:35 PM by Silver Bullet » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2020, 05:02:57 PM »

The 2000A 20000mAh Audew is normally about $100, but right now the manufacturer is having "7-Year Anniversary Sales Promotion" price of $67.65.

https://www.audew.com/Audew-2000A-Peak-20000mAh-Car-Jump-Starter-for-All-Gas-Engines-or-Up-To-8_5L-Diesel-Engines-with-LCD-Power-Display-p-100058.html?rmmds=search
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