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Topic # 146558 21-May-2014 21:30
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I had to call the AA for our spare cars battery which went flat. I have been meaning to get Jumper Leads but never get around to it. I am wondering if there is such a thing as a box that does both, safely for modern cars which have computers onboard etc.

Anyone able to recommend something?


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  Reply # 1050710 21-May-2014 22:07
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Does both what?

All my vehicles carry a decent set of jumper cables.

Yes it's possible to damage a modern vehicle's electronics - accidently reversing the polarity between the booster and the boosted vehicle will likely destroy the cables, damage both batteries and electronics.

"Surge protected" cables usually prevent polarity mistakes as well as surges.
The key is to get a decent quality set, sized to the vehicle, well constructed with decent clamps.

Some of the sets they sell in the cheap auto supply places are complete junk.

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  Reply # 1050712 21-May-2014 22:09
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Plenty of jumpstarter packs like these around, you could use em to charge but would probably not be the most efficient way.




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  Reply # 1050725 21-May-2014 22:19
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Sidestep: "Surge protected" cables usually prevent polarity mistakes as well as surges.
The key is to get a decent quality set, sized to the vehicle, well constructed with decent clamps.

Some of the sets they sell in the cheap auto supply places are complete junk.


Where's the best place to buy them? I've been thinking that I should have a set in the car but the last time I had a flat battery was nearly ten years ago and modern cars seem to switch off all lighting if you accidentally leave something on, so I don't know if I can justify the cost.

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  Reply # 1050736 21-May-2014 22:33
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alasta:
Sidestep: "Surge protected" cables usually prevent polarity mistakes as well as surges.
The key is to get a decent quality set, sized to the vehicle, well constructed with decent clamps.

Some of the sets they sell in the cheap auto supply places are complete junk.


Where's the best place to buy them? I've been thinking that I should have a set in the car but the last time I had a flat battery was nearly ten years ago and modern cars seem to switch off all lighting if you accidentally leave something on, so I don't know if I can justify the cost.


Usually the $$ top end $$ sets in places like Repco are OK.

Best value for money sets I've seen have been in Auto Electrical shops.

As you say it's hard to justify the cost if you're an AA member and have a decent vehicle.
Usually if the battery's flat there are other problems to worry about.

Mine get the most use jump starting other people's cars.
I also have equipment that sits around for a long time then suddenly needs to be used on dark rainy nights..

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  Reply # 1050745 21-May-2014 22:58
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The surge protection is to stop the donor vehicle having a spike when the load of the flat battery is removed but the alternator is running at full blast because of the flat battery connected to it

You only get that problem if the donor vehicle is running when the leads are disconnected. Solution is to stop the donor car before pulling the leads off, and not cranking the flat car when the leads are connected.

Its only taken about 5 mins of them being parallel up with the donor car running to get enough juice into the flat car to start when I have had to do it in the past.




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  Reply # 1064730 13-Jun-2014 10:30
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I see this thread is a bit old but thought I would add that batteries often fail at this time of year.  The onset of cold weather often finishes off a battery that is getting to the end of its service life.  For vehicles that aren't used often it is possible to get trickle chargers to keep the battery topped up.  C-tek make good chargers for this application.




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  Reply # 1064739 13-Jun-2014 10:40
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Yeah there are a number of them (jumpstarter kits) at repco etc - just stay away from the bottom range and get an appropriate wattage 0 normally between 150 and 300 dollars I believe. The sales guys at Westgate Repco are pretty honest.

If it's a spare car and it runs flat from not being used you can get a conditioner - which basically you just leave plugged in at all times and it trickles the battery and keeps it from going flat.

In my opinion you should ALWAYS have a decent set of jumper leads in your car - they are around $50 and can save you a ton of time or enable you to help someone else.

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