Best Jump Starter?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by typesomethingwitty, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    I have to question the value of doing that. A reasonably healthy car battery receives no benefit from periodically being hooked up to a battery charger. In fact, it could shorten the life of the battery.

    Unless you are leaving the car parked for long periods of time, and have phantom draw, or some other slow drainage due to installed components like security or GPS systems, there's no need to hook up a battery charger. And in that case, a battery maintainer is a much better choice than a trickle-charger, which will eventually destroy a battery if left connected long enough.
     
  2. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    All my connections looked fine, and had continuity, but wouldn't pass enough current. Cleaning and tightening the terminals was required.
     
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  3. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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  4. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Could you possibly post a pic of that Brookstone unit? Do you happen to know what battery assembly is inside? Thanks!
     
  5. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    It won't work for most vehicles, unless the lighter socket is a live connection.
     
  6. Easy Rider 2

    Easy Rider 2 Senior Member

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    If you have a good quality smart battery maintainer, it makes absolutely NO difference how often you connect it.

    AND if your driving situation is such that the battery often drops below a 90% charge or so, then a periodic"topping it off" is a really good idea.

    I have never seen nor can I imagine any circumstances where periodically connecting a properly working small charger would cause damage to the battery.
     
  7. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    If your battery is not staying charged after normal driving, you need to get your car looked at by a qualified mechanic.

    Regularly hooking up a battery charger to a healthy vehicle battery has no value whatsoever. Depending on the charger, it may eventually cause damage.
     
  8. Easy Rider 2

    Easy Rider 2 Senior Member

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    The battery can be "healthy" and still be less than fully charged.

    LONG and REPEATED discussions on here have shown that some people's driving habits can cause the battery to be less than fully charged repeatedly. When that happens, it is bad for the battery. Giving it an occasional boost would be good; in some extreme circumstances, maybe every night.

    And of course, it is possible to muck almost anything up but connecting even the cheapest trickle charger for a few hours every few days will do more good for the battery than bad. Now, if you have a defective charger, that is a whole different matter.
     
  9. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    I've never seen a battery run down under normal or abnormal driving, when the charging system is working right, in 40 years of driving.
     
  10. Easy Rider 2

    Easy Rider 2 Senior Member

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    And just because YOU have never seen it, means that it can not exist......right ??
    Hint: WRONG.
     
  11. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    Not in 40 years and over 2 million miles.
     
  12. Easy Rider 2

    Easy Rider 2 Senior Member

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    Which is just a drop in the ocean, compared to ALL of the drivers and ALL of the cars on the road.
    It really is a simple concept.
     
  13. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    Not simple enough for some, apparently.
     
  14. sb4

    sb4 New Member

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    My 2015 Prius aux battery died recently (2/2021) very likely due to my Covid19 reduced driving - basically once a week to pick up groceries 5 minutes away. If I believe the service truck that came out, the battery tested as "bad", meaning not really chargeable for long term use. So I got a new one at OReilly's, and they are expensive. My main beef is that the fancy Prius electronics doesn't have a simple monitor to alert you when the battery is on its last legs. The car just wouldn't start. I tried the trick of holding down the brake pedal until the pump under the hood stops running (which sucks off some current), but still wouldn't start. So I'm interested in some minimal gadget that will let me jump start it. Would be nice to have some other uses too, like USB ports for charging devices.

    The tow truck guy installed the new Prius battery for me. He claimed that you can't just disconnect the old battery because you might wipe the electronics' settings and really have a mess on your hands. He kept the electronics powered with a special powered OBD connector under the dashboard while he changed the battery. That's something I wouldn't have thought of. So a jump start battery seems like a good idea, if it can do the job. Keeping it charged is a problem though, with all the other things we have to think about. However, if your car dies at home (like mine did), could at least charge up the jump battery inside. It would have saved me a day trying to get a hold of a tow truck due to the phone lines being jammed because of the record cold snap across the US causing multiple emergencies.
     
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    I’d put off jump pack purchase, get a smart charger instead, one in the 3~4 amp range. They can be left on indefinitely, will charge, then settle down to a maintenance trickle charge as needed. This is presuming you’re in a secure garage.

    If in a driveway, then a similar “on board” style charger powered by an extension cord will do the same job.

    If you’ve got no handy AC, and are driving 5 minutes here and there only weekly, then last resort would be a breaker type switch to completely disconnect the 12 volt. Downside though is various memory losses.

    Back to jump packs, my pick would be an old school Clore JNC660. You can get a Memory Saver cord for those, Solar is one brand, I believe under the Clore name.
     
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  16. Ed Beaty

    Ed Beaty Active Member

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    What Mendel said...
    I've been doing that for a couple years now: using a CTek battery maintainer (4amp, max, suggested by Mendel...thanks Mendel), connected under my carport via extension cord, 24/7. I got a new 12V battery when I bought the car in 2018. Never any issues. I connected the charging pigtail right to the 12V battery in the rear, feeding the connector end up into the cargo area. I just leave the CTek in the cargo area.

    Besides, if you just keep running the battery down and jump-starting it, you'll end up just killing another 12V battery...
     
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  17. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    even if it means stranded in life or death situations? Something to think about.
     
  18. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Great pick. I have that one in my garage also and my lifepo4 4S 100ah battery that gets charged by the solar roof on the car. It powers up my subwoofer amp and can be used to jump my car also since it’s always in the trunk.
     
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Yeah they fit nicely in the tray under the hatch floor; that’s where mine resides. Weighs about 18 pounds.
     
  20. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    My little lithium-ion jump pack is about the size of my hand and lives in the glove box. As I've used it more often to start other people's cars than my own, it's handier there. :)

    I thought at first about hardwiring its 12-volt charger there at the glove box so it would get charged whenever I drive, but didn't get around to it, and it stays pretty well charged for months at a time, judging by occasionally pressing the status button and looking at the LED bargraph.

    For Li-ion jump packs, I do recommend using the best known brands and buying direct; there are Amazon reviews indicating that buyers of a well-regarded brand on Amazon got shipped easily-spotted counterfeits, and a cheap knockoff large Li-ion battery is not necessarily a safe thing to have in the car with you.
     
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