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Pocket-Size Battery Jump Starters: Safe or Not?

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Old 07-12-2017, 02:52 PM
  #1
gearFX
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Default Pocket-Size Battery Jump Starters: Safe or Not?

You know the little portable jump starters that can supposedly jump start vehicles (usually up to 4.0L in displacement with around 400 CCA) that have a small form factor? Are those safe for our cars, or am I asking for July 4 fireworks (or worse) using one of those? (Is there a compact official Porsche-approved model? Or a particular model that members have had good experience with?)
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:01 PM
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The better question is if they're effective or not, since they all have polarity protection. And in my experience, they're not. Bought one for my daughter, and couldn't start a 2.4L engine 2 weeks after being fully charged, when supposedly they can last 6 months and fire up a V8 engine (yeah, right!). After a fresh charge, engine barely started. The apartment manager fired it up right away with a regular (lead acid) jumper box. Bottom line is I wouldn't rely on those for a jump on our cars, but at least they can be used to charge your phone (USB port), and crap like that.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:27 PM
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Actually, they work, in my experience. I am going to make a post, as a PSA, on how I inadvertently discharged the battery. In the meantime, here is what saved the day:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MY9FZM4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MY9FZM4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This is a very compact pack with a nice carrying bag. I used it to start (981 Spyder) multiple times. The car fired up every single time at the first crank. Highly recommended. The battery pack now sits behind the seat for emergency use.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by the_rider View Post
This is a very compact pack with a nice carrying bag. I used it to start (981 Spyder) multiple times.
This unit has more capacity than the one I bought for my daughter over a year ago. It was supposedly the best. Glad to hear a testimonial from a forum menber. Will buy one and throw it in one of the 2 cubbies. Also need to buy a maintenance reset device, which also serves as a code reader, if needed. Both items hardly add any weight, and are very compact, so no excuse not to carry them all the time. Thanks again.
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:18 AM
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I had one of these made by Wagan, was supposed to be able to start a dead V8. It was fully charged the first time I tried to use it to start a 2009 Honda Civic 4 cyl., and it fried itself as soon as I turned the key to try and crank. Totally fried, couldn't charge it, would not put power out. The engine in the Honda never even began to crank, and I couldn't hear the starter engage. I contacted Wagan and they asked me to send it back. Two weeks later they emailed me asking if I wanted a new replacement or a credit towards their other merchandise. I chose to trade it for three of their 12V emergency air compressors, the compact ones.
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by the_rider View Post
Actually, they work, in my experience. I am going to make a post, as a PSA, on how I inadvertently discharged the battery. In the meantime, here is what saved the day:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This is a very compact pack with a nice carrying bag. I used it to start (981 Spyder) multiple times. The car fired up every single time at the first crank. Highly recommended. The battery pack now sits behind the seat for emergency use.
Nice to know. One question I have is did you hook up the negative cable "directly" to the negative terminal of the battery, or to the "designated" post as recommended by Porsche? The reason I asked is because those pocket charger's cables are usually too short for the "designated" negative post. I have successfully start my wife's Highlander with on of those pocket charger by connecting the cables directly to the positive and negative terminals of the dead battery.
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jliuod View Post
..... The reason I asked is because those pocket charger's cables are usually too short for the "designated" negative post. I have successfully start my wife's Highlander with on of those pocket charger by connecting the cables directly to the positive and negative terminals of the dead battery.
You are right; these battery packs have short cables. You won't be able to reach the negative post of the chassis. You are fine connecting the pack directly to the car battery's terminals, as I did.

If you do decide to get this Beatit Jump Starter, here is a tip: after you connect the pack's clamps to battery's terminals, you will need to press a little switch on the cable's adapter (not on the pack). Feel for it before connecting, so that you could press without having to look for. It isn't documented.
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:26 PM
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What I noticed on basically all such devices, even the best and most expensive ones, was an inordinate amount of failures. The comments are filled with defective comments. It's a good idea to somehow test the things before assuming they'll work. But since most modern cars need the battery to be connected, just don't see how. But I can imagine the frustration when you need the thing, and it doesn't work. That's why I never skimp on batteries. For $100 or so, the first moment I start having battery issues, it's gone. Plus I charged them religiously, so at least for me, getting stranded due to a dead battery is a non-issue. But it's still a good idea to carry such a device, even if you'd end up using on somebody else's car.
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Old 07-14-2017, 06:01 PM
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Agree, sucks to have a battery issue late in the night when you are trying to get home. Now, imagine when it is 10 below (F) in the dead of winter and the engine wouldn't crank due to shot battery!! Not sure how well these battery packs would work in winter conditions. Don't want to find out!!
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Old 07-14-2017, 06:53 PM
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I hope they work- have one in each 914 (got them from ESC tuning) for emergencies. Never have tried one though...
They look slick- probably too good to be true...
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by the_rider View Post
Not sure how well these battery packs would work in winter conditions.
Great point. My guess is they wouldn't even crank the engine; not enough cranking amps to overcome the much greater resistance a cold engine and thick, cold oil add. But it'd be nice for somebody to find out, and put that to rest. He he.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
...........But it'd be nice for somebody to find out, and put that to rest. He he.
Is that 'somebody', me, since I live in a cold tundra?? As the temp goes to zero and below (F), it just gets painful to stand around and try stuff! Well, I suppose I can give it a try.
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Old 07-18-2017, 01:03 AM
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Worked for me, on a 6.0 Chevy V8 with a battery that still had some charge (lights came on, but no cranking).
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:10 PM
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there's many many different ones out on the market but they do work.
It's saved my **** a couple times this winter when it was freezing on the highway far from home. Both times below 10 degrees...and battery basically had no juice left
The cables are a little short but just enough length for my 996
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Old 07-21-2017, 11:59 AM
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I have one of these in my car, and boat. It is advertised to stay charged for 1 year and so far both of them have. Luckily havent needed it on my own cars yet, but have jumped my neighbors and a few people in parking lots.

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