Booster batteries - Super Cheap!
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  1. #1
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Default Booster batteries - Super Cheap!

    A couple of questions about these...

    I've heard that using jumper leads on a car with electronic gizmos (injection, ignition, computer etc) is a problem... and that you can get jumper leads with a protective device built into them.

    Well, I've bought a booster battery from Super Cheap Auto several months ago when I was in a jam and they were reduced to $49.99 or something. I note that they are normally this price, but today's Super Cheap Auto (otherwise known as 'Cheap and Nasty' according to my dad...) has them marked down to $39. I think that's a bargain.

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    Now, I've just read through the instructions and see nothing that might imply that jump starting an electronically injected and ignited car might be an issue... though it does say (among the features...) that it has 'Solid state, automatic operation and circuit protection'... is that about this apparent problem or to do with the unit itself.

    Reason I want to know is I'm thinking of leaving one here for my wife. Her Corolla is getting a bit lazy in the battery, but not too bad... just a couple of times it has failed to start in the morning after two days left unused. The rest of the time it's fine.

    She would clutch start it down the driveway, but she's front on into the garage and there's no room to spare... she couldn't get it rolling by herself and not damage the door... and she can't push it out because just outside the garage the driveway falls away. Nice for clutch starting, but not nice if you can't get into the runaway-in-reverse Corolla.

    Anyway, this poxpile has all the electronics in it... so is it safe to jump start it or not?

    And I recommend anyone who doesn't have one of these things that they grab it while it's at this price. They work really well and last well too. Neat, they have a torchlight built in so you can see what you're doing, built in meter to check the battery level, and there's a cigarette lighter fitting on one side so you can use it to run a lead light or charge your phone or whatever. They come with both a car charger and a 240v charger. Not bad at all for $39!

  2. #2
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    there is the other way by putting the earth onto the engine rather than onto the battery

    this i have been told does 2 things

    1 makes it easier to jump start the car as you aren't trying to charge the battery whilst starting the car

    2 puts the earth in a safer position away from the ECU to prevent spiking it as the charge is going into starting the car

    i won't say this is 100% but in the times i have had a dead battery in the 306 i have never had a trouble with jumping the car this way

    the prefered method with modern cars is to hook the other car up and let it run for 10 mins or so to put charge into the other car then disconnect and then start

    most cars have this stated in the manuals that come with them now
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x '98 306 GTi6

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0


    WTD long range fuel tank for 605

  3. #3
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    So there may be some factual, if perhaps overstated or exaggerated, basis for it all?

    The instructions on this do state that you should hook up to the positive terminal and an earth somewhere not on the battery. The engine block would make sense, of course, but the next best thing with a 404 or 504 is to go to the earth terminal, which is linked directly to the block.

  4. #4
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    The booster may have one of those surge protectors that they use at servos already built into it, (just a thought) but in any case, I think you'll find if you connect the + side first and disconnect it last after it starts, chances of getting a spike are almost eliminated.
    I'm around these characters working with all types of ECUs all the time and some of the stuff I see them do & get away with frightens the sox off me.
    When I ask the question about risks, this is what they all reckon they do. Done this way you don't get the spark on hook up and with DC, the spark intensifies when it is allowed to jump and this is apparently where the power spike comes from that causes ECUs to pop.

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  5. #5
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    So there may be some factual, if perhaps overstated or exaggerated, basis for it all?

    The instructions on this do state that you should hook up to the positive terminal and an earth somewhere not on the battery. The engine block would make sense, of course, but the next best thing with a 404 or 504 is to go to the earth terminal, which is linked directly to the block.

    yes but a 504 or 404 won't have an ECU

    but still by putting the neg cable on the battery you are still trying to charge the battery while trying to jump start it

    any spot on the block or head is the best place to attach it

    most cars will have a lifting hook on the engine somewhere and that is the first place i look to hook up the neg jumper cable

    i have helped people jump start cars that they couldn't simply by moving the neg jumper cable
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x '98 306 GTi6

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0


    WTD long range fuel tank for 605

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts Shobbz's Avatar
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    An interesting Idea, a novel item, and a hot day.

    I have always jump started new cars with a positive to positive, then my negative to their car on some sort of earthy looking surface, usually somewhere on the engine if i can find it. Bloody plastic coverings on engines????

    I haven't had any problems, on cars from a rav4 to a new golf (women drivers, headlights on).

    shobbz
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    2005 407 ST Exec
    1975 504 GL

  7. #7
    UFO
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    CitroŽn Tragic UFO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shobbz
    women drivers, headlights on

    shobbz
    But only on cold days, eh

    OH, you were talking about the car - silly me...
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

  8. #8
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Originally posted by pugrambo
    yes but a 504 or 404 won't have an ECU.....
    Please read my original post...

  9. #9
    Fellow Frogger! tasgill's Avatar
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    The main reason for hooking up the earth somewhere away from the battery is a safety issue. Hydrogen produced by the battery does explode with a spark and can cause nasty injuries, even blindness when the hydrochloric acid as the battery explodes sprays everywhere. Ray, buy the little lady a new battery, she may not appreciate it but it will give you piece of mind.

    Terry

  10. #10
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Thing is that it hasn't given a murmur of trouble for about three weeks... but if I go away for a fortnight, you can bet that something will happen.

    It could just as well happen with a new battery (leave the glovebox open or somesuch...) and this would solve the problem.

    Anyway, the other reason for the thread was to draw attention to Super Cheap Auto's sale on these very useful items. And then I went to their website and discovered that you can register with them for catalogue specials etc and you get a 20% discount voucher that you can use for one only purchase.

    Now let me see... this booster thing, and some brake pads, a couple of spanners...

  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger!
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    two words : Potential Difference.

    the voltage drop across the 2 cars induces a voltage transient that if not filtered can damage the ECU. Yes even if it is in standby/sleep mode. A simple regulation/filtering circuit is included in modern jumper leads and jump starting units to prevent this.

    If you're stuck in a "real" pickle [for instance an absolutely hot chick requires assistance] and you only have standard jumper leads then please heed this advice :

    before connecting the 2 cars try and minimise the potential difference as best as possible. This can be achieved by running at idle, turn on rear demister, turn on and turn up the stereo, turn on headlights and hazard lights. This will make you look cool whilst rendering assistance.

  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger! tasgill's Avatar
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    Icon11

    When I have to jumper an ecu equipped car, I always make sure the ignition on the ecu car(s) is turned off to either hook up or disconnect the jumper leads. It usually doesnt take long to charge the battery enough so that it will start by itself. Along the lines of "If the ecu is disconnected from the power supply, it cant be spiked". But there again, I have been wrong before, why back in 1974 ..........
    Terry
    Last edited by tasgill; 4th December 2004 at 08:19 PM.

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts Pugnut403's Avatar
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    I must get one of theose things, as we have so many cars here ( the van, the ute, the station wagon, my Pugs etc.) and one of them oftin has a flat, and to make it worse my new battery charger has just died ( it has only charged about 7 or 8 batteries too, stay away from G force Mitre 10 chargers!!!).

    Thanjs for the heads-up Ray.
    Pugs Rule!

    403, now sold
    404, project
    2010 Mitsubishi i MiEV electric car

  14. #14
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Have you got Super Cheap Auto on the Apple Isle?

    Yeah, they're handy gadgets. Used mine the other day to move the crashed Commodore so the lawn could be mowed... or is that mown?

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