Jump starters

#1

I’m looking to buy a jump starter and kind of narrowed it down to a AutoSport 660i and a QuickCable Rescue 950 since both have a built-in air compressor. They both have pluses and minuses so I need to know what is most important. The AutoSport 660i has 660 continuous/1700 peak amps and 4 gauge cables while the the Rescue 950 has 400 continuous/900 peak amps and uses 6 gauge cables. The Rescue 950 has more features including being able to replace the battery plus the built - In 120 volt recharger has an automatic cut - off to prevent over charging.



1. How big a deal is the AutoSport 660i having 660/1700 amps vs the Rescue 950 having 400/900 in actual use?



2. Will the Rescue 950 with 400/900 amps easily start cars and pickups under most conditions or does it usually take more amps than that?



3. I’ve always read you ideally want to use 4 gauge jumper cables but how big of a deal is the Rescue 950 having 6 gauge cables in 4 1/2ft lengths?



4. I think having a jump starter with a built-in air compressor would be handy eliminating have to carry around a separate one, but are these a waste of money? Will they inflate a flat tire well enough so if your’e stranded somewhere you can get somewhere to have it fixed?



5. Will most jump starters start a completely dead battery or does it depend on the amps? If so is 400/900 enough to do this?



I’m looking to buy right away and plan to carry it around all the time in my pickup behind the seat. Thanks!

#2

I will only comment on your question concerning a jump boxes’ ability to make it possible to crank a car whose battery is totally dead. They can’t do it,haven’t you ever tried to jump start a car with another running car when the “reciever car” had a totally dead battery? didn’t work did it? a jump box will not do better than a running car. It is very hard for a battery to come back to life after repeated full discharges (some types of batteries do better than others).

You can use different cable hook up points on the dead car,this may help in some cases.

#3

I wouldn’t even try to start a car with a completely dead battery. A completely dead battery doesn’t happen very often. A battery which will no longer crank an engine is NOT completely dead.
I ran a battery down (intentionally) until it would engage the starter but it couldn’t turn the engine over. I checked the amperage during the crank attempt and found it to be 100 amps at 9 volts. I attached another battery, which had a charge of 12 1/2 volts. The engine cranked immediately with a momentary (one second) peak of 125 amps, and a steady draw of 105 amps during the cranking period. The engine had no particular problem. Just as important as amperage, is voltage. After all, voltage is electrical pressure. An engine in poor condition may be a problem to crank with all the amps in the world.
I’m not choosing between models of chargers. You decide on the expectations.

#4

I guess it was a poor choice of words I just meant a dead battery like when you left the headlights on all day. I probably got that from the description of the AutoSport 660i where it said “ON-OFF switch overrides circuitry and allows you to jump start a car with a completely dead battery when switched to the ?ON? position. (Our previous models would not jumpstart a battery that had dropped below three volts.)”

So basically I’m asking will most do what the above 660i does or is it dependent on the amount of amps a jump starter provides. The Rescue doesn’t make such a claim and I just wondered if generally they all did.

#5

I have had and killed at least four cheap jump boxes in the last six or seven years. Two were from Harbor Freight, and one of those lasted two years. Those were the same model. No explanation. The others came from Autozone. All were used once or twice a day, and usually left plugged in each night. If you carry it all the time, be sure to get one that you can recharge thru your truck’s cigar lighter. Some will, some won’t.

The trick to having one start your “dead” car is to allow it to recharge the “dead” battery for at least a minute. Yes, they will sometimes start one immediately, but the directions say to let it sit for a minute.

I am not familiar with the model numbers you mentioned. I think the most important thing is that you get one with cable clamps that will easily clamp onto a side post GM battery. Many don’t. Those from Harbor Freight were better in that respect than the AZ ones. Their clamps had more bare metal.

I have also replaced the battery inside one of my boxes on one occasion. Most battery only shops will have them available for less than half the cost of a complete new box.

#6

MG McAnick has the experience with the portable battery boosters. As he said, let the jumper battery charge the discharged battery a few minuets (5 minuets, or more). Then attempt a start.
The clamps are the limiting factors in transferring amperage from the boost battery to the discharged battery because the clamps have limited contact surface.
This current limiting thing will apply to any jumper cable clamps.

#7

@ MG McAnick wow that’s alot of heavy usage I just want mine for emergencies.

Both the ones I’m looking at can be charged thru DC: http://www.autosportcatalog.com/index.cfm?fa=p&pid=3104 & http://www.batterycentralmall.com/Chargers/Jump_Box/604003_Jump_Box.html

I’m not sure about how each model does with side battery terminals I will check into that.

What kind of current/peak amp ratings did the ones you used have and how did those amp ratings work?