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Jumper/Booster Cables

Need to buy cables for the winter as a precaution. Would you recommend Autozone durablast cables or something else.

Whatever you do, don’t cheap out and buy flimsy cables. Thin, wimpy cables are worthless. Spend the extra money for good jumper cables and you will never be sorry.

Get them LONGER than you think you will need, too. You can’t always get two vehicles nose-to-nose when one needs a jump.

14 gauge COPPER or better.

If you want cables that are useful and work then you should get the following:

1- 8 gauge cable or heavier
2- At least 15 feet and preferably 20 feet. The longer the better.
3- Flexible in cold temps. Cables that get rigid when they are cold are useless when they are needed most.

This is advice based on many years living in the snow belt. My heavy duty 8 gauge, 20 ft cables have started many cars that would not start with cheaper cables.

Don’t know what those are, but expect to pay $20-$30 for good cables. I vote with BN, above.

Here’s what you want in a set of jumper cables. And if possible, find a set that has the prongs that swing out from the jaws that allows use on side mount type batteries.


I ran into a problem with a set of small-wire jumper cables back in the day when cars had metal bumpers. Trying to jump-start a car, there just wasn’t enough power getting through those small wires to start the jumpee. Inspiration struck! THUD! Mmmm…metal cars…car bodies are grounds…connect grounds…how?..touch grounds together…touch car bumpers together…use both jumper cables from battery positive post to battery positive post to the carry current… VA-ROOM! VA-ROOM!!

Along with good booster cables, get into the habit of always backing in to a parking slot no matter where.

With the front of the vehicle facing out, any length of cables will reach.

Never park with the front bumper next to a wall.

While you are visiting Autozone or another auto parts store consider letting them check your battery and charging system. Many auto part stores will do it for free and they do a good job. Try to avoid the need for the cables.

Battery failure is very rare unless you live on the brink or are forgetful about shutting headlights off(Subaru’s do it for me). Seems like an extreme on a daily basis for something that happens so rarely. However if you leaving a while (eg airport) its a good idea.

However than again my insurance (Progressive) I added a AAA like road service for a meager $15/year/vehicle.

Buy something Made in the USA (hopefully some left out there),

Excellent Advice, Andrew :slight_smile:

The last ones I bought (it’s been a while) were 6 gauge copper made by Coleman Cable, Chicago, made in U.S.A.

I just checked the internet. They’re still in busines, going strong, thanks to Americans. Their online catalog has jumper cable choices and info.

Sears, K-Mart/Sears, and Wal-Mart sell heavy cables. I don’t know their country of origin, though.

What an idiot…I should have proof read my post…

4 GAUGE copper…14 gauge copper is speaker wire.

I have a set of 4 gauge copper - 16’ I bought at Sears on sale about 25 years ago. I’ve needed them about 5 times…twice for me…and three times for other people. 4 gauge will allow you to start the car from the other cars battery. Smaller gauge you’ll have to leave the cables on for a while to charge up the dead battery.

I don’t recommend “durablast” products. It’s best to avoid products that are prone to explosion.