by Pat Goss
Old-fashioned booster cables can be big problems for late-model cars. You see, they were good back in the day, but back in the day, cars didn’t have a lot of computers and electronics. These can damage computers and electronics because of voltage surges through the electrical system. Throw ‘em away.
You can replace them with a couple of different things: this is a booster battery. They are available in a lot of different configurations from the most basic up to something that has pumps and lights and everything like this Black & Decker does, but their basic function is to connect them to the battery, jump start the car. But remember it is a battery, and if you don’t keep it charged, well, it isn’t going to do you any good at all. Two dead batteries don’t work.
Here’s another option: these are Smart Jumper Cables from Michelin. Now, the first thing that you’ll notice about these is that there’s this big box in the middle of the cables. This is a module-it’s a smart module. Next thing you’ll notice is that all four cable ends are blue. So, here’s the drill: you start with the car that is running-has the good battery. You hook up two of the cable ends, doesn’t make any difference which way you hook them up because polarity is going to be controlled inside the module. Then you come over to the car with the dead battery, you take one of the remaining ends and hook it to the positive battery cable. Now you never hook booster cables-both of them-on the car with the dead battery, right to the battery. You always connect the last connection-the ground connection-to a good clean metal surface on the engine, not to the body because that can lead to its own set of problems. So, just make sure you’re connecting it to something that doesn’t move, and you’ve got a good connection.
Alright, you can also tell by looking at the module because the module has two warning lights on it. They’re both lit, then everything is good to go. If one of them isn’t, then you wiggle the cable ends around until you get a good connection. Both lights are lit-wait a couple of minutes, start the car with the dead battery and disconnect the cables. And no, you don’t have to worry about the surge, because this module has a built-in surge protector that protects both vehicles against that deadly voltage surge.
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