Automotive

Portable Car Jump Starter Master Thread

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  • Feb 4th, 2022 5:08 pm
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May 11, 2009
7660 posts
4363 upvotes
Debtario
I got this winplus booster for $25 locally: https://www.costco.com/type-s-lithium-j ... 55412.html

Can't comment on the jump feature as I've yet to need it (knock on wood), but it works very well as a power bank.
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 25, 2006
3678 posts
990 upvotes
@ES_Revenge great info my man, as always. I actually took the Gooloo unit from the original post and tested it on a friend's vehicle that was in storage for 5 years. Battery is so toast the a normal car battery charger says the battery is no longer good. Used the "Booster" function and got the car started in 2 cranks. I was very surprised actually.

Did some testing today as I finally drove the car to do a quick errand. Turns out, short trips do not allow the alternator to fully recharge the car battery. Came home after starting and turn off the ignition for the errand. Threw on a dedicated car charger and the car battery needed a 15-20 top up already. Mind you, the car has not been driven in a week or so. Did more testing, left the battery charger (not the Gooloo unit) and started the car. Checked alternator using said charger and it reported alternator was in good condition. Here is what I learned:

1. Fully charged, the battery shows 14.7 volts.
2. Immediately after starting the vehicle, voltage dropped to 13.6 or so.
3. Immediately after starting the vehicle, I assumed the car battery was used enough that it required another 5 minutes to get back to full charge again (by the car charger, not driving). This makes sense I guess as starting a car takes a toll on the battery itself.
4. Driving for 10 min each way for the errand was not enough to fully re-charge the battery.

I see so many neighbours parking their cars and not charging them. My car starts without charging for a week or 2 but the the charger definitely shows the battery needs charging. I wonder how many people's batteries are dying a slow death during this pandemic time. Or it may be my year and model of vehicle that leaks battery like crazy when parked. I know my friend's car is even worst than mine at losing battery capacity if not driven.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
33251 posts
15131 upvotes
bowmah wrote: Did some testing today as I finally drove the car to do a quick errand. Turns out, short trips do not allow the alternator to fully recharge the car battery. Came home after starting and turn off the ignition for the errand. Threw on a dedicated car charger and the car battery needed a 15-20 top up already. Mind you, the car has not been driven in a week or so. Did more testing, left the battery charger (not the Gooloo unit) and started the car. Checked alternator using said charger and it reported alternator was in good condition.
If you're seeing 13.8-14.5V or so when the car is idling, the alternator should be fine. When the alternator is cold it will be in the upper range, once it warms up it typically will drop to the 13.8 range at idle. The battery may still be toast though. You will need to load test it to see how it is.
bowmah wrote: Here is what I learned:

1. Fully charged, the battery shows 14.7 volts.
This is really not the resting voltage it's the float voltage. You need to remove the float by applying a load for a short time--like turning the headlights on a minute or two. After that you'd need to do the load test.
bowmah wrote: 2. Immediately after starting the vehicle, voltage dropped to 13.6 or so.
Sounds about right but at that point the alternator is already starting to provide power so it's not really a measure of anything. With the float removed the battery will actually be in the 12.x range.
bowmah wrote: 3. Immediately after starting the vehicle, I assumed the car battery was used enough that it required another 5 minutes to get back to full charge again (by the car charger, not driving). This makes sense I guess as starting a car takes a toll on the battery itself.
4. Driving for 10 min each way for the errand was not enough to fully re-charge the battery.
Correct.
bowmah wrote: I see so many neighbours parking their cars and not charging them.
Yeah because they don't know science I guess, lol. Same ppl are the ones going around with masks and gloves everywhere :rolleyes: but that's another story. But then if they're using their car for shopping, etc. they're at least using the car. Still their SOC is likely gonna be low if they are just going 5-10 minutes down the road and parking the car, then returning home. Especially true if they do stupid things like blast the blower motor, turn on seat heaters, etc. My usual days are like that because I work less than 10min from home (and yeah no I don't do things like use the seat heaters, etc. because I know it's going to be hard on the battery). Usually, on the weekends, I at least put the charger on. My car is garaged as well so it's easy to connect a charger.
bowmah wrote: My car starts without charging for a week or 2 but the the charger definitely shows the battery needs charging. I wonder how many people's batteries are dying a slow death during this pandemic time.
Yeah cars will start fine for the most part; already weak batteries will start to show now though which is kind of good because they can be replaced. But lead-acid doesn't like to be discharged so lower SOC is not good and more sulfation will occur.
bowmah wrote: Or it may be my year and model of vehicle that leaks battery like crazy when parked. I know my friend's car is even worst than mine at losing battery capacity if not driven.
Some cars may actually have aftermarket electronics or malfunctioning electronics which are drawing too much power when the car is off. A parasitic load test should be done on these but Occam's Razor also applies. If the battery is going dead quickly and not starting the car or is weak at starting, and the battery is like 5+ years old? Well it's probably the battery and not any parasitic gremlins.

Best thing to do if the car is parked a long time is disconnect the [negative] battery terminal. This way parasitic draws, even normal ones (there's always some small amount of draw), won't pull down the battery and cause more wear or cause the battery to die and require a boost, after storage. If the temperature is below 0C outside, it's especially important because once the battery freezes it's typically game over. (A discharged battery freezes just a little below freezing, a fully charged one can go down to -40C fine.) Either that or a float/maintainter charger can be used.

The one problem with disconnecting the battery is, with modern cars it creates a problem unless your car is locked in a garage. Older cars you can just disconnect the battery, lock the doors manually and then you're good (open car later with the key). But on newer cars sometimes this is a problem. A lot of cars don't have any interior plunger or slide to lock the doors. So you'd have to lock the doors electrically and then disconnect the battery. But there can be problems with this as you will see below.

A funny story... One time I was working on my car out on the driveway, and had the battery removed--I had removed all the air intake ductwork, front bumper, and various other parts, so it wasn't going to be moveable until it was put back together. I realised I needed to go to the store to get something (obv. in a different car) and so decided to just briefly reconnect the battery, lock the doors, and then I could go out to get what I needed. Well guess what? Car has a hidden backup somewhere (I dunno if it's capacitance or battery or what) but the [factory] alarm proceeded to go off once I disconnected the battery with the doors locked LOL :lol: I didn't have the battery tray installed either, which is why I couldn't leave it connected as there was no place for the battery to sit.

There are some ways around the above type of thing, but they can be tricky. For the typical person they only have the option of disconnecting the battery and leaving the doors unlocked; or, connecting a charger instead. For me, on that particular day, I just left it unlocked since I was only gonna be gone an hour or less anyway. Anyway I believe most of this stuff re battery health should be covered in the battery thread anyway.
Sr. Member
Jan 13, 2007
624 posts
554 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
Perfect timing for this thread.

Just wanted to say that due to COVID-19 physical distancing resulting from me working from home since mid-March, I've stopped driving almost completely, resulting in a dead battery.

Thankfully it was parked in my garage and I had an old-school plug-in battery charger but I am now considering a newer, more modern portable version for true emergency situations.

Subscribed to thread.
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Jul 3, 2002
3555 posts
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GTA
Thanks to this thread and to ES_Revenge, I got the Gooloo GP1500 today, $110 - $25 coupon = $85, figure it is a decent deal
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 25, 2006
3678 posts
990 upvotes
flaming homer wrote: Thanks to this thread and to ES_Revenge, I got the Gooloo GP1500 today, $110 - $25 coupon = $85, figure it is a decent deal
That is indeed a great deal. Now you just have to find a dead-battery car to jump!
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Mar 25, 2003
16850 posts
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Markham
M1K3Z0R wrote: I got this winplus booster for $25 locally: https://www.costco.com/type-s-lithium-j ... 55412.html

Can't comment on the jump feature as I've yet to need it (knock on wood), but it works very well as a power bank.
You can easily test it if you wanted to
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Member
Jun 11, 2014
290 posts
426 upvotes
Edmonton
I've got the GP2000 from last year ($87.99 with a Black Friday amazon coupon): https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B06X9R8QSY/

Worked great the two times I used it in winter, but when I tried to use it to start a friend's car yesterday, the charge was zero, and it's taking forever to charge up.
Might try and get in touch with Gooloo support, since it's past the return period, but hopefully I can get it working again.
Sr. Member
Apr 23, 2008
633 posts
86 upvotes
Toronto
Purchased 'Boostmi Splash' from a Costco store at a discount for $100. This is good for marine vehicles as well but I need one for a car only.
Please advise if this is a better product compared to other products mentioned in this thread? I'd prefer one that has a car battery charger feature as well. Thanks in advance!

https://www.costco.ca/boostmi-splash-po ... 24916.html

Product Details

The Boostmi Splash is the most versatile Boostmi portable jump starter available. The Boostmi Splash covers a wide range of vehicles and electronic devices. The perfect companion for all your outings and excursions on land or on water. The Splash 18000 mAh battery packs a punch when boosting with a peak current of 700A. On a full charge, the Splash can boost up to 30 times. It can recharge mobile devices up to 8 times, hold its charge for 6 months and the carrying case stores in the glovebox or storage compartment of your marine vehicle.

Features:

IP65-rated making it resistant against water, dirt and dust
Jump starter and personal power supply
Lithium ion battery: 18000 mAh
Safe lithium ion protection
700 peak amps
1 USB 5 V plug-in for charging of all USB devices
1 x 12 V / 19 V / 12 V output
100-Lumens built in flashlight

Includes:

1 lithium ion jump starter and battery back-up
1 battery jumper cables
1 USB cable adapter: Mini USB, Micro USB, Apple 30-pin and Apple Lightening
1 x 12 V DC port adapter
1 x 120 V AC wall adapter
Car charger
1 carrying case
Owner’s manual

Specifications:

Dimensions (L x W x H): 21 cm x 9.6 cm x 3.3 cm (8.3 in. x 3.8 in. x 1.3 in.)
Weight: 0.7 kg (1.5 lb.)
Sr. Member
Mar 6, 2010
820 posts
333 upvotes
Brampton
Don't you have to keep these boosters charged up all the time?
One needs such boosters once in 3-4 years, is it really worth having a booster charged all these years
Sr. Member
Mar 6, 2010
820 posts
333 upvotes
Brampton
luking wrote: Don't you have to keep these boosters charged up all the time?
well, anyone?
Deal Addict
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Sep 30, 2007
2583 posts
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Toronto
Old school jumper cables have thickness between 2 and 4 GA.
Decent cables rated for 800A, and will cost you $100 and up.
However, now you can buy Upgraded Car Jump Starter, GOOLOO 800A Peak 18000mAh (Up to 7.0L Gas or 5.5L Diesel Engine) Portable Auto Battery Booster Power Pack Phone Charger with Quick Charge 3.0, Built-in LED Light, jumper cables included, for C$90!
10 GA wiring inside one of these magic devices.

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Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2008
1194 posts
619 upvotes
Vancouver
Add me to the list of ppl with a dead car due to Covid.

Is this NOCO GB40 worth the premium over the Gooloo GP1500?

My use case is that my cars generally just die due to lack of use in a condo parkade. So temps don't really matter and Vancouver is mild anyways. I'd still probably store it in the car.

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