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Old 08-18-2022, 01:16 AM   #1
RMcG
 
Drives: 2008 Yaris Hatchback
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Advice needed for buying a jump starter

I would like advice about the type of jump starter to buy to carry in my Yaris in case of a dead/rundown battery.

QUESTIONS:

1) Do Lithium battery jump starters carried in a car withstand high heat exposure (e.g., 120 to 160 Fahrenheit/49 to 71 C) that can occur inside a car during very hot summer weather, such as is seen in some parts of the U.S?

2) Do Lithium battery jump starters withstand such high heat exposure better than the older sealed lead acid battery jumpers?

I am thinking of buying a Lithium battery jump starter to be carried in the car during the summer and a sealed lead acid battery jumper for the winter.

3) Do you think Lithium Polymer jumpers are safer than Lithium Ion jumpers?

Any other comments will be welcomed.

Thanks,

R.

More background if interested

I am starting a new job back in Montana and will need my car to be working reliably. Unfortunately my headlight on reminder alarm just failed (after working well for 14 years). I have become used to it reminding me to turn off my headlights, so I am concerned that I will forget at times and let my battery run down.

A reputable independent repair shop I use told me that only a dealer can fix the broken alarm problem. And estimates from two local Toyota dealers indicates a bill of about $200 just to diagnose the problem, with another $200-$400 likely to fix the problem after diagnosis.

It seems that a good economical solution is to carry a jump starter with me. But in researching jump starters, it is clear that the newer lithium battery jump starters do not work in cold weather; see, for example, this thread Lithium Ion Battery Jump Starters started by tmontague from Canada. The temperatures in Montana are extreme: well below zero F (-18 C) in the winter and above 100 F (38 C) in the summer. The temperature inside a car that is carrying a jumper during the summer in 100 F (38 C) weather can reach 160 F (71 C).

The older (heavier & bulkier) sealed lead acid jumpers work better in cold weather. But in reading about sealed lead acid batteries & jumpers, it sounds like they get degraded if exposed to extremely high temperatures. On the other hand, lithium batteries & jumpers seem to handle high temperatures better than sealed lead acid batteries & jumpers. But I would like to confirm this, and see what the experience and thinking of others on this forum is.

Last edited by RMcG; 08-18-2022 at 02:03 PM. Reason: To add the question about the safety of Lithium Ion vs Lithium Polymer jumpers
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Old 08-18-2022, 03:03 AM   #2
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You seem to know more about jump starters then I ever will. Why are you asking such a question probably does not bear scrutiny.
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Old 08-18-2022, 02:08 PM   #3
RMcG
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bronsin View Post
You seem to know more about jump starters then I ever will. Why are you asking such a question probably does not bear scrutiny.
Thanks Bronsin,

I am interested in peoples' forum experiences & knowledge. For example, I did not know that Lithium based jumpers perform poorly in cold weather (and sealed lead acid jumpers do better in cold weather) until I read tmontague's forum thread & post (Lithium Ion Battery Jump Starters) I referred to in my original post. I am interested in getting that kind of forum feedback and any other knowledgeable feedback people on the forum have before I buy a jumper.

I think that Lithium based jumpers may withstand high heat exposure better than sealed acid jumpers, but I'm not really sure.

So again, I am interested in getting that kind of forum feedback and any other knowledgeable feedback people on the forum have before I buy a jumper.

Thanks,

R.
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Old 08-18-2022, 05:47 PM   #4
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Good luck. I have AAA, but I’m old.
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Old 08-18-2022, 07:07 PM   #5
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Maybe check out the Rescue Mate jump starter. This is a capacitor based starter that chages off the residual power in your "flat" car battery, and claims to be safer to carry in the vehicle.

See https://www.rescue-mate.com/ for details.

This appears to be an Australian product, but several different suppliers are listed in USA.
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Old 08-19-2022, 12:11 AM   #6
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I would not go to the jumpstarter solution in your specific case.

As you wrote, you want your car to work reliably. The malfunctioning headlight alarm can be just the tip of the iceberg, something more serious might be going on. One day your car may refuse to start completely, even with topped up battery.

Having the diagnosis done is something I would consider to start with. It surely is a lot of money but the diagnosis may reveal that the problem is only some worn-out switch or something that you can easily replace yourself.

Btw my Yaris has no alarm at all but it still beeps when I open the door with the engine off and headlights on. Are you sure that the alarm is the culprit here?

I completely understand you, I also like/need to have my car always ready for me. That's why I am always having a set of quality jumpstart cables with me in the car. You can always find a helpful driver around in a minute and ask for five minutes of their time. And unlike jumpstart boxes - the cables are maintenance-free.

A new quality battery costs around 50 USD here which is something I am willing to pay once every three years as a part of preventive maintenance.
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Old 08-19-2022, 03:13 AM   #7
RMcG
 
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Thanks to everybody for your input. It is food for thought. I belong to AAA (American Automobile Association) too, but at this new job I can't afford to wait for 15 minutes, let alone more for AAA to come and give me a jump. And people willing to give a jump are not always available.

I used to drive a Honda Civic 20 years ago that did not have a "headlight on reminder" chime/alarm. And I learned from experience that it is easy to forget your headlights are on when you do not have reminder alarm. In fact I forgot enough times and called AAA enough times for a jump that they sent me a caution letter (suggesting I was using the service too much and might have to pay in the future). My solution back then was to buy a jump starter. It was heavy and no doubt a sealed lead acid jumper. I had forgotten I bought that jumper until I started dealing with this present problem

Here are examples of how you can forget to turn off your headlights when you don't have a reminder alarm: you drive to work just before sun rise with your headlights on, by the time you get to work the sun is up, but you forgot your headlights are on and you leave them on all day. Another scenario: you're out driving during the day and a storm kicks up that really darkens your surroundings. So you turn your headlights on. But the storm lets up by the time you get to your destination and the sky is clear, but your forgot to turn off your headlights.

More later, it's pretty late here. Thanks again to everybody for your input.


R.

Last edited by RMcG; 08-19-2022 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 08-19-2022, 01:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinj93 View Post
Maybe check out the Rescue Mate jump starter. This is a capacitor based starter that chages off the residual power in your "flat" car battery, and claims to be safer to carry in the vehicle.

See https://www.rescue-mate.com/ for details.

This appears to be an Australian product, but several different suppliers are listed in USA.
This is a good thought Kevin. But the rescue-mate on Amazon is very expensive ($200+ USD).

There is another new technology, Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) Battery Jump Starters almost $500 on Amazon . LiFePO4 batteries and technology are supposed to be much more resistant to heat than Li Ion and other Lithium batteries and technology, but, as I say above, it is much more expensive right now.

Regarding using jumper cables and a friendly passer by to get a jump komichal, I have done this many times. But it depends on how densely populated the area where you are driving is. If it is sparsely populated there may not be anybody around to give you a jump for a long time. But, I will continue to carry jumper cables as a backup even when I buy a portable jumper.

Any more comments from anybody else will be welcomed.

Thanks,

R.

Last edited by RMcG; 08-19-2022 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 08-21-2022, 02:51 PM   #9
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my solution would be a totaly different direction

run a smaller secondary battery with an isolation unit, idealy maybe a drag racing battery like one of the 3 cell optima, mounted in the trunk with HEAVY guage battery relocation wiring

this then allows your to jump, charge and maintain BOTH batterys and everything works with nothing more than the flip of a switch for the isolation relay, nothing to carry nothing to use jumpers on(which are a crap connection anyway)...heck you could even use a wheelchair AGM the trick is you just need something with an "ok" amount of CCA
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Old 08-21-2022, 05:51 PM   #10
RMcG
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sh0rtlife View Post
my solution would be a totaly different direction

run a smaller secondary battery with an isolation unit, idealy maybe a drag racing battery like one of the 3 cell optima, mounted in the trunk with HEAVY guage battery relocation wiring

this then allows your to jump, charge and maintain BOTH batterys and everything works with nothing more than the flip of a switch for the isolation relay, nothing to carry nothing to use jumpers on(which are a crap connection anyway)...heck you could even use a wheelchair AGM the trick is you just need something with an "ok" amount of CCA
That's an interesting and clever approach sh0rtlife. In fact, I decided to do something like what you are saying. I ordered the Schumacher SJ1329, which is the smallest sealed lead acid AGM jump starter I could find. I decided that Lithium based jumpers are too potentially dangerous (fire/explosion) to be kept in a car that is hot. Such an explosion & fire may be rare, but I don't want to take the chance.

I think that SJ1329 may be small enough to keep with the spare tire in my hatchback, which is the closest thing I have to a trunk. This is pretty close to what you are suggesting, except for the jumper contacts, which as you say may not conduct that well. On the other hand, in thinking about it, I guess there would be some increased resistance from the long cables in your solution, but I'm not sure it would be significant. The jumper also requires manual charging, which is another inconvenience and difference compared to what you are suggesting.

I'm hoping to keep the spare tire area cooler in the summer by attaching a strip of reflectix to the underside of the spare tire compartment cover using velcro. I can then remove the reflectix in the Winter. And I may also add some old plastic bottles filled with water and put them in the spare tire area to moderate the temperature extremes; that is, try to keep the temperatures closer to an "average."

I will let everybody know how well the SJ1329 fits in the spare tire compartment of my hatchback.

Thanks to everybody for their input.

R.

Last edited by RMcG; 08-21-2022 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 08-22-2022, 04:22 PM   #11
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whenever i do battery relocation i get HUGE "welding wire" for the leads as its the lowest resistance and cheepest cost

ive seen first hand what lith can do when it fails...and cant convince myself to run em in my bikes even...catastrophic failures happen..the more they are used the more the chances go up..my rc'cars atleats can be caught and put out fast
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Old 08-25-2022, 12:19 AM   #12
RMcG
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sh0rtlife View Post
whenever i do battery relocation i get HUGE "welding wire" for the leads as its the lowest resistance and cheepest cost

ive seen first hand what lith can do when it fails...and cant convince myself to run em in my bikes even...catastrophic failures happen..the more they are used the more the chances go up..my rc'cars atleats can be caught and put out fast
Thanks for your very interesting advice, I will keep it in mind. I received the Schumacher SJ1329 today. It easy fits inside the spare tire, even with a couple of old used Amazon bubble wrap envelopes wrapped around it.

As I said in my previous post, I think I'll also put an artificial ice/heat packet inside the envelopes and wrap it all in aluminum foil to moderate the temperature. "Ideally" it should be stored at 70 degrees F (21 C), very difficult in a car. But it is rated to 265 degrees F (130 C)-- explosion could occur over 265 degrees F (130 C), but the temperature inside of a car will not get that high just from being in the sun. And the temperature in the spare tire compartment will be even lower than in the car. And as I said in the previous post, I am going to attach a strip of reflectix to the bottom surface of the spare tire compartment cover to keep the spare tire compartment even cooler in the summer.

The SJ 1329 jumper can be charged while driving using a male to male 12 volt charger cable. But, according to the instructions, you're not supposed to charge it for more than 30 minutes or leave unattended when using the 12 volt charger cable -- it could explode. And it looks like it can be charged while driving using an inverter (I have a small 75 watt inverter) and an extension cord without the 30 minute limit and caution, since it can be recharged from a 120 volt wall outlet. It is supposed to be recharged once a month or after each use as a jumper (or other use -- it has a 12 volt outlet and an LED light).

Thanks again,

R.

Last edited by RMcG; 08-25-2022 at 12:29 AM.
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