While searching for the DeWalt-compatible Keurig coffee maker I bought last month, I ran across this bad boy – a DeWalt Car Jump Starter. It also includes a digital compressor, work light, and USB ports that would keep my phone charged for a week. My battery was getting a bit old, and I really don’t like getting stuck – being in a helpless state, depending on others. I do have AAA, but it’s “always” good to have a Plan B, or Plan A in this case.
I couldn’t justify the $149 though, so I put it on hold. I earn a bunch of points with my BP Credit Card, and when I checked I discovered I was eligible for $125 in Amazon Gift Cards. Sold. I ordered the Jump Starter on September 18th, and it arrived on September 19th. The instructions suggested it be charged for 40 hours out of the box to properly condition the battery. At 8:00 a.m. this morning, September 21st, it had been on charge for 38 hours – close enough. I brought it down to the car as I was leaving for the office, tucking it into its new home behind the back seat.
I put my key in the ignition and when I turned it, I got that agonizing sound – something like a bunch of bees off in the distance. Brrrrrrrrr. I had instrument lights, but not enough juice to turn over the engine. As I read the instructions for this new toy “before” it arrived, I knew what to do. I popped the hood, connected the cables, turned the switch and my tiny four-cylinder engine turned right over. They say you need to recharge it after each use, but with my little engine, I’m sure I can get a few starts. At least that’s what other Amazon reviewers have reported.
Fortunately, Interstate Battery is in our commercial office complex, about a football field away from our back door. I drove straight there and sure enough, the battery was bad. It was a 39-month battery and I was at about 45 months. Oh well. More Irony. I was at my Chevrolet dealer yesterday to get an oil change and tire rotation. This morning’s event was not unexpected. Let me explain. Four years ago I had my car serviced at the same dealer – where I purchased my Trax in 2016. They pulled it out of the service area and parked it in the tunnel between the service bays and the showroom. I noticed the headlights were on. They put the headlight switch in manually to check lights as part of their 99-point check. It took another 15 minutes to process the paperwork before I got out of the car. When I tried to start it, the battery was dead. They had to come out with one of these Jump Starters to get the car started (that’s the first time I saw one of these toys), so they could drive it back into the service bay to sell me a “new” 39-month battery. Oh well. The original battery had already surpassed its life. I guess all of this was just a coincidence. Right.
This is a good tool to have in the back of your car. Especially helpful for those college kids far away from home. The DeWalt uses a dry-cell battery, so it needs to be topped off about once a month to ensure it will always be ready. Other manufacturers make lithium models that hold their charge much longer, though they don’t include all the features on the DeWalt. The air compressor works off the device battery, so you don’t need to plug it into power to inflate anything. The USB ports are good for camping, the beach… or hurricanes. Now that I have a new battery, I probably won’t need to use it for a while unless I encounter some electrical malfunction. Though, it will come in handy for helping out a friend. I don’t like asking for help, but I’m always the first in line to offer it. Plan to invest $125 to $150. It makes a great gift.