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May 24, 2010

Happy to Introduce: Smart Jumper Cables!

Car_battery_artistic2_flickr.com_photos_joshuarothhaas_3099635231 Today's cars are very complex. If the battery of your car dies - you want to be very careful that you do the right thing! Here are four different ways you can charge the battery to get your car rolling down the road again.
1.    Slowly charge the battery by using a battery charger.
2.    Use a booster pack to jump the battery.
3.    Call an expert mobile service to jump the battery.
4.    If you must use jumper cables then I highly suggest you invest in MICHELIN'S Smart Jumper Cables(TM).

Ap-smart-jumper-cables If you hook up ordinary jumper cables incorrectly it can result in sparking or shorting which could seriously hurt you. This could also produce a power surge that would kill your car's expensive electrical system. I like to call modern cars  "Computers on Wheels." And we all know that computers hate power surges. This is why I recommend  MICHELIN'S new Smart Jumper Cables (TM).  These idiot-proof jumper cables eliminate the guesswork of how to hook them up the right way. 
  • *    They cost only $40.00 at auto supply retailers.
  • *    The cable clamps can attach to either the positive or negative connections. How cool is that!
  • *    They have an LED indicator that lights up to tell you that the cables are hooked up correctly and you're ready to turn on the cars to jump the battery.
  • *    The textured grips make them easy to handle, especially in cold weather.
  • *    The heavy-duty cable with insulated clamps stays flexible, tangle free, even in the winter's cold.

Why does a battery die?
  • *    You left something on or connected in the car that drained all the energy from your battery.
  • *    The vehicle has a bad alternator.
  • *    The serpentine belt is bad.
  • *    The battery is old. They only last about 3-5 years.
  • *    You have a defective battery and need to return it for a good one.
  • *    You leave the car idling all the time or you drive the car in short trips not allowing the battery to recharge - so you wore out the battery before its time.
  • *    Your battery is not strong enough for all the add-ons like monster stereo systems etc. that you have had installed.
  • *    The battery has dirty connector/terminals.
  • *    The vehicle has a bad computer.
  • *    The battery was damaged in an accident.

Getting Prepared to Use Jumper Cables!
First off - read your owner's manual! It will give you information you need, like - where the battery is located. Some vehicles have the battery under the hood, some behind the cab, under the seat or even in the trunk. ALSO, find out if there is an antitheft system. Some alarms will activate whenever the battery is low or disconnected. That would be very annoying!

VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure that both the dead battery and the rescue battery have the "same" voltage. Car batteries are usually 12 volts. Trucks may operate on a 24-volt system. Do not attach 12V to 24V.

DANGER!  Never jump a battery that is frozen or has insufficient battery acid in it.
  • *    Wear eye protection. Wear Gloves.
  • *    Make sure both cars are close enough for cables to reach BUT the cars are NOT touching.
  • *    Set an auto transmission vehicle in "Park" position. Set a manual (five-speed) transmission in "neutral." Set the emergency brake on both cars.
Turn off the headlights, wipers, radios, and all accessories on both cars.
Unplug anything that is connected to the cigarette lighter.
  • *    Leave on the emergency flashers if needed.
  • *    Turn off both cars' engines
  • *    Open the hood of each of the cars and secure them.

Jumping the Battery using MICHELIN Smart Cables:
  • *    Connect one set of clamps to the assisting vehicle's battery.   Put one clamp to each battery  terminal - polarity doesn't matter
  • *    Then go to the disabled vehicle: Connect the first clamp to the Positive Battery Terminal (red). The other clamp is attached to some metal on the dead vehicle's engine block or frame. Painted, oily, or rusted metal will not work. Nuts, bolts, or other protruding shiny metal is best.
  • *    Both green indicator lights should be lit on the MICHELIN Smart Cable's Center Module. If not - re-adjust the clamps until they do. If the green LED lights still do not glow after you have firmly connected the clamps, then your battery  is damaged, completely drained, or has less than the 6 residual volts required for boosting. Don't try to jump this battery - you could damage your car or the  assisting vehicle. Time to call the tow truck!
  • *    Start the assisting vehicle and let it idle at least 1 minute.
  • *    Then start the disabled car's engine. Chances are that if there aren't any other problems, the car will start easily.
  • *    Once the disabled vehicle is running, disconnect the clamp attached to the engine block, then disconnect the remaining clamps in any order.

NOTE: If the vehicle does not start after cranking for 30 seconds - STOP! Call a tow truck!

Once you get your car running, drive it somewhere safe and secure before shutting off the engine. You will want to get the battery tested to see its condition, starting and charging voltage.

Amy-Mattinat-with-a-tool Safe and Happy Motoring,
Amy Mattinat
Automotive Expert Advisor on
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Amy Mattinat is delighted to be a female friendly expert advisor on the board of, helping us to provide excellent car care tips and advice for women. Encouraged to "spread the word," Amy writes a monthly newsletter at, and has written both newspaper and magazine columns on automotive repairs, maintenance, car care, and safety. After selling used cars for six years, she has also written an easy-to-use manual, "How To Buy A Great Used Car," available at She believes that everyone deserves to purchase a quality car no matter what their budget is. They just need to do their "homework!" She is a board member on the education committee for the Women's Car Care Council, belongs to WAAI (Women's Automotive Association International), and AWARE (Advancing Women in Automotive Retail Enterprises).

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