Back in 2014-2017 or so I had three lithium-battery micro-starters-- an Antigravity XP1 and two Whistler Jump-N-Go units. My brother also had two Jump-N-Go units. Within three years of purchase, all of them were unusable and the batteries in all of them had expanded and broken through their cases. (if anyone wants more detail, see Micro-Start / Jump & Go Experiences and Yikes! My micro-starter batteries broke out of their cases)
At the time I concluded I'd have to consider them consumables... and only good for about 2-3 years. I decided I'd only buy another if I'd soon be going somewhere very remote. Otherwise, I'd just depend on jumper cables.
In 2017 I saw this Scotty Kilmer video about the Autowit SuperCapacitor jump starter and bought one in late 2018. The main thing that attracted me to it was that it didn't use a battery and reportedly had at least a 10-year lifespan. I also liked the claim that it can endure extreme temperatures.
I finally had a chance to use it four years and ten months later. We had pulled into a rest area near Banff this past September and I saw a car with the hood up-- an SUV with a young family. Dad was staring forlornly into the engine bay.
When I said I had the SuperCap and would love to try it, he was all for it. Voltage started at a little over eight volts and climbed to 18 before the OK LED turned green.
I think we made a mistake at that point. You're supposed to turn on the key and wait for the gauges to settle before cranking. But I hadn't told the guy that and he cranked immediately. There was a brief pause before the engine turned over. I don't know if the guy had the key turned the whole time or if he had turned if off and back on.
In any case, it then turned over quite strongly and started easily. But that was on a relatively small engine.
So that's why I'm curious about the experiences others may have had with SuperCap jump starters. How did it go? What engine did you try it with? What voltage readings did you see? Did the engine just barely turn over or did it turn over strongly (or did it fail to turn the engine at all?)? Did it work with an engine that required a good bit of cranking to start?
1. Please note that Scotty's video doesn't recommend the Autowit for diesels even though the Amazon listing for them says they work with smaller diesels. As he explains, diesels have glow plugs which draw quite a lot of current and that drains the Autowit too much to have enough left to turn over the engine (in his experience).
Edited by Old Crow, 30 January 2024 - 12:53 AM.