When it comes to cars, one thing is inevitable. Sooner or later you’re going to have a dead battery. And that means you need a way to get the car started. Well way back when we used to use booster cables. But, they’re not obsolete and very dangerous. Well booster cables were replaced by battey packs like this.

This does a great job but it’s big, it’s bulky, it’s heavy and not practical to carry in the car. Now there’s some new technology. And our battery expert, George Kurkowski is here to tell us about it. George what have you got?

George Kurkowski: Well everybody is now familiar with lithium ion technology in cars, and consumer electronic devices. Lithium ion has now entered the space of portable jump packs. You can see and compare this to old blue over there. Much lighter, similar capacity in terms of amps, has battery cables, has your traditional consumer electric devices. Inputs for your digital readout in terms of your USB ports, DC charger, a household current charger to keep this thing up to speed. But as a first generation piece you have to look at it from an ergonomic perspective also.

Look at the size of these cables and the length of these cables. You and I know how difficult is it to attach these cables in our engine compartment. Look at the slickness of this device. Sometimes it’s difficult to put something like this into an engine compartment and keep it level without sliding off.

So there are a couple challenges right there from generation one. That may be good, but what we’re looking at now is generation two, which first off the bat, look at the large over-mold grips. It certainly will not slide around. It’s comfortable in the hand, has the same light check, same USB ports. DC current, household current to keep this thing up to speed. But notice how long these booster cables are. In an engine compartment where it’s difficult to attach as I said earlier, these come in handy in terms of flexibility and variety and versatility. I’m going to step over here where I’ve incorrectly attached the same battery jump pack starter and watch what happens when I put the cables in an incorrect position.

It chimes. And there’s a warning light that tells me ‘Warning. Clamps reversed.’ It tells me exactly what to do.

Pat Goss: So you can’t do it wrong.

George Kurkowski: You can’t do it wrong. After I position the cables back on to the battery and on the negative ground, It will also tell me voltage and give me a current state of voltage for that battery.

Pat Goss: Alright now that would be a good diagnostic tool because if it’s like 7.2 or below the battery isn’t going to respond.

George Kurkowski: exactly.

Pat goss: And also if it’s 13 or there abouts then battery is not your issue.

George Kurkowski: It’s not the battery.

Pat Goss: Ok, so good diagnostic tool. Is it affordable?

George Kurkowski: It’s about the price range of $100 or more.

Pat Goss: Alright well one road service trip is going to cost that much in most areas of the country.

George Kurkowski: Definitely.

Pat Goss: So I would certainly like to have one in my car.

George Kurkowski: You’re welcome.

Pat Goss: George, Thank you. And if you have a question or a comment, drop me a line right here at MotorWeek.