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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Left my SRT in ACC mode last night after listening to some tunes in the garage. Amp killed the battery overnight deader than a doornail even though the volume was turned to zero. Dork move on my part.

No problem I thought the next morning, as I hooked my spiffy new thin jumper cables between my Caravan and my Challenger (car was nose forward in the garage).

No joy. Thought something significant had broken on the car so I called Chrysler Car Care (no charge, 800-521-2779) to have the car trailered to the local dealership. Tow truck driver rolls up and before we load, he attaches two heavy duty jumper cables between his tow truck and my car, and the Challenger fires right up.

When I mentioned to the driver that I tried to jump it, the first question he asked was about the thickness of the cables I used. When I showed him the cables, he mentioned that thinner cables often don't carry the current necessary to turn over a dead car. I figured since he does this all day long that he's pretty clued in to this situation. Strongly suggested I get heavy duty cables, and that's exactly what I'll do tomorrow.

While the thinner ones coil much better, $20 more will get you a pair of cables more likely to get you back on the road.

I'm sure thinner ones have worked many times for lots of folks, but what the tow truck driver said made sense; many (many) years ago when I was a welder, we always used the heaviest cables we could buy.

Hope this helps you out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yep- slow charged it, then took it over to the dealership who did a battery load test. All good.
 

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Keep in mind that when you go to buy those new cables, wire gauge is like golf scores - lower is better. A 6 gauge cable is thicker and carries more current than a 10 gauge cable (I've seen jumper cables as thick as 2 gauge). Keep in mind that some cables that appear thick are actually thin wires with thick insulation, so look for the wire gauge. Also, short cables carry more current than long ones, assuming they are the same wire gauge.

I've read that lately, some imported wire does not have the copper content that it should. This is affecting some jumper cables as they are weaving aluminum in with the stranded copper to claim a bigger wire size. Beware. Aluminum does not conduct as well as copper, can corrode, and can crack when flexed a lot.

If you search for jumper cables on Amazon and read the reviews, you can learn a lot about different brands.

Bill
 

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Number of strands also matters. You want a cable with ad many strands as possible with good crimps or soldered connections at the ends. I like to carry a 20ft set of 4ga.

A really good set is about $30 so why would anyone scrimp on these?
 

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yup! the small gauge (BIG WIRE) will cost A LOT more. but they will also work. mine are either 2 or 4 gauge. I learned that lesson a loooooong time ago. the longer the cable, the bigger the wire needs to be

friends dont let friends use cheap jumper cables.
 

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welding wire with clamps works great.. I used them jumping tractors off.. But yes 8 gauge wire works great..
 

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Welding wire is typically 6 gauge with numerous strands so it remains flexible.

I went to heavy duty cables more than 30 years ago and still have them to this day (used many, many times). The reason I bought them is one winter morning back in ancient times I needed to run the motorcycle and I couldn't get it to kick over.

I thought I'd jump it with the car. Sounds simple enough, but I didn't have jumper cables. I did have some 14 gauge romex (wire used in houses for a 15 amp circuit) so I thought I'd try that. :7: . :lol:

You can guess what happened; the wire smoked, got red hot, stretched & sagged, and just barely stayed together long enough to crank that big old V-Twin over. :8:

And that wasn't nearly the current draw from a cars' starter. So I purchased the best cables I could after that and never needed to by another set. Think bigger gauge = better cables!
 

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Seems ridiculous the small cable can't turn over the car, unless the cables have heated so badly the insulation has burned off!

I have a set of jumper cables that are useless, because the clamp ends are rusty and there is no good contact you can make... sure it isn't something like that?
 

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if you would of left the thin cables hooked for about 5 minutes, maybe 10,they would have worked fine. ya gotta give it a few to charge...i once jump started a dead sandrail with speaker wire :smokin:
 

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if you would of left the thin cables hooked for about 5 minutes, maybe 10,they would have worked fine. ya gotta give it a few to charge...i once jump started a dead sandrail with speaker wire :smokin:
That's another thing... usually when I jumpstart a car, I start the good car, hook the cables, then run the good car maybe around 2000 RPM for about a minute before even trying the dead one. Got to give it some time to charge the bat tree.
 

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Argh, that reminds me... I cleaned out my Civic top to bottom and triple checked everything before I traded it. EXCEPT of course my jumper cables in the spare tire well! Well, guess I better get some more. :(
 
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