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Battery Booster Through Cigarette Lighter?

Anyone have any experience with this product?

http://www.blackanddecker.com/productguide/product-details.aspx?productid=16346&toolview=2#details

I saw it advertised on TV last night and it seems like a great idea. Apparently, if you leave your lights on and come back to a dead battery, you just plug this small unit into your cigarette lighter socket, wait 10 minutes for it to charge your battery, then simply start your car and off you go...

I am still getting used to the whole German electrical system. I seem to be constantly turning the car off and either leaving my turn signal on (activates parking lights, draining the battery), or leaving my headlights on (they go out which leads you to think you are OK, but of course this too activates the parking lights, draining the battery). I even found another good way to drain the battery earlier this week. I left my keys in the car (locked inside my garage, so no security issues), and even with no lights on or systems running, my battery was dead the following day.

This small and lightweight unit seems to be good insurance and does not require using the bulky clips and wires, opening the trunk, etc.

My only concern would be about charging the battery through the 12V outlet. Is there a chance that this "reverse charging" could harm the electrical system?

Anyone have experience or insight?
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Old 12-29-2006, 02:40 PM
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Charging the battery via the cigarette lighter is no different than connecting charger leads directly to the battery; it all ends up at the same source.

However, there is charging and there is charging. The wire conductor on most accessories is not designed to carry the current required to jump start a car with a dead battery (several hundred amps). Pushing this much current through a 14 gauge wire will result in a meltdown and fire. That's why battery cables are the size they are. However, for trickle charging using low current, 5-6 amps through the lighter shouldn't be a problem in a pinch although a direct connection is preferable and with fewer complications.

As for the quickie jump start gizmo, I haven't tried one but I suspect it might only help in borderline cases and probably not effective if the battery is discharged past a certain threshold. These devices should have a current sensing circuit to prevent meltinge wire harnesses if they know what's good for them.

And lastly, Porsche alternators are typically susceptible to internal damage (overheating) when forced to run the vehicle and recharge a dead battery. It's better to fully recharge the battery before asking the alternator to die a premature death.

Sherwood
Old 12-29-2006, 09:24 PM
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OE Porsche tricklecharger plugs into the lighter socket (also comes with battery clamps)
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Old 12-30-2006, 12:38 AM
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That gimmick seen of TV is just that, a GIMMICK designed to rob you of your money. The larger 12 volt re-chargeable battery packs work fairly well but may not contain enough voltage to start a car with a totally dead battery. I've found that the more you spend on a larger re-chargeable battery pack, the better it works. The units that sell for $30.00 aren't worth the investment.

As stated, there's no harm in current passing from the cigarette lighter to the battery.

My first inclination would be to test the battery and charging system. If you have a late car, some are notorious for parasitic battery drain.

The OE Porsche trickle is really needed if you own a late 996 or 997. Those chargers produces 1 to 1.5 amps of power.
Just enough to keep the battery charged during long spells of garage time.
My previous 996 sat in the garage most of the time and if I didn't keep it charged, parasitic draw caused the battery to die.

Schumacher trickle chargers (obtainable from Checker/Kragen/Schucks costs about $30.00 vs $140.00 from the dealer) Radio Shack sells a cigarette lighter adapter for around $5.00 and I added a plug to the end of the wires so I could plug on the cigarette lighter adapter or the alligator clips.
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Old 12-30-2006, 06:01 AM
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Old 12-30-2006, 06:01 AM
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