Better Car-Battery Boosters

Few things are more annoying than getting into your car and it won't start. Consumer Reports tested mini jump-starters to see if they've got the juice to get you back on the road.

Consumer Reports tested four. The small, portable jump-starting devices range in price from $20-$50.

The devices are designed for cars that aren't completely dead. They plug right into your car's power outlet.

You wait five to ten minutes, and your car's supposed to start.

Tester Dave Trezza used each to start four different vehicles that had drained batteries.

The results were less than impressive.

The Start-Me-Up-2 and the Porta-Jump, are small and light-but each one only started one vehicle.

One out of four attempts is hardly something you can count on!

The best of the bunch was the Black and Decker Simple Start, but it was not without a drawback.

It loses its charge over time, so you have to remember to recharge the charger periodically or it will be dead when you go to use it!

"A better idea is a battery boost pack. They're a bit bigger and a bit heavier, but they'll start your car even if your battery is completely dead," said Trezza.

Consumer Reports' tests show you can rely on them to produce the juice, every time.

The booster packs cost about $100 and are convenient, but the cheapest and most reliable way to restart your dead battery is with good old-fashioned jumper cables.

You can get a good set for about $50.


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