A dead car battery can be a pretty traumatic experience. It stops your day cold while you wait for rescue, traditionally from a friend with jumper cables or your insurance company's roadside assistance. And while there are some pretty awesome jump-start batteries out there these days that let you rescue yourself, even they're not foolproof. What if you need a jump and the battery that's been tucked in the trunk for six months is dead? Good news: Supercapacitor jump-starters are here, and they're always ready to jump your car, no questions asked. Right now, you can pick up thefor just $112, or the slightly smaller for $97 when you use the promo code CNETSTART at checkout. A discount of 25% off the usual price.
Supercapacitor jump-starters like the Autowit SuperCap 2 are genuinely exciting -- and I haven't been this jazzed about a car product in years. There's no battery in this thing. At all. If you need a jump, you connect it to the posts on your car battery as if you were getting ready to jump-start it, but the connections let the capacitor suck up a charge from the residual energy in the battery. Your car battery might not have enough juice to turn over the engine, but unless it's absolutely dead, it probably can fill up the high-capacity capacitor. When the small digital display says it's fully charged -- which shouldn't take more than a few minutes -- you press a button that reconfigures the capacitor to release its charge and go crank the engine. That's all there is to it.
Like any good-quality portable jump-start battery, the SuperCap 2 delivers 12 volts and can jump-start cars up to 7 liters and diesel engines up to 4 liters, while the smaller SuperCap 2 Lite can only handle gas engines up to 5 liters and diesel engines of up to 3.5 liters. But unlike a battery, it doesn't need to be charged up ahead of time and never needs regular charging. They're ready to go when you need it, which is honestly the way all emergency Plan B gear should work.
This is the best price I could find anywhere, so if you need some jump-start peace of mind, I suggest you grab one of these and throw it in your trunk.