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Hands on with Michelin Smart Jumper cables (photos)

These smart cables take most--but not all--of the guesswork and danger out of jump starting your car.

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Antuan Goodwin

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Michelin Smart Jumper cables

These smart cables take most--but not all--of the guesswork and danger out of jump starting your car. Physically, you'll not that, unlike most jumper cables, the Smart Jumpers don't feature color coded connections.
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Control box

A control box located inline gives the Smart Jumper a number of safety and convenience features.
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Connection instructions

However, users will still need to make the connections themselves. Fortunately, there's an illustrated guided right on the back of the control box.
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Polarity agnostic

A polarity switching feature means that it doesn't matter what clamp you connect to either terminal. Just make the connection and the Smart Jumper will figure it out.
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One good connection

When the first connections to the live battery's terminals are made, the control box illuminates one LED to signal that everything has been done correctly.
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Connect the dead battery

The connections on the dead car are made next. One clamp is connected to the car's positive terminal, the other is grounded to the engine block. Again, it doesn't matter which goes where.
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Engine block ground connection

Most engines have a metal tab near the front that's perfect for connecting the ground lead.
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All systems go

With both connections made on the dead car's battery, the control box now shows both lights illuminated. Now the live car can be started, after which an attempt to start the dead car's engine can be made.
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Bring your own case

Unfortunately, the Smart Jumpers don't ship with a carrying case or bag, so you'll end up storing them in your trunk loosely and, likely, tangled.

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