Virtually every driver will, at some point, get that sinking feeling that comes when your car doesn't start. Digging out a set of jumper cables to boost a battery is a rite of passage. Jump-starting a car can be a slightly tricky process, though. The positive and negative terminals of the booster and "boostee" need to be connected properly or the battery can be blown up. Which is, you know, sub-optimal. Over the past decade, a number of devices have come out to help ease the battery-jumping process, including portable booster batteries and even jumper cables that plug into a 12V outlet inside the car. Those plug-in cables will never be connected with reverse polarity, but they might not be able to carry enough current to actually crank your engine.

Enter the Michelin Smart Jumper Cable. Instead of the usual color-coded clamps for your battery's positive and negative terminals, the cables are all Michelin blue. Halfway down the cable is a box of electronic smarts. Just put one clamp on the positive terminal of the battery and the other on any piece of bare metal and the electronics will detect whether you've made a complete circuit and illuminate an LED on the central box. When the second battery is connected, the electronics automatically determine the polarity and switch it as needed. A set of these smart jumper cables runs about $30 to $40.

[Source: Daily Giz Wiz, Michelin]
Show full PR text
MICHELIN® SMART JUMPER CABLESTM LET MOTORISTS CHARGE AHEAD

Patented Technology Helps Avoid Injury, Electrical System Damage

GREENVILLE, S.C. (October 12, 2009) – Improper use of ordinary jumper cables can result in sparking or shorting which can result in serious injury to the user. This can also produce a power surge that causes damage to a vehicle's expensive electrical system vital to such things as engine and transmission operation, entertainment and navigation functions.

But MICHELIN'S new Smart Jumper CablesTM can help avoid personal injury and costly electrical damage incurred during an improper jump-start. The patented safety technology in Smart Jumper Cables provides built-in surge protection and automatic polarity adjustment from either positive or negative connections. Their ease of use and safety features makes a traditional jumper cable design and process obsolete.

"Many motorists won't associate the power surge from traditional jumper cable use as the root cause of their vehicle's electrical system problem or failure because there can be a time lag between the two events," said Alexia Hayes, a product development engineer for Pylon and mother of two young children.

Hayes adds battery problems are a year-round occurrence and the driving patterns of many parents with young children, new drivers and seniors make them especially vulnerable.
"There are many factors that can cause a battery to fail," said Hayes. "Motorists that frequently forget to turn off their lights or take many short trips on a daily basis are at risk. The combination of performing many starting cycles, coupled with short run times can leave a battery below the ideal charge specification for most of its shortened life."

While motorists recognize automobile batteries are affected by cold temperatures and winter weather, few are aware that prolonged exposure to heat also contributes to battery failure. Auto service experts place the life expectancy of a typical automotive battery at 3-5 years in average climates, but only 2-3 years in areas with high heat or extreme cold.

Beginning this fall, MICHELIN Smart Jumper Cables are available in North America at auto supply retailers and mass merchandisers for around $40 (U.S.). Visit www.michelinsmartcables.com for store locations and details for online purchase.
In addition to the built-in surge protection and automatic polarity adjustment, Smart jumper cables offer a number of other premium features that make traditional jumper designs obsolete, including:
• • • •
Cable clamps that can attach to either the positive or negative connections – eliminates guesswork LED indicator lights – confirms correct connections are made Textured grips – improve handling, especially in cold weather Heavy-duty cable with insulated clamps – stays flexible, tangle free, cold weather resistant

Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelin.com) employs 22,600 and operates 19 major manufacturing plants in 17 locations.

For nearly 40 years, Pylon Manufacturing Corporation (www.pylonhq.com) has been a leading automotive aftermarket supplier specializing in the design, engineering and marketing of wiper blades. Located in Deerfield Beach, Fla., Pylon is an ISO 9001-certified division of the Qualitor, Inc. family of automotive companies. Pylon is the exclusive licensee responsible for the distribution and marketing of the Michelin® Smart Jumper CablesTM and premium wiper blades throughout North America.