Jumpstarting a Mercedes-Benz AMG with potatoes? | Car Hacks

We take this grade school science experiment to the next level

Transcript: Hey Autobloggers! Welcome to another episode of Car Hacks. You know, I test out some of the craziest car-related life hacks here at Autoblog, but this hack might be the craziest yet. It was inspired by the Youtube page Freshman Engineers Be Like. Here to help me out with this hack is Autoblog Editor Reese Counts and his 1999 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG. The battery is dead on this beautiful car and we're gonna try to jumpstart it using potatoes. Reese: Good luck man.

Before we get into the hack let's check out the video that claims that the hack works. In the video, the team try to turn on the ignition but are getting no power. Moments later, the camera pans down and shows jumper cables connected to 12 potatoes that are connected by wires. After connecting the other end of the jumper cables to the car's battery, the engine worked immediately. Let's get into it and try it out!

A single potato has a voltage current of just under 1 volt. By adding a few more we can increase the voltage. This idea comes from a popular middle school science experiment, where you can light up a small light bulb with just potatoes. To jump start a car you need 12.6 volts. 12.6 divided by 0.8 is 15.75 potatoes or 16 rounded up, but for this hack we're using 20 potatoes. For this hack, I'll be using zinc and copper nails with alligator clip wires, a jumper cable, and the potatoes, of course. The hack requires placing zinc and copper nails in each potato and connecting the copper nail to the zinc nail using the alligator clips. Make sure to leave one copper and one zinc nail unconnected to hook up the jumper cables too. Now that everything is connected, let's check out the voltage power. Our potato battery has around 14 to 15 volts. The battery on the C43 AMG has a current voltage of just under two. I placed 3 cameras prior to testing out the hack to capture every angle. Now that everything is connected let's hook up the jumper cables and see if it works!

Amr: Alright go! Reese: Nope. Unfortunately it didn't work, and some of the Autoblog crew stopped by the C43 to see if we could make this weird hack actually work, but we had no luck - here's why. While the potatoes gave us a voltage power of a little over 14, it wasn't powerful enough to jumpstart the C43. Are potatoes electric? No. They only act as a bridge between the zinc and copper metals, which creates a freeway for electrons. Imagine a vehicle in neutral on a slightly slanted hill. The greater the slant the more force it creates.

While it "might" have really worked for the team in the video that inspired this hack, on our end we'd call this one debunked. If you asked yourself, "what did he do with the potatoes?" Well, I cooked them and ate them!

Hacks are fun to try, but they don't always work the way they should. That's why we test them out so you don't have to. Got a Car Hack you want us to test out? Comment below. For tips on how to professionally care for your vehicle. Check out Autoblog Details featuring Larry Kosilla. For more Car Hacks be sure to subscribe, and don't forget to like and share this video. I'm Amr, safe travels.

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