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Black and Decker Electromate 400

It’s happened to almost anyone who lives in a cold climate. One day, you go out to start your car or truck and all you get when you turn the key is a weak whirring sound from under the hood, a click from the starter relay – or nothing at all. Whether it is because the dome light was left on, an accessory was plugged in all night, or simply the result of a battery giving up the ghost in very cold weather, the end result is the same: you’re not starting under your own power.

Black and Decker's Electromate 400 is a nifty emergency battery.

Black and Decker's Electromate 400 is a nifty emergency battery.

Jumper cables are the obvious option (and everyone should have some in their vehicle), but sometimes when you need a jump-start there is absolutely no one around who can help you. Jumper cables also require a vehicle that can maneuver close enough to your front end to make a solid connection – which is hard sometimes when you’re driving a big bad truck and all your friendly Samaritan has is a little econo-box. There’s also the fact that some cars just don’t have the juice to jump a big vehicle. But there’s some good news here…

Improvements in battery technology over the past couple of years have created a new class of product that enables people to jump-start their own vehicles without the need for third-party assistance.

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