Shop Talk: Scared Of Those Cables

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    Michelin_Jumper_Cables

    Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your car battery dies, you pop the hood, go digging in the trunk to pull out the jumper cables, look at the battery and think, “Now, which end goes where?”

    Go ahead, admit it. We’ve all done it at least once where you get that really worried feeling, afraid that you might blow something up in the car or damage the battery altogether trying to connect the cables. Virtually everybody who owns a car has been there at some point.

    Figuring out that whole positive and negative terminal thing with jumper cables can be as stressful as trying to crack that big math test in high school without studying.

    Well, Michelin is looking to ease some of that stress with its “Smart Jumper Cable.” Instead of the usual color-coded clamps for the battery’s positive and negative terminals, the cables are all Michelin blue. Halfway down the cable is a box of electronic smarts.

    To use, 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.

    Cost? About $30 to $40.

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