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Car Jump Starter through airport security and Carry On?
Posted by: GGD
Date: August 13, 2019 11:57PM
Has anyone had experience taking a car jump starter with them in their carry-on through airport security?

Specifically the one below that Costco currently sells.

The battery portion of it should be OK by TSA/FAA rules. It's a 37.2 Watt Hour Lithium Ion battery (marked on the battery itself), and they're fine with anything below 100 Watt Hours. And I'm fully aware that it can't be in checked bags, which is why I'm carrying it on.

[www.faa.gov]

Quote

Size limits: Lithium metal (non-rechargeable) batteries are limited to 2 grams of lithium per battery. Lithium ion (rechargeable) batteries are limited to a rating of 100 watt hours (Wh) per battery. These limits allow for nearly all types of lithium batteries used by the average person in their electronic devices. With airline approval, passengers may also carry up to two spare larger lithium ion batteries (101-160 watt hours). This size covers the larger after-market extended-life laptop computer batteries and some larger batteries used in professional audio/visual equipment.

The thing I'm concerned about is the cable with the alligator clips. Is that considered to be some sort of scary prohibited device like tweezers and nail clippers?

I could pack that in a checked bag, but it's critical that I have both parts of the jump starter very shortly after I land, and worry about the possibility of the checked bag getting lost. But I'm also weighing that against the possibility of the cable being confiscated at the X-Ray machine.

Anyone have any experience?



[www.costco.com]
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Re: Car Jump Starter through airport security and Carry On?
Posted by: davester
Date: August 14, 2019 12:55AM
If I were a TSA agent, I would not let you on with that.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Car Jump Starter through airport security and Carry On?
Posted by: Michael
Date: August 14, 2019 05:00AM
TSA allows certain car parts:

"Car Parts
Car engine parts and other car parts without fuel or traces of fuel are allowed in carry-on or checked bags. Car engine parts may be placed in checked bags only if the parts are packed in their original box and free of gasoline and oil."

Also, they allow you to send a picture to their Facebook Messanger or Snapchat accounts on weekdays and they'll let you know. I'd take a copy of a "yes" answer with me to the airport.

[www.tsa.gov]
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Re: Car Jump Starter through airport security and Carry On?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: August 14, 2019 08:57AM
GGD,

Contact both the airline _and_ the TSA and see what they have to say on the matter. This does make me wonder... Why do you need to bring the jumpstarter with you? Seems like an odd item to take with you on a flight.

Robert
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Re: Car Jump Starter through airport security and Carry On?
Posted by: mstudio
Date: August 14, 2019 09:53AM
Quote
Robert M
Why do you need to bring the jumpstarter with you? Seems like an odd item to take with you on a flight.

Perhaps someone might need a re-charge?



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Re: Car Jump Starter through airport security and Carry On?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: August 14, 2019 12:05PM
Quote
Robert M
Why do you need to bring the jumpstarter with you? Seems like an odd item to take with you on a flight.

Maybe returning to a car in long term parking that will have a dead battery? I've been known to park a car with a parasitic draw in long term parking (but in that case I knew it ahead of time and disconnected the battery). Also came home once to a dead battery b/c I didn't realize the rear power outlet I was using for a dash cam was always on. Luckily I had a jumpstarter in that car already and was on my way shortly.
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Re: Car Jump Starter through airport security and Carry On?
Posted by: GGD
Date: August 14, 2019 12:39PM
Quote
Gareth
Quote
Robert M
Why do you need to bring the jumpstarter with you? Seems like an odd item to take with you on a flight.

Maybe returning to a car in long term parking that will have a dead battery? I've been known to park a car with a parasitic draw in long term parking (but in that case I knew it ahead of time and disconnected the battery). Also came home once to a dead battery b/c I didn't realize the rear power outlet I was using for a dash cam was always on. Luckily I had a jumpstarter in that car already and was on my way shortly.

I didn't feel it was important to detail the reason why I'm taking it on a plane because that doesn't have any impact on how airport security will treat it, and just sidetrack any discussion. My reasons are similar, the car that I need to use is parked in a one car garage and won't start, and I won't have another car available to help jump it, and even if I did, due to it being in a garage, jumper cables won't reach. I'll be trying to start it at about 2AM when I arrive to get it out of the garage so that if it needs to be jumped again in the morning it will be much easier, and it will also let me sleep easier knowing what I'll be dealing with when I wake up. In the morning I'll likely buy a new battery for it, and will carry the jump starter with me in case there are starting problems before I can install the new battery.

I'm leaving for the airport in about 3 hours, so I'm just going to put the cables in my checked bag and hope it doesn't get lost. AA hasn't lost my bag in many years. I'll take the battery portion in my carry-on, as far as security screening is concerned, it should be no different than an external USB battery pack. It has USB ports and a flashlight built into it.
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Re: Car Jump Starter through airport security and Carry On?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: August 14, 2019 01:56PM
Hi GGD,

It just seemed like such an odd thing to bring onto an airplane. I've never used long-term parking at an airport or left a car in a situation where its battery could drain due to lack of use. So, it wouldn't occur to me. Make sense, though. 'course, I have a nice jumpstarter in my car. I haven't had to use it yet but I've got it just in case. I just bring it in for a charge every once in a while. Came in handy when I needed to juice up a phone during a power outage. It has USB ports just for that kind of task.

Robert
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Re: Car Jump Starter through airport security and Carry On?
Posted by: jdc
Date: August 14, 2019 04:07PM
Those little battery things are awesome.

Had the neighbor I rarely see come over the other day with cables in hand asking for a jump for his beat ass 1990 accord. Told him sure, but didnt need the cables. Popped the trunk, pulled out the case and said this would work. He instantly said "@#$%&, no f___ing way that little thing will never work" -- I said, lets jut give it a try. And just kept saying "f--- that" "wont f---ing worK" "waste of f---ing time" "its been dead for days" the entire walk to his house.

Popped the hood, hooked it up... started on the first crank.

I unplugged it and said "c-ya" and walked away. A-hole.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Car Jump Starter through airport security and Carry On?
Posted by: GGD
Date: August 14, 2019 05:22PM
I always thought they were a gimmick that would never work. The cables seemed too thin to handle the load. But one day at my mechanics shop I saw him use one on another car and asked him about them. Said that they really do work and he could start a diesel truck with one.

BTW: The battery made it through X-ray without a hitch. The clips are in my checked bag and tracking says the bag is loaded on the plane. About to take off.
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Re: Car Jump Starter through airport security and Carry On?
Posted by: jdc
Date: August 15, 2019 12:30AM
FWIW, this is the model I bought -- had a $20 off promo, so only $29. comes with a nice case

[www.amazon.com]



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Car Jump Starter through airport security and Carry On?
Posted by: GGD
Date: August 15, 2019 01:00AM
Mission Accomplished. Everything made it through carry-on and checked, jump started the car and got it out of the garage. Now I can sleep without thinking about it.

Battery was completely drained, car door wasn't closed all the way.
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Re: Car Jump Starter through airport security and Carry On?
Posted by: GGD
Date: August 20, 2019 10:52PM
And if anyone cares, I took both parts through the X-Ray at JFK on the way home and they didn't even blink. And they often search that bag because it contains 3 external hard drives, a MBP, two iPhones, and lots of other electronic stuff.
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