lipophilia wrote:There is a lot of gripipng about the quality of the kit. I got three last time they were up and gave one to each of my (20-something) kids. They have each used the kit in situations that could have been a lot worse. I like that peace of mind.
1) No - the tools are not a replacement for the box of Craftsman wrenches in your garage, but they will help in a pinch. These are emergency tools. You aren't going to carry all your good tools everywhere you go and you really don't care if this box gets ripped off.
2) Yes - the cables could be thicker and I have run into situations where they just didn't carry enough juice. On the other hand, they have been successfully used (many times) for the "oops, I left the dome light on again" moments.
3) I STRONGLY recommend adding a flashlight (with batteries stored separately - not in the flashlight so that if the switch gets bumped in the trunk, you don't accidentally drain the batteries).
If you don't have something similar in your car, get one or build your own. If you have a new driver in your household, get one for him or her as a nice surprise.
No offense, but the issue with the tools isn't so much quality as the fact that the vast majority of vehicles on the road use metric fasteners. A cheap metric wrench is great in a pinch...a cheap SAE wrench does you no good if your vehicle, like most, has metric fasteners.
In ideal conditions, or if you want to trust your ability to start your car to a flip of the coin, 10 gauge cables are OK. Personally, and ESPECIALLY if I'm buying cables for a kid's car, I'm springing the extra 15 bucks and getting them a set of 4 gauge 12 plus foot cables so that they can actually depend on being able to jump start the car. I might skimp on myself but I'll buy the kids a decent set of cables and a few cheap Harbor Freight metric tools. Just sayin. It's amazing how when you're in a bind, and need to start your car NOW, that extra ten or fifteen bucks you spent to do it right seems like the best money you ever spent. I don't know too many people that get stranded, have a cheap tool or set of cables fail to do the job, and say, well, at least I saved ten bucks two years ago.
I've seen it where someone tried to jump a car, and due to junk cables, the second car still just went click click click when the ignition was turned. Not a good feeling. Then again, if you live somewhere where the temp never drops below 75 degrees, and you drive a Geo Metro with a tiny engine, hey, this may be a good buy for you.
Good tip on the light and storing batteries separately.