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Jacked Over by Jackrabbit Road Service

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Jacked Over by Jackrabbit Road Service

Old 10-04-2018, 04:37 AM
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Default Jacked Over by Jackrabbit Road Service

My 18 year old son is away at college in Charleston, SC 120 miles from me. He needs to get a car down there with a dead battery started. I sent my good quality lithium jump box down there with my wife when she had business in town there Monday. He couldn’t get the car started. So he charged it for 36 hours using my battery tender smart style charger. Still wouldn’t start. I understand if a battery is really dead, the newer smart charges won’t charge them, so I’m concluding this battery is really dead. (I don’t know the age of the battery. This is a friend of his’ car that he happened to be the last to drive.)

So I told him to call road service for a battery jump. If he could get it running, he could drive it to the nearest Autozone/Advanced Auto etc. for confirmation the battery is toast and he could buy a new one there and they would install it for him in their parking lot.

So son picks Jackrabbit USA for the jump. Not sure how he chose them, but a quick Google shows me they are a chain outfit in many cities and they are loathed by almost all unlucky customers. Guy shows up an hour later and tries to jump it with his jump box. Son tells me the car barely turned over and then would do nothing. The guys jump box at that point was evidently spent. The guy told my son the battery has a dead cell and couldn’t be started. Charged him $40 and said “See ya.” Unfortunately, son paid with a debit card. I was so freaking frustrated last night when I found out I couldn’t see straight.

I think even a really dead battery (possibly even with a dead cell) could be jumped with good quality jumper cables from a wrecker or commercial duty pick-up. You may have to wait a few minutes with the cables connected and rev the engine of the jumping vehicle, but my experience is you can get a car started. Is it unreasonable to expect an emergency road service company to show up with real jumper cables these days?

I plan to call the HQ of the company when they open up, but I feel my chances of persuading them to refund his money are slim.
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Old 10-04-2018, 04:44 AM
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If battery has dead cell(s) you will likely not get the car to run. Most newer cars can not run off the alternator alone. Too much draw from electronics that are now on board.

Tell your son to remove battery, either bum a ride from friend or uber, go to auto store and purchase new battery (turn core in for credit), get ride home, install new battery. If your 18 year old son cannot perform this task you failed as a parent. Sorry for being harsh but an 18 year old should be independent especially with a basic life task.
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Old 10-04-2018, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by sunedog View Post
I think even a really dead battery (possibly even with a dead cell) could be jumped with good quality jumper cables from a wrecker or commercial duty pick-up. You may have to wait a few minutes with the cables connected and rev the engine of the jumping vehicle, but my experience is you can get a car started. Is it unreasonable to expect an emergency road service company to show up with real jumper cables these days?
It isn't unreasonable, but it is also possible for a battery to be so dead that nothing will work. My last truck had the OEM battery die under warranty, in my driveway. I tried everything as I had plenty of time and a second car. Dealer sends tow truck, I watch him try all of the same things, including jumping it from his dual battery diesel. In the end the truck had to be towed to the dealer. They wouldn't let me just unhook the battery and bring it to them because "how would they know it was the battery that came in the truck?" <- I wish I was kidding on that last bit

I feel your pain but I wouldn't stress about the $40. Look at it another way, let's say something else was wrong with the car, let's say the starter is shot. The guy drove there and tried to start it and it wouldn't. Is he still owed $40? Yes. Should he have tried to jump it instead? Probably, but if that would work surely your son could find someone else with a running car and a pair of jumper cables....
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Last edited by Flot; 10-04-2018 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 10-04-2018, 04:47 AM
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I'm downtown, so if he is near I'd be happy to assist. Pm me if needed.
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Old 10-04-2018, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ChannelTwo View Post
If battery has dead cell(s) you will likely not get the car to run. Most newer cars can not run off the alternator alone. Too much draw from electronics that are now on board.

Tell your son to remove battery, either bum a ride from friend or uber, go to auto store and purchase new battery (turn core in for credit), get ride home, install new battery. If your 18 year old son cannot perform this task you failed as a parent. Sorry for being harsh but an 18 year old should be independent especially with a basic life task.
The kid has plenty of experience wrenching. Just doesn't have any tools with him. He will probably have to do as you suggest, but he will have to round up some tools first. He doesn't have his own truck down there so it just makes everything more challenging (and expensive).

This car is some sort of 2012 VW. Son said the battery is pretty inaccessible. I haven't seen it, but it may not be an easy R&R.
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Old 10-04-2018, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Shin-Dig View Post
I'm downtown, so if he is near I'd be happy to assist. Pm me if needed.
Very cool of you to offer. I'll let you know if I want to take you up on that.
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Old 10-04-2018, 04:55 AM
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Hey -- I'm off to some meetings for the rest of the morning, so won't be able to reply anytime soon. Thanks for all the feedback so far.
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Old 10-04-2018, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by sunedog View Post
My 18 year old son is away at college in Charleston, SC 120 miles from me. He needs to get a car down there with a dead battery started. I sent my good quality lithium jump box down there with my wife when she had business in town there Monday. He couldn’t get the car started. So he charged it for 36 hours using my battery tender smart style charger. Still wouldn’t start. I understand if a battery is really dead, the newer smart charges won’t charge them, so I’m concluding this battery is really dead. (I don’t know the age of the battery. This is a friend of his’ car that he happened to be the last to drive.)

So I told him to call road service for a battery jump. If he could get it running, he could drive it to the nearest Autozone/Advanced Auto etc. for confirmation the battery is toast and he could buy a new one there and they would install it for him in their parking lot.

So son picks Jackrabbit USA for the jump. Not sure how he chose them, but a quick Google shows me they are a chain outfit in many cities and they are loathed by almost all unlucky customers. Guy shows up an hour later and tries to jump it with his jump box. Son tells me the car barely turned over and then would do nothing. The guys jump box at that point was evidently spent. The guy told my son the battery has a dead cell and couldn’t be started. Charged him $40 and said “See ya.” Unfortunately, son paid with a debit card. I was so freaking frustrated last night when I found out I couldn’t see straight.

I think even a really dead battery (possibly even with a dead cell) could be jumped with good quality jumper cables from a wrecker or commercial duty pick-up. You may have to wait a few minutes with the cables connected and rev the engine of the jumping vehicle, but my experience is you can get a car started. Is it unreasonable to expect an emergency road service company to show up with real jumper cables these days?

I plan to call the HQ of the company when they open up, but I feel my chances of persuading them to refund his money are slim.
pic of wife?
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Old 10-04-2018, 05:07 AM
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Late model VW battery can be a big PIA to replace
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Old 10-04-2018, 05:21 AM
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$40.00 buck to come out and jump start and your complaining.
It was not Bugs Bunnies fault it was a dead battery.

If Bugs Bunnie would have replaced the battery and charged $400.00 you would really be pissed I imagine.

If he can wrench and doesn't have tools any Napa or auto store will lend you the wrenches and whatever is needed to replace a battery.

Going on day 4. He was the last to drive it, get the kids friends car fixed.
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Old 10-04-2018, 06:27 AM
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I am in Charleston as well, in fact there are a lot of us here. Let me know if you need any help with anything.
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Old 10-04-2018, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Shin-Dig View Post
I'm downtown, so if he is near I'd be happy to assist. Pm me if needed.
I'm in the West Ashley. Happy to help.
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Old 10-04-2018, 06:50 AM
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Get him a tool kit, 1/4 " drive would be fine, have it in his car. Something from say KD tools (or any other company for that matter) in a plastic box so it all stays together. Perfect for the car, boat, skateboard, bicycle etc. Maybe even invest in a 1/2" cordless impact gun and and a bottle jack so he can quickly change out a flat tire. You can purchase a set of sockets just for tires in a plastic case too. Nothing like being self sufficient.
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Old 10-04-2018, 06:55 AM
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pic of wife?
Like you'd know what to do with w woman. Give it a rest, your little "rubber stamp" quip on every thread is boring and juvenile. You're trying real hard, we get it.

As for the OP's son. My son just graduated from CofC but last spring, we needed the services of a mechanic. If you need one, we used C&M Automotive in Mt. Pleasant based on several recommendations. Ask for Kenny. They did us right, at a good price.

Last edited by DFreedom; 10-04-2018 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 10-04-2018, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by r_ventura_23 View Post
pic of wife?
Keep your stench in the Bilge, or, better yet, find another site to pollute.
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Striper In View Post
$40.00 buck to come out and jump start and your complaining.
I was only complaining because the guy came without jumper cables and I thought, based on my own experience, the car could have been started with good cables and a commercial vehicle. I now see from some of the posts above it is possible the battery is so faulty the car could not be started.

Originally Posted by Striper In View Post
It was not Bugs Bunnies fault it was a dead battery.
It wasn't my kid's fault either. He didn't leave anything turned on. He just happened to be the last to drive it before the battery gave up the ghost for good. The battery had a history of failing over the last few weeks.

Originally Posted by Striper In View Post
If Bugs Bunnie would have replaced the battery and charged $400.00 you would really be pissed I imagine.
I wouldn't have been pissed if that is what my son asked the driver to do and if the cost of the battery and labor to install it warranted a $400 charge. But none of that happened so you're point is moot.


Originally Posted by Striper In View Post
If he can wrench and doesn't have tools any Napa or auto store will lend you the wrenches and whatever is needed to replace a battery.

Going on day 4. He was the last to drive it, get the kids friends car fixed.
He can wrench, but 4 Uber trips (get tools / return to get battery out / return tools and buy new battery / return to car with new battery) is going to be another $40 or more, depending on how far he has to go. I'm willing to buy the new battery, even though it's not our car, but I don't think it's my responsibility. My kid also doesn't have time to be messing with this while going to school full time and working 5 to 6 days a week at Charleston City Marina. But we will take care of it, one way or another.
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:33 AM
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This thread reminded me about Jackalopes. They’re much more reliable than jackrabbits
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:35 AM
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Thanks to everyone in the area willing to help. I may pick out a 1/4" drive set on Amazon and Prime it to him. Just hate to waste money on cheap tools or to buy good quality stuff that is redundant to stuff I have in my shop. But will be cheaper than Uber to go borrow them.
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:49 AM
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If he lives on campus or around a bunch of guys, perhaps one of them has tools that they can lend your son. I lived on campus and found you can get just about anything if you ask enough people. Also, they might even assist with the R&R work. Most kids on campus are willing to help a fellow student.
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:51 AM
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I don't know anything about Jackrabbit but its possible they have a policy to only use the jump box and not hook directly to their service vehicle. Its possible in the past their guys have damaged things doing that. Anyway good luck.
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