Black & Decker Simple Start - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Does it Work Wednesday

Black & Decker Simple Start

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Does it Work Wednesday
Black & Decker Simple Start
By: Lauren Keith

The Black &  Decker Simple Start claims: "It puts you back on the road quickly--just plug, charge, and go. No need for jumper cables!"  Ladies, that means we don't have to get under the hood anymore to jumpstart our cars! So, is this too good to be true? Boy, I hope not. Let's see if it works.

Bryant Parks runs an automotive shop in Cape Girardeau. He agreed to "kill" a battery in two of his vehicles to help us with this test.  Before we even get started, we charge the Simple Start itself.  The directions say to plug it into a regular electrical outlet, for 15 hours. We charged our's for a full day. So, it should work, right?

"There's a lot of power going through that cord," said Bryant.

This voltage meter proves that.  Bryant monitors the power going through the Simple Start by watching that meter.  First, we'll see if the Simple Start can power up a new car battery. It's been "dead" now for about a day and a half.

Once you plug the Simple Start into your car's cigarette lighter, you wait about ten minutes for it to charge your car's battery.

"Beep!"  sounds the Simple Start.

That beep lets us know it's supposedly charged, so Bryant turns the key.

"I don't think it's going to start. The dome light looks too dim," he notes.  Sure enough, he revs it up and can't get the engine to turn over. 

"It didn't start at all.  It clicked, which is a sign of a dead battery.  Now, I'm disappointed, but I will say I'm also impressed.  It did give it enough power to get the dome light on and we can charge a cell phone now.  However, we're still stranded on the side of the highway, waiting on a jumpstart!" he says.

Both Bryant and I are shocked.  After all, Black and Decker has a pretty good reputation! So, we check over the instructions one more time...yup, we did everything right, but we'll try again.

Bryant revs up the engine, after the Simple Start beeps letting us know it's time to try again. 

"It's just not going to do it," he says.

That battery isn't old either! Let's keep trying, just to see. In this next test, Bryant left a different small truck's lights on. About five minutes after we see the truck go completely dead, we see if the Simple start can simply start this truck. This time, it only charges a few minutes, before beeping, signaling it's ready.

Bryant starts it up, and once again, the vehicle does not start!

"I  think we figured out this doesn't work. We didn't even run that battery near as dead as the other vehicle," he says.

And now, Bryant's revved up!

"I think it's time to get a real battery pack, and move on down the road, just to prove that truck at least starts!" he says.

I don't blame him. Bryant grabs his regular jump starter and proves this truck will start...with the right amount of power. A for the Simple Start...

"It's just not powerful enough," he says.

Now we want to know why--- we call Black and Decker, wait for five minutes, and never get through, eaving us with a lot of confusion and frustration.

"I'd say to Black and Decker: show me where this works. If it works on one particular vehicle, that doesn't help us because last time I checked, we all drive different vehicles," says this frustrated mechanic.

There's no denying the Simple Start powered up our two vehicles... just enough to turn on the dome lights, but we still need jumper cables.  It's not worth paying $60 for a little charge!

"I'd give it an 'F'!" he says.

Yeah, the Black and Decker Simple Start isn't so "simple." It fails this Does it Work test.

I also had Heartland News Anchor TIffany Sisson take the Simple Start home to see if she could get it work on her Chrysler Sebring that's been "dead" about a week.  She charged the Simple Start for two whole days, and got the same results we did.  It gave the car enough "juice" to turn on the dome light and windows, but it never was enough to start the engine, like it claims to do.  I do believe it boosts your car's battery power, but you still need jumper cables, and this product claims you don't.  So, that's "Failing" in my book.

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