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The loss of power that occurs when you change your vehicle’s battery might reset its systems back to factory state, so you have to drive the damn thing 50 miles to get it running correctly again. Worse yet, you could lose all your radio presets.

Before you disconnect you battery, plug the Auto Memory Saver from EZ-Red into your OBD2 port. It uses the port’s power and ground pins to supply juice to critical systems so they don’t forget their settings. The neon-red coiled cord reaches 8′, has its own inline fuse, and terminates in a cigarette lighter connector. Obviously you’ll need to plug the cable into another power source while the vehicle’s battery is disconnected.

Just in case you don’t know any better, do not use cables of this type to jump-start a vehicle. The best thing that could happen is you’d blow the inline fuse — if the cable has one. Pricing for the Auto Memory saver starts around $15.

Auto Memory Saver [EZ-Red]
Street Pricing [Google]


14 Responses to Don’t Let Your Car Lose Its Mind

  1. David Bryan says:

    I got a new battery for the car I bought used, and when I put it in I turned the radio on and it asked me for the security code. The what? says I. So I asked the dealer I bought it from, and they said they didn’t have it, but if somebody took the radio out they could use some number on it to inquire about it. But it was a 4 digit number, with digits 1 to 6 used, so I figured it had to be one of 1296 possible combinations, and I got it before too long.

  2. Cameron Watt says:

    It’s a nice perk for your customers.

    I used to do service work on a fleet and knew all of the drivers, so rather than save their presets, I gave them new ones! Usually I set all of the presets to the same French station(there were no francophone drivers); a driver could tell when I had been in their truck. I think it’s the little touches that make for better customer service.

    By the way: I would never do it to an owner/operator; I’m not THAT much of a jerk.

  3. Jason says:

    I created a car “memory” saver that was a 12v car adapter hooked up to a 9v battery. It worked great. It was an 1992 Ford though and I’m not sure how well it work work on a newer vehicle..

  4. george says:

    there were warnings given out by the repair industry that these system could set off airbags. was stated not to use them.

  5. george, do you have a better source on that?

    I remember the first truck I owned with airbags (97 Chevy S10 BTW) had a warning that if you disconnected or reconnected the battery incorrectly it could set off the air bag. I was dumbfounded.

    If you can’t manufacturer a vehicle that can’t recognize the difference between stray electrical signals and signal from an accelerometer you need your ass sued into bankruptcy — IMO.

  6. Oops, double negative, man I’m not doing so well commenting today lets try that again:

    If you manufacturer a vehicle that confuses stray electrical signals with the signals from an accelerometer and/or crash sensors you need your ass sued into bankruptcy — IMO.

  7. rg says:

    In many vehicles, you can supply 12v to the lighter socket (as Jason mentioned). My jumper pack even came with a recharging cable which will do just that

    (P.S. Benjamen- As it turns out, GM didn’t need to be sued to go bankrupt. They managed it all by themselves.)

  8. toby says:

    “The neon-red coiled cord reaches 8′, has its own inline fuse,”

    ” The best thing that could happen is you’d blow the inline fuse — if the cable has one.”

    Uh, what???

  9. george says:

    no source as this was years ago. i don’t remember the whole issue. sensativity might be an issue but then messing around and playing with something or turning on the key etc might have something to do with it. i dealt with mercedes cars and they said also not to do this. i didn’t.

  10. _Jon says:

    Losing the radio presets would be bad, but losing the driving condition history isn’t always bad. Modern cards ‘learn’ but as the vehicle ages, that learned data can become skewed. I’ve seen several cars that ran better in the weeks after we disconnected the battery and let the system ‘forget’ all of the behaviors it had picked up. Also, transmissions are ‘learners’ now too, so a vehicle with poor shifting (especially downshifting) behavior might need to forget things.

    On the point of resetting radios, one of my co-workers got a nice one on me – he set all of my stations to one frequency off from my regular stations. So 96.3 became 96.5. It was very poor reception and for a few seconds I was very confused. He was very evil. :))

  11. Cameron Watt says:

    _Jon: I know when I’ve been outdone. I bow before your co-worker’s more subtle bastardry.


    As for eccs’ that change tuning parameters based on operating history:

    Thank you for making me think about it. It’s something I read about and filed away for future use but managed to forget. In my work life the only engines I worked on were open loop control or mechanically governed; no operating history to be found there.

    However… I have a truck with nothing obviously wrong except that it’s occasionally tempermental with regard to air/fuel mixture at idle. A test of the O2 sensor revealed it was bad so I replaced it….but it still doesn’t quite feel right, so I’m going outside right after this post to unhook my battery.

  12. Larry says:

    I work @ Advance Auto and change several batteries a day for customers. We used to have just a patch cord that ran from the cig lighter on the jumpbox to the cig lighter in the car. The thing was hit or miss. Sometimes it would save it, sometimes it wouldn’t. I got out of the habit of using it, as I don’t like poking around in other peoples cars. A month or so ago we got a version of this cord along with a note from corporate that it is mandatory to use it now. Again it is hit or miss, more hit than miss tho. I still have to poke around in cars to find the OBDII port… I had not heard anything about it causing problems with Airbags and such.

    Not totally related, but we have had claims that our OBDII Scan tool has affected cars. As far as I can tell, there is no way for this to happen, as info is never uploaded via the code scanner, but when they make the claim, corporate gives in and our register opens to pay for repairs.. The OBD port is a strange beast sometimes I suppose..

  13. toby says:

    Note to self(and others) do not let Advance Auto(or Autozone or Pep Boys, Etc.) install or touch anything in your car!

  14. A1cntrler says:

    I will admit that there are many, many associates that know nothing about what they are doing on cars, but I personally take offense to your post toby. I take pride in my job and know my limitations. All we are legally allowed to do at my store is change batteries (most vehicles, granted we will not do an install on a 300M, Sebring, most newer VW’s and high end BMW/Mercedes because of the time needed to complete the install.) and wiper blades. We are not authorized to change light bulbs, although I think that would be easier than some batteries and wipers… My industry is like that of Best Buy audio shop. Once in a while you run across one that does the job well, but it is ruined by the kid that nips off connectors and wraps them with electrical tape. Ruins it for the rest of them.

    Our OBDII scan toll is the exact same one you can buy off the shelf from Harbor Freight, Advance, Wal Mart, AZ or any other retailer. Hooks in and gives you the codes that are causing your check engine light to come on. We are not even allowed to do that, as it is classified as a “loaner tool” that is to be used by the customer only.

    To sum it up, I love my job and will direct customers where they need to go to find solutions to their problems when I have no solution for them. Most of the guys that work for me in my store are ASE certified mechanics or ASE Parts Pros. The guys that aren’t know to come to us when they have a question. We have built a large customer base at my store because we know what we are doing, and serve the customer better than anyoe else can.

    *steps down off soap box*

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