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Thread: The science that goes into building cars - If only we knew more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fall River View Post
    I very seldom drive at night and the only thing I use is air conditioning in hot weather and heater when it's cold.

    So. Do what you do. If/when your car battery fails, use a jumpstarter, to start it.

    About $60 at Wally World.

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    Fall River (01-16-2020)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruthless terrier View Post
    my ancient Dell laptop computer is smart enough to know how much battery power I have left and when the battery needs to be replaced. It almost seems criminal for a 30K USD automobile to not be able to tell me these things
    Thanks, you just jogged my memory. I live in a golfing community where there must be about 50,000 golf-carts roaming around over 28 square miles. Many of them are electric and they need to know when their batteries are low, otherwise they might get stuck far from home. And now I remember hearing that they are equipped with "Battery Charge Indicators". Why not have them in all cars?


    It looks like a gas gauge: https://www.golfcarcatalog.com/batte...ndicators.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by JustPassinThru View Post
    So. Do what you do. If/when your car battery fails, use a jumpstarter, to start it.

    About $60 at Wally World.
    Wally World? Yeah, but how much will it cost me to fly to California from Florida? :-) We have Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone Auto Parts, NAPA Auto Parts etc. And Walmart.


    I have a Walmart battery that is guaranteed for 3 years and they always seem to last about 3 years. So I'm thinking about just buying a new battery when it gets close to three years instead of waiting for it to go completely dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruthless terrier View Post
    my ancient Dell laptop computer is smart enough to know how much battery power I have left and when the battery needs to be replaced. It almost seems criminal for a 30K USD automobile to not be able to tell me these things
    Your computer has sophisticated current management; has set parameters on power draw...and has a lithium-ion battery.

    Your car has wildly-oscillating current loads and charging rates - and a lead-acid battery. Hundred-year-old technology.

    They're experimenting with lithium-ion in cars; but those don't do so well with deep drawdowns. Your computer, and your phone, have nothing comparable to the current draw that cranking your car presents.

    Have we any inventors, here? I'd love to see a plug-in auxiliary starting system for a car. Second starter - that runs off 110 or 240 volts. Like a snowblower. Plug it in, press the button, and the car starts, and now draw on the car battery.

    It wouldn't be cheap - since the ideal way would be to have a second starter motor, constructed for 110 volts. Less likely to damage the primary starter, which can overheat. That way, too, if when the thing gets old, and stubborn, you can crank away in the garage. Or use the motor to "bump over" the engine when servicing it.

    Be about $200 in parts cost, but it would also require redesigning the flywheel housing or making a change to the engine block.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fall River View Post
    Well, computers for one thing, controlling this and that. How many are there, what do they control and how much do they cost to replace? That would be nice to know.

    The car battery is what I've been wondering about lately because I make a lot of short trips. When I start my car, I draw electrical energy from the battery and I might do it several times on short trips. Then, as I drive, the alternator charges the battery. But the auto makers don't give any clue as to how far you would have to drive to replace the energy. There's no dial gauge on the dashboard, and I don't recall anything in the manual about this.

    Buy an aftermarket volt meter.
    Good journey, Rickity!

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