Wednesday, 28 July 2010

flat battery

Can anyone tell me why car makers persisted (still persist I guess) in making cars that allow you to leave the headlights on when the ignition switch is turned off and the key is removed?

And its not just me either, looking at the RACQ stats, 33% of their call outs are from the same thing.

What the hell is wrong with car designers that they do this? I mean no motorcycle I've ever had (even from the 70's) has allowed you to get a flat battery this way.

(you can guess it was raining when I left home and bright when I got to work ...)

I am not sure if the battery will cope with being let go this flat, and its a new battery too (like 3 months old).

post scriptum

Several people have since informed me that many cars made after 2000 in fact have this sort of thing, Eg:
My old 2002 Hyundai would switch to park lights only if you took the ignition out, and all the cars we have now beep if you leave the lights on when you take the keys out.

Great ... well its good to see that after some 60 years of car manufacture that they are now including complex electronics to do what motorcycles always did.

I notice (doing a quick read around the net) that the solutions employed by car makers seem to be creating problems for the owners (such as not being able to turn them off at all).

Great, more complex electronics to solve what should be a simple problem. Even folks like Steve Wozniak has had problems with this:

"Toyota has this accelerator problem we've all heard about," Wozniak said. "Well, I have many models of Prius that got recalled, but I have a new model that didn't get recalled. This new model has an accelerator that goes wild, but only under certain conditions of cruise control. And I can repeat it over and over and over again--safely.
"This is software. It's not a bad accelerator pedal. It's very scary, but luckily for me, I can hit the brakes," he said.

good design is about simplicity, not complexity.


LensBubbles said...

I think a lot of car makers are designing this feature in now. My 2001 Toyota Sienna turns the cabin lights off after about 10 minutes if left on. The headlights turns off automatically when key is removed.

The other things that I don't understand is the mirror heaters. In Canada, this is a necessity in the winter to melt the snow on the mirror, but many (including the car mentioned above) do not have this feature, except the premium models.

obakesan said...

yes, our car at least had that in Finland (it was a Benz) but I seem to remember our doors freezing closed in the winter time in Finland due to humidity in the heated cabin forming on the rubber door seal ...