@2many2no@werehatrack Dang, when did that happen?
Been out of the battery industry a few years (and never looked back) but when I was more aware of the goings-on, I was a big fan of East Penn as they insisted on manufacturing in the US and seemed to have a much bigger focus on quality than the others.
@2many2no@Turken Johnson’s name vanished from all of the batteries on which I had previously seen it about 4 years ago. And since then, I haven’t had any last more than 3 years, even when they had a 3-year free replacement policy. And those are getting scarce. East Penn batteries are completely unknown down here in Texas.
@Kyeh I’ll end up with a full EV at some point, but currently, it wouldn’t make enough sense for me. A used Bolt EV would still take nearly 20 years to recoup in fuel savings. That’s still less time than a new Ford Maverick hybrid, however. At MSRP, it will take me nearly 100 years to recoup through fuel savings.
@werehatrack The lowest mileage car I’ve owned had 102k – then the AC compressor went out, so at 103k miles, I sold it for twice the price I paid.
@narfcake@werehatrack My 10-year-old car only has 13,550 miles on it as of today. I put that 500 on it just this summer, because I’ve been having to go back and forth across town to help out my elderly mother quite a bit.
@andyw@Kyeh@werehatrack A cooling system still exists on EVs; it’s just that it’s for the motor(s), controller(s), inverter(s), and the battery pack(s) instead of an engine. Extended life coolants exist, so 5+ years and 100k+ mile intervals are common. In HD trucks, the intervals can even be up to a million miles.
No transmission, but there’s still a gearbox and it has oil; think of it more like a differential instead of a transmission. Considered “lifetime filled”, but a lot of regular transmissions are considered the same too as manufacturers really just care about it outlasting their warranty period.
Brake pads do last a lot lot longer due to regenerative braking. Brake fluid still needs servicing, however.
@Kyeh@narfcake@werehatrack I am aware of the cooling and transmission fluids, but the point is they do not need regular checking, or changing. The Tesla Model 3 manual (downloadable from the Tesla site) urges you NOT to take off the access cap. No mention is made of needing to check the transmission fluid. The transmission is relatively simple, I believe, as it does not do any shifting in most cars (I think the Porsche Taycan does shift between two gears).
@narfcake My full EV just turned 10 years old. I bought it new at the end of the model year using several rebates. I figure it paid for itself in gas in about 4 years. At the time I was spending $50 a week in gas and the electric went up about $30 a month. Only maintenance was tires. Since then brakes, more tires and a sensor. Tires are those stupid odd size little things. Now I drive less so the math would not be as favorable.
… but the point is they do not need regular checking, or changing.
@andyw It’s not in the manufacturer’s best interest for folks to keep their vehicles for years and many miles or kilometers after their payments and warranties end – hence, my comment about “lifetime fill”.
My point is that based solely on manufacturer’s servicing and them calling out “lifetime fill” also, the only primary argument that can be made about less maintenance with an EV versus an ICE is on the engine – they cannot escape regular oil changes. $40-$100 minimum on an annual basis is a given (unless DIY).
@narfcake I am sure that the oil in an EV transmisson gets a lot less deteriorated than ICE engine oil as it is not exposed to gas or its combustion products or as much heat. The oil in an ICE automatic transmission is not changed yearly either. There is no engine oil in an EV that I am aware of.
@andyw That is why I mentioned “think of it more like a differential instead of a transmission.” The earlier Tesla model S drive units use Dexron VI (ATF) for lubrication and cooling; they had service intervals at 1, 5, and 9 years. Later ones were deemed “lifetime fill”.
@Kyeh@narfcake@werehatrack Sheesh. My 7 year old car (which is past the time when I usually trade a car in) has about 169,000 miles on it. Two thumbs up for a Mazda CX-5. 2016 model bought in 2015 and I haven’t had a single issue with it. Just waiting until the CX-70’s are released here and I’ll likely get in line.
@macromeh@Tadlem43 The Best of the newer ones have features that the manufacturers of the old ones didn’t even know about. Those can come in handy. But I still have my old shop charger, too. The one that has wheels under it, and a fan inside. It can jump start a car with the battery missing. That car’s engine may not keep running, of course, but the charger actually has the output to do the entire job.
@Oldelvis@smyle If you’re lucky, it’s a guy piloting a big diesel pickup with a battery bigger than your whole car. If it’s just not your day, it’ll be somebody with a Chevy Venture where the battery is buried in a spot that makes it next to impossible to hook the cables up direct, and the little post they give you to hook up the positive cable does not seem to do a very good job. The same rant applies to the PT cruiser, of which I have one in the driveway. Which had a dead battery day before yesterday. But somehow or another, there, the little clampy post things work. I have no explanation for this.
@Oldelvis@werehatrack I used to own a big ol Chevy truck with a V8 and big enough to jump anybody, but they put the battery under the hood hinges AND had these ridiculous pyramid-shared connectors that jumper cables had a hard time clamping onto.
Been carrying a RavPower jump starter pack for years. It holds a charge for at least two years. Always use it to help someone else though. My car kills all the lights when it’s turned off so I’ve never drained my own battery.
I used to carry jumper cables, but now use a pack like the one offered today. I have one in each car since they don’t always die at home. That way I can also start someone else’s car when they have a dead battery. These boxes work well and are much smaller than adequate thickness cables, and they are cleaner. I charge mine up in the house every few months.
I bought a new 2020 car at the end of 2019 and commuted to work for 3 months. Then came Covid and working from home. Then 15 months later, retirement.
Now we use my wife’s EV for most shopping and other short-to-medium trips, so my gas-powered car doesn’t get much use. However, I learned the hard way that modern cars with all their computers and sensors drain the battery even when parked. I now have a trickle charger/battery maintainer to ensure I’m not surprised by a dead car when I do need to use it.
BTW, even when the car’s battery was fully recharged, the car still presented an error message and refused to start. I finally disconnected the battery for 30 minutes, then reconnected it and it would start, but it still presented a “Have your vehicle serviced by the dealer” error. So I did a little investigation online and found I could clear that obnoxious error with my OBD scanner.
@macromeh Some ECMs niw yse nonvolatile memory to store diagnostic information including trouble codes, which is why disconnecting the battery will not clear them. This is considered a feature. There are mixed opinions amongst the service people about whether that’s an appropriate evaluation. When it preserves information that the technician actually needs, it’s a good idea. But when it’s perpetuating an annoying service engine light for no good reason, It is less beneficial.
@Tadlem43 Yeah, I have done that (so am old, too).
Also, I have a history of past motorcycles, mostly Hondas or Yamahas. I wouldn’t be able to begin to estimate the number of times I pushed one with a low battery to start it, when the foot crank wouldn’t do it. Took more effort and coordination than I could probably muster now.
Some good exercise (unless the weather was really cold and discouraged the MC from starting, anyway, even after inducing heart pounding).
Too, the Hondas of yore really hated low batteries. If the battery were truly dead, it was likely not going to start even with lotsa pushing.
@djslack@Tadlem43 I knew somebody with an old VW who lived on a hill and worked in a place on another hill; he intentionally parked where he could just roll-start in both places. His frugality bit him one day when he discovered that his seldom-used battery was mostly dead, parked in a place where he was at the bottom of a hill.
@Kyeh@werehatrack Isn’t that one of those little cars that you can fold up and put in your back pocket? lol I looked at them and couldn’t figure out how I’d get in and out of it…if it’s the one I’m thinking of.
Sometimes, when simply hooking up the charger doesn’t work, I cast a “revive battery” spell. You do that by hooking up a different charger that has a “recondition” button on it, and letting it do the magic for about 24 hours. Yes, it’s slow, but it’s cheaper than buying a new battery unnecessarily. Believe it or not, it actually works about 2/3 of the time.
I can attest that such “magic” exists. I’ve had this for so many years I don’t even remember where or when I got it. It’s not in my Amazon order history. I do know I paid more for it then than what that ad shows (of course, it says it’s not in stock, so might not even be made any longer). I have used it many times to reanimate “dead” batteries. (And sometimes, not.) But, whatever I paid for it, it probably has been worth ten times that to me over the years, for both cars and motorcycle batteries (the latter, as a last resort).
If mine bites the dust, there is one on Amazon from Clore that looks similar and affordable.
@werehatrack Thanks. I thought they had disappeared off the face of the earth. Web references to them are minimal and ancient. It’s been a great device, though a little clunky. Sometimes it just tells me “Dead cell”, but I have gotten around that with a recondition (though not always). In addition to standard Voltage check and charger, it also has functions for the recondition, alternator check (though a little unclear on using that), and a buildup of charge to do an engine start. I lost the manual years ago (perhaps in my house fire) but found one online OK.
I’ve never had the retail experience, but you seem to have had such. Why do companies occasionally come up with some really great products, and then discontinue them, without really replacing their features in a newer version? Is it driven more by marketing types than engineers?
Sears used to drive me crazy. I got started with them while in the Air Force. They had great prices in the Base Commissary on their tools. As a non-professional mechanic working on my own vehicles (incl. motor cycles), I thought they were the right quality/price point for my needs. And they always honored their warranties. But it got where I couldn’t really build up my collection. Instead of offering good intermediate tools or add-ons to collections, they were more intent on hawking all their starter sets or “new, improved” versions of such. (Two exceptions, I did build up my tap/die collection with sets of less popular sizes and holders, along with different impact tools.)
Indoctrinated by my family, I used to buy their major appliances. But then they got where if you went in to look around, you’d be surrounded by more salespeople than at a used car lot. But if you were ready to check out, you’d have to go two departments down to find someone at a cash register. And they always had “sales”. Fifteen different models of the same washer, and they’d rotate which two were on “sale” that week.