Random Thoughts... [Automotive Edition]

Matt2000

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That's a really shitty way to run a business, the one I work for has its moments but they are at least willing to invest in appropriate equipment. Being IT it's usually us making arguments for it and buying it.

Although we all know that the Cap. is cursed and anything automotive he touches goes up in flames. :p
 

93Flareside

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I thought my old employer was bad. Though it would take until you cannot work with your laptop or phone before you got a new one.... Car stuff? do enough expensive repairs and upper management started noticing. The one thing I couldn't stand was not regularly replacing test instruments.
 

EyeMWing

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I thought my old employer was bad. Though it would take until you cannot work with your laptop or phone before you got a new one.... Car stuff? do enough expensive repairs and upper management started noticing. The one thing I couldn't stand was not regularly replacing test instruments.
Not replacing test instruments is largely excusable so long as they still hold calibration, have acceptable MTBF, and there haven't been any relevant tech improvements.

Assuming we're talking about actual expensive test equipment, not like, multimeters or basic scopes or something where you can just get top-flight gear for petty cash.
 

93Flareside

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Not replacing test instruments is largely excusable so long as they still hold calibration, have acceptable MTBF, and there haven't been any relevant tech improvements.

Assuming we're talking about actual expensive test equipment, not like, multimeters or basic scopes or something where you can just get top-flight gear for petty cash.

I’m talking, combustion measurement on natural gas and fuel oil boilers. The problems start around 3-4 years after ownership and daily use/traveling. The batteries in them go first because they break connections in places you can’t fix. Then the sensors start drifting in calibration, O2, CO, No2, NO. That sort of thing. So when you set a burner for 3.5% O2 with 0ppm CO and NoX around 45ppm, it can be off a bit. It’s not a killer if you’re a little bit off, but when the CO sensor drifts and won’t give accurate readings, that’s when people Can die.
 

Perc

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The other day driving home from work a bunch of cars stuck behind a tractor came the other way, doing maybe half the speed limit. The only car in the queue that kept a safe following distance was a Tesla, probably precisely because the Tesla was handling it and not the driver.
 

Labcoatguy

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I can't tell if it's just time, age, or the fact that I own one now, but the Dame Edna 9-5s are finally starting to look good to me.
 

Perc

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If a car randomly forgets user settings like cruise control distance and refuses to stop the engine citing “high energy usage” even after half an hour of driving, i guess a new battery is in order?
 

GRtak

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If a car randomly forgets user settings like cruise control distance and refuses to stop the engine citing “high energy usage” even after half an hour of driving, i guess a new battery is in order?


Have it and the charging system checked. Also, make sure are the cables are tight and clean.
 

Perc

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Have it and the charging system checked. Also, make sure are the cables are tight and clean.

Not sure if they're tight because I haven't checked, but they're clean, for sure. The battery is in the trunk below all the carpeting, it's as clean as when it left the factory in 2018.

If you have a multimeter, just measure across while the car’s running and see if you get something above 12V. If not, charging system isn’t working.

It's a Euro 6 emissions vehicle, so it charges when it decides it's appropriate. Can't trust a multimeter at idle.
 

GRtak

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Is it still under warranty?
 

gaasc

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It's a Euro 6 emissions vehicle, so it charges when it decides it's appropriate. Can't trust a multimeter at idle.

Nani the fuck?
 

Perc

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Nani the fuck?

Yes, it's another emissions and fuel economy related thing. The alternator isn't necessarily charging just because the engine is running. Typically, it doesn't charge during acceleration to reduce load on the engine, and makes up for it during coasting and especially braking. I can feel and hear the regeneration happening during the last few meters before turning around a street corner. Feels a lot like a Prius or something even though it's a 2.0TDI with a perfectly normal 12V system.

I had a fairly noisy 12V cool box on the passenger seat next to me last weekend and you could hear the little fan going faster every time I braked. I should try plugging an actual volt meter into the lighter socket some time just to see what really happens. This wasn't my Passat though, but a modern diesel van.
 

GRtak

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Yes, it's another emissions and fuel economy related thing. The alternator isn't necessarily charging just because the engine is running. Typically, it doesn't charge during acceleration to reduce load on the engine, and makes up for it during coasting and especially braking. I can feel and hear the regeneration happening during the last few meters before turning around a street corner. Feels a lot like a Prius or something even though it's a 2.0TDI with a perfectly normal 12V system.

I had a fairly noisy 12V cool box on the passenger seat next to me last weekend and you could hear the little fan going faster every time I braked. I should try plugging an actual volt meter into the lighter socket some time just to see what really happens. This wasn't my Passat though, but a modern diesel van.



So this is the BMW problem we had over here. It might be good practice to charge the battery on a regular basis.
 

JTuhka

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Modern BMWs and likely other Euro 6 vehicles won't even charge their batteries fully as they leave some spare capacity for braking recuperation. On BMWs the max charge level reached on alternator only is 80%. Dealerships decline to code the charge level to 100% as it would tamper the official emission figures but it can be done with the usual BMW coding tools.

Unfortunately modern AGM batteries charge more slowly in freezing temperatures than traditional starter batteries and this causes problems during winter on new cars. My mothers BMW F31 had a Defa trickle charger fitted to the electric pre-heating system for this reason.
 
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gaasc

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I hate everything about this thank you.
 

EyeMWing

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Cutting out alternator load for emissions is the single hair-splittiest incremental improvement I can think of aside from maybe variable-geometry water pumps.
 
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