Jan 042014

This is what my car told me this morning:

Yes, it needed a new battery. It just wouldn’t start.

The irony is that my car is a hybrid. Which means that when you turn the key, it usually just comes to life, like any decent electric motor would. And behind the back seat, there is a 144 V NiMH battery with enough juice to light up my house. But when the outside temperature is low, the engine computer decides on its own that the engine should be cranked like a low-tech gasoline engine… from the 12 V battery, using an ordinary starter motor. And when that happens in the dead of a Canadian winter, with a battery that was last replaced about six years ago…

Thank goodness for Canadian Tire.

The video, by the way, is a scene from Return to Zork, the first multimedia sequel to the classic Zork series of text adventure games from the early 1980s. The graphics may be a tad dated, but the game is still quite good and entertaining… and plays well in DOSBox.

 Posted by at 6:15 pm

  2 Responses to “I need a new battery”

  1. I think the batteries are getting better, though. I’ve still got the original in my truck, thirteen and a half years after I bought it, and it still starts first time, every time, even without being plugged in. I doubt that anybody could say that when I was growing up …

  2. 13+ years? Wow. Sounds like a remarkably good battery. The original (factory-installed) 12 V battery in my Civic Hybrid lasted just over 3 years. The replacement, 6 years, which is more than I expected. In contrast, the manuals of my APC UPS-s recommend replacing the lead acid batteries every 3 years, and indeed, after 3 years I can tell that the batteries are not up to the task anymore.