Note to car manufacturers: I never want a dead car battery. Never. Ever.
Call me contrary, but I don’t want my wife and kids to walk out to the rainy parking lot after a movie and find that they need to jump-start the car.
We have two cars made in the past five years. They both sport a Dead-Battery feature.
One of our cars leaves the headlights on. Really. After over 100 years of designing cars, we can still kill a battery by leaving the headlights on. Now, I know that a car can be designed to turn the headlights off when the car is turned off, even delaying for a minute so I can find my way to the front door. I know this is possible because our other car, built by the same manufacturer (and a couple of years older) does this. But someone decided that on this car, the owner wants the option of killing the battery.
Our minivan has a reading lamp for almost every seat in the car. It’s great – almost like flying on a airplane. Even my kids can turn on their own reading lights. And, they can leave them on. Once the car is shut off, the lights stay on, until the battery goes dead.
The truly diabolical part of the design is this: the van has the courtesy of turning the interior lights on when a door is opened, and leaving those lights on for a while after you exit the car. So, you can’t tell if any of the reading lights have been left on unless you stand there and wait for all the other lights to turn off.
Why do I want this feature? I can’t ever remember thinking, “Gee, if only I could only remove my keys from the car, lock it, and walk away from an empty car to have the interior lights drain the battery.”
If I don’t want my car to start, I can open the hood and remove a battery cable. Of course, that isn’t very convenient. Perhaps the manufacturer could provide a switch that will keep me from starting my car without me having to pop the hood?
My 2005 VW Pointer (a low end compact built in Brazil) has that automatic function of turning the lights off as soon as u shut the car off (well the main lights only) but even all those poka-yokeish-power-saving features suck sometimes…I was left with a dead battery after leaving work, had to jump-start it and kept it running with my foot right on the throttle 100% of the time (of my trip back home) if not, it stalled…and it (the battery) wasn’t even 2 yrs old (brazil-built..again), glad the great looking lady at work didn’t see me struggle. with the car..or did she?…just my 5 cents to the rant 😉
If you love your car so much, swap out the incandescent courtsey bulbs with LED replacements.
My husband inherited a large ’92 Buick. It leaves the car lights on for a full FOUR MINUTES after you exit the car. This, I assume, is a safety feature intended for the legions of seniors who drive this car and need more time to exit. When Iâ€™m forced to drive it, I have to stand outside (in a parking structure or in the rain) and look at the car to ensure that indeed the lights will turn off and the battery wonâ€™t die. Once, an older gentleman saw me gazing at the car. He stopped to wait with me, said “Mighty fine car,” and then shuffled on.
🙂 Good thoughts. Such simple ideas that need to be implemented more often. But sometimes, the greatest ideas are the simplest, and hardest to come by. (e.g. The countdown seconds-timer on crosswalk signals. Doh! Why didn’t I think of that?! haha).
Huy (sounds like “we”)
my car suffers from the same ailment
of keeping its interior lights on for some time after I’ve exited and locked the vehicle.
many times I have accidently left the lights on
but didn’t know it
until having arrived back
after an 8-hour work day
to the lights still on.
I am constantly exiting my car, locking it
and then unlocking it again
and returning into the vehicle
to ensure the lights are indeed, shut off.
“Such simple ideas that need to be implemented more often. But sometimes, the greatest ideas are the simplest, and hardest to come by. (e.g. The countdown seconds-timer on crosswalk signals. Doh! Why didnâ€™t I think of that?! haha).”
Yes, I think so.