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Old 01-03-2017, 04:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Coasting backward down a hill in the dark without lights.

A friend asked for a ride. I was in the middle of replacing a faucet, need to write progress reports for work, and have other things going on, but went to help. Then I ran into Walmart, which apparently now closes at midnight, and it was almost midnight.
I found teflon tape just in time and was almost home when I stopped for a train. I turned off my engine, but left my lights on so nobody knocked me into the train, except no one approached until almost ten minutes later, when I could see the end of the train. My phone was dying (and I cannot charge it in my Civic), but I was almost home!
Everything died when I tried to start the car. I had the smrtcar behind me back up and go around and I rolled back, but tried to bump-start when another car approached.
No good.
I got out and gestured for them to go around. They and another driver stopped to ask if I needed help and waited to see if I could bump-start.
Somehow the rest of the hill was steeper, but there are hardly any streetlights, and I could not turn on my lights. I was able to bump-start, but I kept worrying about backing into something I could not see!

I am very glad I have a manual transmission!

That was four blocks from home. In the morning I will get my trickle charger out of our shed, but that is in the alley. I do not enjoy long walks down dark alleys.

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Old 01-03-2017, 04:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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One of the many reasons why I'll always drive a manual! Next time, turn off the headlights while leaving the parking lights on!
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll be a little rough here. So you saved pennies worth of gas and had to deal with all that, plus drained your battery which may need replaced soon now.

Was it worth it?
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Voltage meter, voltage meter!
Key on if the battery drops below 11 Volt...

I have a battery voltage gauge on my UG, but it only gets powered in the ON position, which draws quite some power.
Got to work something out that reads voltage while only the lights are on.
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Maybe i should have just pushed my car across the tracks, but I preferred the risk of backing into a smrtcar than having another train come.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
Maybe i should have just pushed my car across the tracks, but I preferred the risk of backing into a smrtcar than having another train come.
I was going to suggest just leave the car run, but... if pushing a car with no lights in the roadway at night is acceptable to you, by all means.

You probably saved well under .1 gallons, so around 20 cents.
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Old 01-04-2017, 12:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sounds like the battery might have already been marginal if it only took ten minutes of having the lights on to drain it. My practice is usually to leave the lights and other accessories off unless/until I see someone else coming, but it's always easy to pile on after the fact.
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Sounds like the battery might have already been marginal if it only took ten minutes of having the lights on to drain it.
I found the hard way that I need to put my truck battery on a trickle charger once or twice a week. My wife does only short trips, she also needs to put her car on a trickle charger once a week.

Even when the alternator is working properly, it takes time to fully charge a battery. The battery might still be perfectly good. Put it on a charger for a couple of days. I use one of those 2 amp "computer controlled" chargers.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMichler View Post
I found the hard way that I need to put my truck battery on a trickle charger once or twice a week. My wife does only short trips, she also needs to put her car on a trickle charger once a week.

Even when the alternator is working properly, it takes time to fully charge a battery. The battery might still be perfectly good. Put it on a charger for a couple of days. I use one of those 2 amp "computer controlled" chargers.
90% of my trips are less than 7km and I have never had a battery issue in the last 18 years of driving. Sounds like something is wrong with your battery or alternator.

Simon

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