Sanjeev Sabhlok's notes on technology, hardware, gardening

Shortinglisting a replacement car

Rule 1: the car must be white – that’s got the best resale value

What I need in a car

  • foot-“hand” brake
  • high resolution cameras to fully record the environment (no car has this feature)
  • Cruise control – check the model
  • Decent safety rating 
  • A large boot (sometimes a sedan can have more space than an SUV)
  • good ground clearance
  • Servicing every 15K/ one year
  • NOT turbo (noting that turbo is better at high altitudes since it gets more oxygen, but unfortunately its repair costs are much higher).

SUV experience

Sm has driven Kia Carnival, Holden Captiva, Toyota Tarago, Toyota Prius (sedan). One potential problem noticed in Kia: The handbrake goes off automatically after few seconds of starting the engine – not a very safe option.

SAFETY

ANACAP RATINGS: “A person driving a one-star vehicle is almost twice as likely to be killed or seriously hurt than someone in a five-star car.”

 vehicles built before 2000 make up just 20 per cent of cars on the road, yet are involved in one-third of crashes.

Do read this first: http://theconversation.com/ive-always-wondered-are-suvs-and-4wds-safer-than-other-cars-98559

BUT NOTE THAT ANACAP RATINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS RIGHT: https://www.whichcar.com.au/news/safety-confusion-when-five-stars-isnt-five-stars.

 

Ex-rental cars

https://www.thrifty.com.au/carsales

 

The specific models being compared are:

2019 Subaru Forester 2.5i-S [RULED OUT DUE TO VERY POOR DURABILITY]

2019 Hyundai Tucson Highlander

2019 Ford Escape Titanium [RULED OUT DUE TO BRAND]

2019 Nissan X-Trail Ti [RULED OUT DUE TO BRAND]

2019 Mazda CX-5 GT Turbo

2019 Kia Sportage GT-Line

2019 Volkswagen Tiguan 132TSI Comfortline [RULED OUT DUE TO BRAND]

2019 Holden Equinox LTZ-V [RULED OUT DUE TO BRAND]

2019 Honda CR-V VTi-LX

2019 Toyota RAV4 GXL 2

Reject RAV-4, HONDA CR-V.

 

Ground clearance

Subaru XV/Subaru Forester: 220mm [not reliable, 3.8 on productreview]

Honda CRV: 208mm [4.6 on productreview]

Mazda CX-5: 200mm [4.3 on productreview]

Suzuki Vitara: 185mm [4.2 on productreview]

Toyota RAV4: 176mm [4.1 on productreview]

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: 175mm

Kia Sportage: 172mm [4.5 on productreview]

 

Recommended Options (brand new with minimum 10% off by shopping around):

Sedans or HATCHBACK of these versions:

Hatchback offers the best all round visibility. Sedan offers the best safety from rear collision.

  • Honda Accord
  • Toyota Camry
  • Mazda 6 or Mazda 3

SUVs:

A major benefit for city-based SUVs is the elevated ride height, which offers drivers improved forward vision and a dramatically different line of sight, unmatched by a sedan or hatch

  • Kia Sportage
  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Mazda CX-5

KIA SPORTAGE IS COMING OUT ON THE TOP

But Hyundai Tucson and Mazda CX-5 are pretty close in terms of popularity among buyers (which is proof of their quality, presumably).

These three are almost equally wide, with Kia the widest and Honday smallest (but by a mere 15mm)

Rejected 

SUBARU EYESIGHT IS A POWERFUL TECHNOLOGY – AVAILABLE AT LEAST SINCE 2014 (2014 video)

The Forester is one of the best-equipped SUVs in its price range in terms of active safety, with all versions equipped with Subaru’s EyeSight package that relies on stereo cameras at the top of the windscreen. BUT: Constant false alarms with lane keeping & auto braking.

BUT it has very bad reviews about quality and durability. Not a Toyota by a wide margin. Things start falling apart and then costs skyrocket. Its spare parts are among the most expensive as well. Also very uncomfortable in long distance driving. And its power is feeble and can’t pull up hills adequately.

RULED OUT ARE also TWO WHEEL drive SUVs

  • Holden Captiva (from $27,990), Hyundai ix35 (from $26,990), Kia Sportage (from $26,490), Mitsubishi ASX (from $25,990), Mitsubishi Outlander (from $28,990), Nissan Dualis (from $24,990), Nissan X-Trail (from $28,490), Renault Koleos (from $29,990)
  • Suzuki Vitara
  • Suzuki Vitara is small but doesn’t have critical safety features. It is easy to park, small turning circle etc., but best left alone.Toyota CH-R is also in the small SUV category but best ignored. Both have tiny turbo charged engines.
  • Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

SERVICING COSTS

https://www.canstarblue.com.au/vehicles/running-costs-popular-cars/

  • Maintenance costs are lower for Toyota as their parts are more common. Most independent mechanics know Toyotas better, since Toyota is the best-selling brand globally. Servicing intervals for both are every 10,000 km’s (except for sedans like the Camry, which is every 15,000kms) but capped price is available.
  • SUVs with AWD are more expensive to maintain because the AWD system is more expensive to fix if it breaks. Also, when tyres are changed, all 4 may have to be changed at at the same time.

SIZE

  • The Toyota RAV4 and Honda CRV are 4WD. Both are big cars, but not too big for city driving. If you go beyond these sizes, you’ll get more power but city-driving will be too difficult.

GROUND CLEARANCE (Avalon has 114mm)

Subaru XV/Subaru Forester: 220mm [not reliable, 3.8 on productreview]
Honda CRV: 208mm [4.6 on productreview]
Mazda CX-5: 200mm [4.3 on productreview]
Suzuki Vitara: 185mm [4.2 on productreview]
Toyota RAV4: 176mm [4.1 on productreview]
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: 175mm
Kia Sportage: 172mm [4.5 on productreview]
TOWING CAPACITY
  • The Toyota will be able to tow caravans of up to 1500 kg weight as per the specifications, as can the CRV. However, due to the bigger engine, Toyota will be more powerful.

 

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Strong internet connection but “whatsapp web” keeps going off

Whatsapp doesn’t provide much advice on why its whatasapp web constantly disconnects. This issue has dramatically inceased with my new phone.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

https://webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/115888/whatsapp-web-constantly-disconnecting-since-i-moved-to-new-phone

STOP BATTERY OPTIMISATION

Go to Battery > Battery Optimization > scroll down to the app Whatsapp > choose ‘Don’t Optimize’.

 

KEYWORDS

WhatsApp Web constantly disconnecting since I moved to new phone

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Car battery charging – key principles – and the CTEK 12v 5A charger that I’ve now bought

MANDATORY REQUIREMENT TO CHARGE BATTERY EVERY WEEK

I’ve now bought 62456370890N-60B24L/JE : Panasonic 12V Car Battery (screenshot dated 21 march 2019) for $188.95. It has a four year warranty.

  • Model No.: N-60B24L/JE
  • Capacity 20hr: 45Ah
  • Size : 202 H (227b including posts) x 128 H x 238 W
  • Electrolyte Density: 1.28 at 25 degrees C
  • CCA: 410
  • RC: 70min
  • Class: A

REGULAR MAINTENANCE CHARGING IS ESSENTIAL!

I’ve been advised that since the car does a lot of short distance travelling, it is best to charge the battery EVERY WEEK.

This is confirmed here.

Batteries have a natural self discharge or internal chemical leakage; and today’s cars draw a tiny amount of power from the battery when not in use to keep all the electrical systems ‘alive’. Over time, the battery will become fully discharged if not driven.

To avoid this happening, you can connect a maintenance charger to keep your battery in good condition.

FURTHER: The best way to maintain a battery on extended holidays is to use a maintenance charger. It can be left connected for an indefinite period, ensuring your car battery remains fully charged while you are away.

ISSUE THAT STARTED MY INVESTIGATION: BATTERY IN MY TOYOTA COROLLA was diagnosed with 10 volt charge by RACV.

The battery had been installed by RACV some time ago

UN2794 BATTERIES WET FILLED WITH ACID

Cold cranking amps (CCA): 430
Amp hours (Ah): 45
Reserve capacity (RC) 71 minutes

It is a calcium battery. lead acid calcium / calcium. I need a CHARGING MODE charger.

NEVER USE RACV BATTERY REPLACEMENT SERVICE.

These people provide a budget battery and no advice on how to maintain it. Their batteries DON’T go very long. And they don’t provide any useful advice on battery maintenance.

WHAT IS THE VOLTAGE OF A FULLY CHARGED CAR BATTERY?

“Fully charged automotive batteries should measure at 12.6 volts or above.” [Source]

The voltage of a battery is a good way to determine the state of charge. Here’s a handy table with the breakdown: [Source]

State of Charge Voltage
100% 12.7 – 13.2
75% 12.4
50% 12.2
25% 12.0
Discharged 0 – 11.9

If your battery is:

  • Reading 0 volts, chances are the battery experienced a short circuit
  • Cannot reach higher than 10.5 volts when being charged, then the battery has a dead cell
  • Fully charged (according to the battery charger) but the voltage is 12.4 or less, the battery is sulfated  [This is what seems to have happened in my case]

CTEK charger

Given the urgency I purchased a CTEK charger

BACKGROUND

What is a “Calcium” battery?

A Calcium battery is a still a lead acid battery; they are usually sealed maintenance free.  Calcium replaces antimony in the plates of the battery to give it some advantages including improved resistance to corrosion, no excessive gassing, less water usage and lower self discharge.  Silver is another additive used by some manufacturers, the addition of silver enables the battery to be more resilient to high temperatures.

Calcium batteries require a higher charge voltage than conventional batteries.  If used in a deep cycle situation it is advisable to use a charger designed for calcium batteries of has a calcium charging mode to get the maximum life out of the battery.

HOW TO TEST USING HEADLIGHT

Fully charged automotive batteries should measure at 12.6 volts or above. When the engine is running, this measurement should be 13.7 to 14.7 volts. If you don’t have a multimeter to tell you the voltage of your battery, you can do a test of your electrical system by starting the car and turning on the headlights. If they are dim, that indicates the lights are running off the battery and that little or no charge is being produced by the alternator. If the lights get brighter as you rev the engine, it means the alternator is producing some current, but may not be producing enough at idle to keep the battery properly charged. If the lights have normal brightness and don’t change intensity as the engine is revved, your charging system is probably functioning normally. If you’ve been experiencing problems with your battery system and the headlight test checks out okay, you should check whether or not the battery is holding a charge, or if something on the vehicle is discharging it. [Source]

 

THIS IS VERY USEFUL

HOW TO RECHARGE A DEAD CAR BATTERY SAFELY AND QUICKLY

if the unit in question reads below 12 volts. Using the alternator to deal with such a depleted battery can actually damage your alternator.

 

 

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