Friday, 22 April 2011

I Hate Batteries!

So my old car has sat most of the winter because the little remote thing, of which I only have one, had a faulty button. Sometimes it unlocked, sometimes it didn’t. If the cat sat on the car’s roof the alarm went off and sometimes the button silenced it, sometimes it didn’t. As some steaming  pillock of a designer had decided to provide only one button, which sets/unsets both the immobiliser and the alarm it was totally impossible with an erratic malfunctioning button to know what state the car was in! The fact that there is no visible dashboard light to even warn when the (auto setting) immobiliser was set just made it more of a gamble, having got into it without waking the street then sometimes it would start, sometimes it would churn round uselessly. I despair of designers!

As Saab are one of the most expensive main dealers I found a spare remote, then spent hours trying to find someone who could code it. Nope! It might be the same system as a Vauxhall but the Saab software is locked to Saab’s electronic analysis machines. Dear Saab. I don’t want to steal it just want to drive the damn thing without being held to ransom for a trivial bit of programming.

Eventually I found a helpful lock specialist, they couldn’t re-programme it, but could repair the faulty button (thank you Longton Lock Centre) and collecting the rejuvenated remote I dashed off home to test it. Nope. It seems to click at the right times but the car battery is flat and doesn’t want to take a charge. Presumably months of very cold weather and little use have damaged the battery, so the car is back on ‘hold’ until I get a new battery.

No matter, there is plenty of work to be done around the house, so out comes the cordless electric drill and the new door lock to be fitted. I drill half a hole then the drill stops, battery flat! Into charger with it, while I flatten the spare battery on the second half of the hole. Looks like age or winter killed the drill batteries too. About half a hole or three woodscrews seems to be their limit. Of course all cordless drills use different battery packs which are often more expensive than the drill complete. So that can wait.

Never mind. The trees and garden looks beautiful so I’ll take some pictures, or I would if the camera worked, but the batteries are flat. No matter I have more ready charged, but they won’t work for more than 5 minutes either, then the camera dies with a picture half saved and the memory card and existing pictures can only be rescued on the computer. Two or three years use and rechargables lose most of their capacity.

This is the technology that is meant to replace petrol and diesel in our cars and allow us to travel to work and visit friends or go on holiday.

Dream on greenies!

Thank goodness the bottle opener is manually operated!


  1. Oh dear W42, not a good start to the holiday period. Now in my day, cars used to have a bloody great handle sticking out of the front bumper......

  2. Could be worse WfW, I could have bought a Prius or be thinking of a Nissan Leaf - they will have almost zero second hand value when the batteries need replacing.
    My old Morris does indeed have a bloody great handle, although it lifts out when not in use!

  3. Ah Woodsy, batteries are the bane of my life. I've things here on the desk which I charge a few times a month but they never operate for long when required.

    One thing about iPads - the battery lasts well over a week with regular use. Quite a surprise.