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Monday, October 29, 2007

Design Flaws

It is time I come clean. I know a chick who owns a Toyota Prius. The hybrid.

So anyway, she goes on some manner of vacation. And she leaves her car parked in the parking garage at her work location. I guess she lives in crack city and did not want to leave the car parked there. Whatever. That is not important.

What IS important is that the 12 volt battery in her car died. This is design flaw number 1. The 12 volt battery is puny. I have seen hearing aides with more battery capacity than the Prius battery had. Remember this is Florida - the retirement state. LOTS of old people here. I think 10% of the residents are veterans of the Civil War. 5% of the population remember George Washington and 1% went to high school with Moses.

The Prius has 2 batteries. One is huge and has 200 volts. This battery runs the car but is useless to start the engine. The 12 volt battery is so small that I wonder what it is even used for. I mean shit - how hard would it be to design the vehicle to use a standard automotive battery? But nooooo - Toyota had to make the Prius to use a little battery that is almost worthless.

Anyway, over the week plus the chick was out out town the battery discharged. I think she left her "smartkey" feature on. Or maybe it was the alarm. Who knows. The point is the battery died.

So I get a call last night. Her battery is dead and since I have a truck it stands to reason I have jumper cables. Well I do! How about that? I got everything in my tool box. Even Kenneth Cole Black. Everything.

Anyhow today I go meet her at her office building to rescue the Prius. I got my truck, I got the jumper cables, and so on. Check check check. Everything in order .

So we get to the car. Now I have already covered the first major design flaw in the Prius. The small battery. Really - the thing MIGHT be 100 amp hours. Maybe. More likely it is only 50 amp hours. It is really small. I have seen D cell batteries with more capacity. So that is design flaw 1.

Design flaw 2 is that when the little 12 volt battery dies - nothing unlocks. Well the drivers side door unlocks. but can you open the back doors? Hell no. There is no manual door lock. No maybe there was a "child lock" thing going on that I did not know about. But whatever was going on - only the drivers door could be opened. Design flaw 2.

Design flaw 3 relates to what is not under the hood. The battery is not under the hood. So I get the hood open and.......where the fuck is the battery? Not under the hood. And with no battery, there is nothing to jump.

NOTE - upon consultation with other Prius owners it turns out there is a hidden 12 volt terminal under the hood that can be used as a jump start point. But I did not know this. So it still counts as a design flaw.

Now I consult the owners manual to find out where the hell the battery is. As it turns out, the battery is in the hatchback. but do you remember design flaw 2? Nothing opens except the drivers door? So how the hell can I get access to the hatchback?

As it turns out there is a manual release - inside the car. So now I have to crawl into the back of the car - from the drivers seat. There is this pull shade thing that is hiding all the crap in the hatchback that has to be removed. Then the back seats have to fold down. Now all the crap has to be removed from the hatchback. And now there is a cover that has to be removed. Then the "luggage rack" has to be removed. And now I can get to the manual release. Design flaw 4 is the mega pain in the ass it is to open the hatchback if the battery dies.

Shit I had a 1989 DODGE Daytona that had a hatchback. I could open the hatchback with the key. No battery needed. HELLO TOYOTA! Why the fuck make things so complicated?

And now there are only two more covers to remove and then I can see the positive and negative terminals for the battery. So I jump the battery. The car starts.

And as soon as I remove my jumper cables - the car dies. As it turns out if the transmission is in neutral the battery will not recharge.

So I tell the chick to put the car in park and restart it. She does. And it starts. Then I remove my jumper cables. And the car runs. So I follow her out of the parking garage. She uses her access card to open the gate and she drives out. I of course am still in the garage. So she puts the car in park and goes back to the gate to open it again. And it will not open.

So I drive around the gate. I have a truck. Fuck the curbs and the landscaping. I can drive over all that shit. So I do.

Anyway there you go. The design flaws in the Toyota Prius. Something so simple had to be made so complicated. Of course it should be noted there is a jump start terminal under the hood, but it is hidden under a cover and that cover can only be removed with the key and I did not know this so I had no way of knowing about it.

I have decided I want the AT&T 8525 as my replacement phone.

It has bluetooth and 802.11 capability and a full keyboard and shit. I can get it for $150 plus a two year contract extension. I was going to extend the contract anyway, so I might as well get a discount on a phone for doing so.

I also want to order this thing.

This is the Aquapod 12 gallon with a 70 watt HQI lighting system. For only $150 plus $30 shipping. Not a bad deal at all. I have no place to put the shit right now, but when a deal like this comes along you do not worry about such things. Just get it. So I may.

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Blogger Emma Sometimes said...

The aquapods are very cool.

The Prius sounds like one heck of a launch off a cliff.

What kind of retarded engineering is that?

Blogger Fuzz said...

We got a '03 Honda. I think it has sparkplugs, but I've yet to find them.

Anonymous krok7 said...

The lazy,

I just hate it when they hide the battery.

I'm sorry but I don't believe you were able to get out of the garage without paying. You will be locked up soon.

If I get nude pictures of Doozie I will send them to you.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Emma - it is a cool car. Really. But the way some things were done is retarded.

Fuzz - I think I could find the spark plugs in my 02 Tacoma. Maybe.

Krok - I just drove over the curb like barriers and around the gate. Who needs access when you have a truck? Just drive over stuff.

Blogger Dusty said...

Those aren't flaws techincally Lazy. But they are stupid things that were probably put in there because some fuckwit designer had his head up his ass.

Didn't she have an owners manual? There should of been a section on jumping the battery when it croaks.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

There was an owners manual. I did not think to look for "how to jump start this fucking thing". I did however find a section for "battery maintenance" and that is how I found the 12v starting battery.

In the back of the car. 4 covers had to be removed. The hatchback would not open from the outside, so another cover for the manual release had to be opened and the magical lever pulled.

And then - the car could be jump started. After all that madness.

And then I had to escape from the parking garage in my truck. They rigged the place so you could not use an access card to swipe out more than one car at a time.

It was a full blown adventure.


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