Tag Archives: automobile

Man Fixes $4500 “Failed” Toyota Hybrid Battery with $20 in Cleaning Products.

This is an incredible story. People often complain about the costly battery repairs on hybrids and EVs. Redditor Scoodidabop is quoted $4500 to replace the battery in a Toyota Camery Hybrid, as the car’s management system says the battery is failing.

toyota camry hybrid failed batteryTurns out he’s an electrician, so he removes the pack from the car and tests each individual cell. ALL of them check out. No problems.

Turns out a bunch of little copper connectors had corrosion. That corrosion was preventing the battery from operating normally. $20 worth of cleaning products later, his battery is functioning normally.

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The frustrating aspect of this story is the notion that car manufacturers charge individuals to replace the entire battery pack, when individual cells sell for around $50. Let alone cases like this where there really wasn’t any need to pay almost $5000 to gut the car and replace the battery. It seems very wasteful considering how many rare elements go into producing EV battery packs.

You can read through the whole process on Scoodidabop’s IMGUR gallery.

Gear Review: iClever Dual USB Car Charger

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A new year means new gadgets! Keep those new shiny gadgets charged on the go with iClever’s car charger. As you know by now, we don’t do un boxings. So let’s get right into it!

Right out of the box, you will notice the iClever car charger is very light and is very compact with a nice modern design to it. It measures 1.34″ x 1.34″ x 3.25 which is perfect for storing it in your backpack, purse or pocket. There is a warranty card so make sure you fill it out and send it to the manufacturer just in case something does happen to the charger. A instruction manual is included with the charger for those who may be “tech challenged”. The iClever car charger does not come with a USB cable however I am sure you have an extra USB cable laying around or you could pick one up.

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The iClever has not one charging USB port, but two! You should have no problem charging two devices at the same time while you are on your travels. One USB port is a 1A and the other USB is 2A, the latter capable of charging tablets. There is an LED light under the USB ports that let you know your devices are firmly connected and charging. I was able to charge my Lumia and IntoCircuit PC11200 Power Bank with no issues whatsoever.

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If you are looking for a well built, inexpensive car charger that performs exceptionally well, I highly suggest picking up iClever’s Car Charger!

Pick up the iClever Car Charger today!  Continue reading Gear Review: iClever Dual USB Car Charger

Tesla Wins in Massachusetts Supreme Court Direct Sales Lawsuit

model-s-blue-front2_960x640It’s been a long fight for Tesla in MA, but yesterday the state’s highest court thew out the lawsuit which would have blocked Tesla from selling electric vehicles directly to consumers.

The Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association sued Tesla citing the state’s franchise law, but the court ruled that Tesla was not violating the spirit of that law. The franchise law was written to protect franchise owners from direct and unfair competition against a parent company, a relationship which does not exist for Tesla. Justice Margot Botsford wrote:

The law “was intended and understood only to prohibit manufacturer-owned dealerships when, unlike Tesla, the manufacturer already had an affiliated dealer or dealers in Massachusetts”.

“Contrary to the plaintiffs’ assertion,” she added, “the type of competitive injury they describe between unaffiliated entities is not within the statute’s area of concern.”

Tesla is current fighting similar statutes in several other states including Texas, Arizona, Maryland, and recently an ugly public fight in New Jersey. If the state laws there are similar to MA’s, then this case might set the stage for Tesla’s future legal strategy.

 

Android Auto Combines Your Phone and Car for Safer Driving

android autoAuto in-dash entertainment and navigation systems feel woefully out of step with the rest of the tech landscape. These types of services are far more powerful and updated far more frequently on our phones and tablets. There have been many times I’ve personally just wanted my phone to be the brain of my car.

Starting the Open Auto Alliance, Google plans to provide just that. Plug your phone into your car, and your car screen will show simplified driver friendly versions of the apps and services you might need while operating a motor vehicle. Relying on steering wheel controls and voice recognition services like entertainment, communication, and navigation should help reduce the amount of time drivers take their eyes off the road.

A new Android Auto SDK will help streamline the process of building a car app and releasing it. The initial push will focus on messaging and music services, and the API’s are almost identical to Android Wear.

Over 40 automobile manufacturers have already joined the Open Auto Alliance, and the first Android compatible cars will be released later this year.

Google Self-Driving Cars Tackling City Driving

google self driving carMaybe the biggest hurdle for self-driving cars is the ability to identify and react to sudden obstacles. Someone running out in front of the car, an emergency lane change, etc.

Google released another video detailing their recent efforts in improving car software to react appropriately to these kinds of situations.

Sign me up. There’s any number of things I’d rather be doing than driving my car during a morning commute in LA. You can read the full update below. Continue reading Google Self-Driving Cars Tackling City Driving

The best comparison you’ll ever see (or hear) between a Motorola Roadster II Bluetooth speakerphone and a smartphone

motorola roadster bt bluetooth speakerphone somegadgetguyWe’re just covering all kinds of Bluetooth audio right now! Leading off with the Jawbone JAMBOX and then looking at the HMDX Jam Classic, now we’re taking a brief look at one in-car audio solution.

There are a number of ways that you can answer calls while on the road, though it seems the BT headset has fallen out of vogue, especially with many vehicles incorporating BT speakerphone capabilities standard. If your car DOESN’T have Bluetooth however, fret not, as there are some pretty terrific solutions you can clip to a visor. Specifically we’re going to take a listen to Motorola’s Roadster II, and compare it against a Smartphone to see how much of an improvement it might offer.

Marvel at my incredible pantomime abilities!

Shop the Roadster II on Amazon.