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2 hours, 2 miles, battery drained...normal? (LA folks?)

1442 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Braxus
Yesterday we had a strong windstorm and it broke one of the two major floating bridges that people use to get from Seattle to all points east, right at the start of rush hour. Locals: I was in downtown Bellevue at the time, and I spent two hours driving two miles to I-90. Yes, that's right: on Bellevue Way at 4:45 and entered the freeway at 6:45.

Anyway, so the car was sitting a LOT, and then inching up in little increments. After an hour I noticed the IMA pack was down to three bars. I also happened to be a little light on gas. So I tried leaving a little gap between myself and the car in front when traffic would move so I could actually brake and recharge, but any time that distance was greater than the length of a MINI someone would pull their car into that space.

Since I had time on my hands, I called up the dealership and asked their advice. Other than taking the climate control system out of ECON mode, they really didn't have any ideas...didn't know if this was normal for parking-lot style traffic after this amount of time.

The car didn't go into forced-recharge until I was down to ONE bar, and then handled like I had the parking brake pulled: slow to start up, slow to stop. I've had similarly-themed problems trying to find parking, and like before, once I got the car moving (decided to risk a ticket and took the HOV lane on the onramp) the pack charged up halfway in three miles of faster-than-walking speed.

What else is new? Over the weekend I finally installed 6" rear Eclipse speakers into the stereo system, but that would only draw on the standard battery. Tires inflated that morning to 40psi all around. 22,400 miles.

Needless to say, I don't make it a habit to sit in traffic like this, nor roadhog in the HOV lane (I wouldn't have argued a ticket if called in) or even use my cell while driving. :shock:
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I noticed something like this driving in NYC on sat. I usually am in NJ with lots of highway driving, but city driving there really sucked up the battery. Plus, it was a gorgeous day so the autostop was going on and off frequently. I didn't know that the insight would do this, but when the battery got really low it would rev the engine to charge the battery while I was stopped at a light.

edited to add: I don't think I had a recal, because I did notice that the charge indicator was slowly dropping and I just couldn't maintain enough charge to get it up again. But I hadn't read about forced charge, and it surprised me!
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