Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cars Can Run Without a Battery?

Our contractor (Arkikon) has been re-doing our parquet flooring at the rooms and the den the past week. Yesterday, they started on the master bedroom so we slept at the guest room last night. The kids have been sleeping here last week because their room were sanded/polyurethaned first. The airconditioning at the guest room is quite cold. Maybe its because the room is smaller than the master bedroom.

Anyway, I had a presentation scheduled this afternoon with a local telco. I was offering our PayEasy, Untangle and NetSecure Lite product lines for possible bundling with their data services. As I was wrapping up my slides for saving to my flash drive for the trip, I got a call from Cols telling me that our CRV is stuck at Puregold and wouldn't start. I normally drive the CRV to work, but for some reason, used the Altis today.

So from Peak, our sales manager, Michelle went with me and we stopped over Puregold at Shaw Blvd. where driver Ado and Marlene were waiting for assistance. We tried the jumper cables to no avail. I walked over to the Shell station across the street and asked for assistance from their in-house mechanic. The guy said the cable we have is too small for an SUV that's why it couldn't power up the dead battery from the other car.

What he did next was surprising to me. He took the battery of the Altis and inserted it into the CRV. Then he started the car. As expected, the CRV roared to life because the Altis battery is good. Then while the CRV engine was running, he removed the battery! I didn't know that was possible. It turns out that you only really need the battery to start the car. But once its running, the fuel-based engine already takes over. He returned the battery to the Altis and off we went to my meeting while the CRV went to ICA to fetch Caitlin.

I was a little late for my presentation (about 15 mins late). Thankfully, there was no traffic in Ortigas >> EDSA >> White Plains >> Katipunan. It was a good 2-hour long presentation with me talking all the way. Hopefully, some good business will come out of it.

1 comment:

orly_andico said...

That's not something you want to do again...

Interestingly enough the battery in our Mazda3 died a couple weeks ago. Same thing, wouldn't start. Just (barely) managed to fend off the MAPSA towing boys, one of Lalai's colleagues from Sun brought a power pack to jump-start the car.

The "cable is too small" argument doesn't hold water. I remember helping Danny Sinang start his car at the Peak one time because he left his park lights on all day, it was an Easter Sunday. I just used some lamp cord I had handy.

Anyway... the reason running the car without the battery is a Bad Thing is because the output of the alternator is not well-regulated. The battery acts as a "current sink" or line conditioner and absorbs any voltage spikes. So running the car with no battery runs the risk of voltage spikes from the alternator frying your electronics.