16 January 2010

What really bugs the Boss

Now that the charging problem is (soon to be) behind us, I got my wife to drive the Mini E again.  She had been a big fan and always wanted to drive it.  If it is the gas car, she never wants to drive.  But awhile ago she soured on the Mini E and I assumed it was the charging problem, which is now over.

But that was only a small part of it.

So she drove the the store the other evening while I was the passenger.  Short trip, lots of charge, cold night, so what do I do that I never do on my long commute to work?

Turn on the heater!

And what does the heater do that is very reminiscent of a Microsoft product or device?

It crashes!  It was very warm for several minutes and then ice cold.  And nothing I did with the knobs made any difference once it went cold.

And my wife's tone made it very clear that this is why she has soured on the car.  I recall once several weeks ago she eagerly took the Mini E to choir practice, about 25 miles away.  The heater crashed on her, and she froze.  Never since has she wanted to take the Mini E.

I suspect the PTC design (positive temperature coefficient) is simply unstable and if the fan is too low for the heat setting, it cuts off.  But I will have to take some data.  I think Robert pointed this out first, and I recall Tom agreeing the heater was not dependable.

I don't know if this problem is in just a few cars or all of them.  Or something wacky like the charging problem that arguably had to do with outside variables.  (Any Mini E would have had that charging problem at my house probably.)  I suppose I have to head over to the Facebook discussion group and see who else has observed this issue.

I do know that if there is any hope of extending the lease on my Mini E, it will only be possible if Mini can make that heater dependable.  Because my boss likes to be toasty warm and does not like to have to think about a fussy heater when she is driving.  And that is the way it should be.

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