Mustang Parts
   Carrying Saleen wheels and Bullitt wheels.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Western Digital Caviar Green (WD10EADS) Failure

On my desktop PC I have a 1 TB secondary drive which I use for storing photos, videos, music, and etc.  I was using a WD Caviar Green model WD10EADS, and it developed a strange behavior.  File access slowed to a crawl, with wait times of between 3 and 5 seconds to read from or write to a file.  Disk utilization (resource monitor) showd 100%, but the drive wasn't making much noise.  According to the SMART check, everything was still within spec.  Then I tried to do a sector test on it, using WD's Data Lifeguard tool, and it failed about 2/3 the way through, "Error 8: too many bad sectors".  

My theory about what is going on is that the drive controller, for some reason, is not able to "wake up" anymore, and so sometimes when you ask for a file it takes a long time to actually read it or write it, but my data did not appear to be damaged--I was able to copy everything off of the drive, it just took multiple tries for some files.

Thanks to a 3 year warranty, I am able to send the drive back for replacement to Western Digital.   I'm a little spooked by the failure though, and I am going to replace the drive with a non-Green model for now.  I liked how quiet the Caviar Green was, but it wasn't the fastest drive even when it was working.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Coda's Electric Car Will Cost $44,000...

...and be serviced at a "a major retail department store chain" (e.g. Sears, or perhaps WalMart) for the electrical propulsion system, or one of several Firestone locations for non-powertrain issues.

Yeah, good luck with that.  

They expect people to pay top dollar (more than a Leaf or Volt) for a car that looks like a 2003 Protege.  Then, if something breaks, the customer has to decide if needs to be taken to the mall or to Firestone to get fixed?

And if you get in an accident and need body and mechanical work, where do you take it?  

My prediction: Leaf, Volt, and later Ford's Focus EV will kill off the Coda.  People will have no compelling reason to have a complicated life when the faithful full service dealer is still right down the road.

Edmunds article is here.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

X-Prize Realities

Now that the Progressive Automotive X-Prize competition is over, I expect that green car boosters (and Tesla, who didn't bother entering) will begin pointing at the winners as evidence that the mainstream auto industry can't compete.


As impressive feats of small-team engineering, the X-Prize finalists are amazing.  But they are nothing like consumer products, just as NASCAR "stock cars" are nothing like consumer products.  The X-Prize competitors were given a set of design constraints, which to Progressive's credit did include basic performance and safety criteria, and optimized their designs to meet those criteria.  In other words, they built cars that were going to have very high efficiency and a bare minimum of performance.

If you were to take an X-Prize winner, and try to make a mass market product out of it, that would meet FMVSS standards for a passenger car, 150,000 mile reliabilty, NHTSA's crash standards, would be comfortable and convenient, easy to drive, and affordable to a middle class family, you would not wind up any where close to 100 MPGe.  

You would probably wind up with something like a Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt.  But without the economies of scale in purchasing, design, and development that a major OEM has, your X-Prize car would cost thousands of dollars more.

The OEMs could have easily competed in the X-Prize competition, if they wanted to.  They were too busy making vehicles people would actually consider buying.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thursday, September 02, 2010