Battery’s dead. Or not. By Ben Whitworth
I experienced a bizarre three-day period when the car’s battery threw a strop. On the Thursday, I returned home from a meeting. Parked up on our driveway with around 30 per cent charge remaining and plugged in to our BP Pulse wall charger. Standard routine. Came downstairs on Friday morning to a cold dead car displaying a ‘Serious Malfunction’ warning. Overnight the charge had disappeared and the battery hadn’t taken any juice.
The very friendly chap who responded to my Mazda Assistance call couldn’t interrogate the MX-30’s digital innards with his diagnostic kit. Which meant Snows of Portsmouth would need to dispatch a low-loader on Saturday with a crane to lift the car off our driveway onto the truck. Noooo! Before going to bed on Friday I plugged the Mazda into the wall socket in the garage, hoping that even the slowest of trickle charges might give the car enough juice to get it off the driveway. Checked the car on Saturday morning and – drum roll please – a fully charged battery. Low-loader cancelled and no charging issues since, but it’s knocked my faith in Mazda’s normally rock-solid reliability. The car’s booked in for its first service – I’m hoping some explanation will be discovered when it’s plugged into their system.
Meanwhile, more on last month’s software update. As well as reprogramming the ECU to not drain the 12-volt battery when the car is parked up, it also tickled the MX-30’s g-vectoring control to deliver a more linear flow of torque across the front axle. Which explains why the Mazda felt a bit perkier off the line. That and a set of new front tyres.
Grip levels from the Bridgestones up front deteriorated quickly over the last fortnight, exacerbated by the slimy winter roads. Snows of Chichester ordered a new pair and within 48 hours they were fitted, for £289 all in. I’ll be using a cheaper independent provider next time round.