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Problem charging after long drive?

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:51 am
by darthpuppy
I've had a number of times after a long drive (go from full battery to about 10 miles past EV only range) and have it stop charging shortly after plugging it in. This sounds kind of like the problem mentioned on this forum about cold battery charging issue that was supposedly fixed with a software update. But it has continued to happen even since the car was in the shop and all software updates applied.

I'm guessing that after a long drive which depletes the battery down probably heats up the battery. Then plugging it in, the software is deciding to stop charging to let the batteries cool. I understand that charging the batteries also heats them up. But I'm not an engineer, so I'm just guessing on this. Anyone with better insight?

After it sits a while, I can get it to charge fine. Hence, why I'm thinking that it just needed a bit of time to cool down before charging. Perhaps this is the reason the car doesn't have a DCFC option?

If so, I can adjust my charging to not start for about 30 minutes after that long drive so the batteries can cool down first. In my case, this is no big deal. But it can impact someone who is planning to use only EV driving for longer trips and relying upon a stop for lunch to charge and finish the trip without burning gas.

Re: Problem charging after long drive?

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:41 pm
by DucRider
A charge abort is very unlikely to be due to battery temps. There is an issue either with the power, the EVSE, the charger (built into the car), or a combination thereof.

The battery would have to be VERY hot to cause the charge session to stop early, and that would mean a problem in the thermal management system which should generate a fault code and warning on the dash. If the batteries and/or ambient temps are hot, you will hear fans, pumps and other noises as the car works to cool the batteries.

I've seen lots of questions about those noises when people in temps in the hundred degree range finish a long drive and the start charging in a hot garage. None mention an aborted charge, only "unusual" noises

Re: Problem charging after long drive?

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:48 pm
by jzchen
If the ambient temperature is hot/high this may heat the EVSE to a point where it stops/faults. There was a recall for Ford "chargers" that failed due to heat at the plug, as an example.

Have you checked your battery cooling system coolant level? I found ours slightly on the lower end of the range, or was it low, and added some coolant. It's a real pain to check and add I must say.

But I agree, should not stop charging without some fault indication, somewhere...

Re: Problem charging after long drive?

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:43 am
by darthpuppy
Good to know. I guess I should carry my code reader to see if it is logging any faults. No indication is on the dash. I just get a text on my phone a little while after starting the charge indicating that it stopped charging.

It has only happened on the work end of the drive, not the home end, so it might be the ChargePoint EVSE having an issue. I don't control that as it is their network.

Re: Problem charging after long drive?

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:50 am
by jzchen
I've actually had it stop charging once in a very long time. It was a long time ago last time, but I still get paranoid if it will stop charging for some reason. This is our setup: The car is set to charge at 10:00pm - 8:00am, our cheapest rate.

So if I want to charge anytime out of this time period I have to press and hold the charge button on the key fob to get it to charge. For some reason in the past it would just stop, even after the beep and solid light on the charge port indicator. (I suspect when I hit the remote button to lock the car up after returning the charge card to it's storage spot).

Re: Problem charging after long drive?

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:19 am
by darthpuppy
Well, it happened again this evening, except I hadn't driven long distance and it was about 70% full when I plugged it in - trying to top off before a long drive tomorrow. It added what Chargepoint estimated was 2 miles range then stopped. I unplugged, reset the EVSE and plugged it back in. It then finished charging fine. But when I went to move it into the garage, the start up screen stated "Power System: Plug-in Charging System Problem. Range Limited" and the check engine light stayed on.

Uh oh.

I turned it off and back on, thinking a reboot might resolve the issue. The message did not return, but the check engine light is still on. The dash is otherwise back to normal and showing 50.1 miles of EV range. It seemed to drive okay for the really short distance into the garage.

I have a long drive tomorrow before I can get home and get it to the dealer to check on it. Hopefully that works okay and I can get it there rather than get stuck and have to tow it to whichever dealer is closest to the breakdown point. I'm guessing it will drive fine but won't take any new charging until I get it resolved. If that is the case, I don't have much to worry about since it has plenty of range on gas. However, if running on gas insists on charging the battery and the car doesn't like that I suppose it could shut down to prevent a problem. I hope I'm able to make it back home tomorrow.

Stay tuned...

Re: Problem charging after long drive?

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:24 am
by darthpuppy
Okay so today the car drove just fine. Even the check engine light was off and no indication of any issues.

I still took it straight to the dealer for a check on the error codes and diagnostic to be safe. If the onboard charging system has a problem as the screen indicated, I figure plugging it into a 30Amp, 240v EVSE is not a good idea until it is checked out. I'll update once I get the results back.

One interesting note: The service rep found a service bulletin that exactly described the issue I was having where the car prematurely stops charging. It stated the cause as being an unstable power supply from the EVSE and the fix was a software update that would solve the problem but would increase the charging time upto double. I guess that means they are software throttling back the charger to 3.3 Kwh? Being a PHEV, the only downside is that on rare occassions I will burn a little more gas as I won't be able to quickly add as much during the day at short stops that have EVSEs available. Most of the times I plug in, it can sit there twice as long without any inconvenience as neither my home or work chargers are public.

Re: Problem charging after long drive?

Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:03 am
by darthpuppy
Okay they applied the update. I no longer have a check engine light. It drove and charged fine today. It will take some time to see if this intermittent issue reappears. Next week would be the first real test as it has only been an issue on the charger at work.

Re: Problem charging after long drive?

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:00 pm
by jzchen
Sorry to read of your troubles darthpuupy! I guess I'm lucky the power around here seems to be stable. (We did get an outage due to a metallic balloon shorting out the power a while back that forced me to pull out the generator for I think 5 or 6 hours)!...

Hopefully not true about scaling back the charge speed. My wife's seems to take the same amount of time, a little over two hours, but I do not watch carefully as to what time it stops, vs how full or empty the battery was. Yesterday my wife drove to Ontario and back. I'm betting it was completely drained. Charging started at 10 pm per setting, and got notification it stopped at 11:59 pm.

Just to clarify, the 10pm - 8am window does not work well on the Clarity like it did with my wife's prior C-MAX Energi. Whereas the C-MAX would charge if you plug it in anytime within that 10pm - 8am window, if the Clarity is not plugged in at exactly 10pm, it will not automatically charge. So if it is plugged in at say 10:15pm, nothing will happen unless you initiate charging via one of the available methods.