Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email Niamh on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
New AMA with a US police officer (he's back!). You can ask your questions here

Bugger of a day with leaf

  • 09-12-2020 9:42pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,719 ✭✭✭ Firblog


    OH had 29% battery remaining in 152 Leaf 24 today when leaving town for home - 14km away. Car stopped stone dead 2km from house (had given the usual warnings). Had to get recovery out to bring it to house to charge, guy dropped it off beside the charger and plugged it in and... nothing, beep beep no charging :eek: Let it go for half hour, no lights blinking, nothing, plugged in plugged out bugger all. Called the recovery again to bring to garage tried to power on to get it out of park and error msg came on screen, 'T/M System Malfunction' 'Visit Dealer' (no sh1t) :D

    Looked up the T/M message and seems to be related to 12V being low?

    @ 29% battery the car should have made it back that distance no problem, anyone any ideas what might have happened? Has it happened to anyone else, leaf suddenly starting to use twice as much power as normal?


«1

Comments

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,312 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Firblog wrote: »
    OH had 29% battery remaining in 152 Leaf 24 today when leaving town for home - 14km away. Car stopped stone dead 2km from house (had given the usual warnings). Had to get recovery out to bring it to house to charge, guy dropped it off beside the charger and plugged it in and... nothing, beep beep no charging :eek: Let it go for half hour, no lights blinking, nothing, plugged in plugged out bugger all. Called the recovery again to bring to garage tried to power on to get it out of park and error msg came on screen, 'T/M System Malfunction' 'Visit Dealer' (no sh1t) :D

    Looked up the T/M message and seems to be related to 12V being low?

    @ 29% battery the car should have made it back that distance no problem, anyone any ideas what might have happened? Has it happened to anyone else, leaf suddenly starting to use twice as much power as normal?

    Dodgy 12v battery?
    Unlike an ICE the 12v is required during use in an EV.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,916 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    +1

    12V have a hard life in the EV and power all the 12V electronics while the car is in use. Unlike an ICE car where effectively the alternator powers the 12V electronics during the drive

    Combine that with the crap cycle life of a lead acid battery (still used in pretty much all EVs) and you have a recipe for disaster

    When the 12V lead acid battery dies in my EV and the car is out of warranty, I will replace it with a LiFePo4 (lithium) battery myself...

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,876 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    Mr Till had a recent experience which went a similar way, you might have the same problem

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gXv1pmBEXk

    To summarise, the GOM and battery percentage is a bit of a guess on the part of the car and needs to be calibrated to account for driving conditions and degradation. The only way to do this is to charger to 100% and drive down to close to 0% so the car 'learns' where the bottom of the battery is

    I've seen it first hand, I drove my Leaf down to 8% and since then the GOM gives a much more realistic range estimate.

    The problem of course is that most people don't know this and believe the battery is accurate all the time

    So now that it's happened, you'll probably notice the GOM is showing a lower range than before, this is because the car has adjusted to the real capacity of the battery

    The climate control also sucks up a lot of power initially in winter to warm up the car, I'd typically see my consumption double for the first few minutes of the journey

    Regarding the 12v, EVs will normally charge the 12v battery from the main battery using a DC-DC converter. But when the main battery drops below a certain level, it'll stop the DC-DC converter (without telling you) in order to preserve range.

    Without the 12v, the car won't charge as it cannot communicate with the charger

    Combined with the fact that your 12v battery was probably losing capacity after 5 years, it likely didn't have enough charge to last more than a few hours.

    I've taken to carrying a 12v booster with me for just this eventuality, at least if the car dies within sight of the charger I'll be able to get it plugged in and charging


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,112 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    The GOM is not great but not the cause of this issue, if we take a quite reasonable 1% = 1km then there was 29kms on the GOM and car went dead after 12kms.
    Please get back once diagnosed OP so we know what happened


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,719 ✭✭✭ Firblog


    Regarding the 12v, EVs will normally charge the 12v battery from the main battery using a DC-DC converter. But when the main battery drops below a certain level, it'll stop the DC-DC converter (without telling you) in order to preserve range.

    Without the 12v, the car won't charge as it cannot communicate with the charger

    Combined with the fact that your 12v battery was probably losing capacity after 5 years, it likely didn't have enough charge to last more than a few hours.


    I've driven the car to where --- shows up where the battery percentage should be a couple of times this last few weeks, so that may have had an impact on the 12v?


    I think OH may have reached a low charge on the main battery, to a level where you say it stops charging the 12v. Given that this had happened a few times recently - to a 5 yo battery - would that have caused a shut down, rather than the main battery losing all charge?


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 19,026 ✭✭✭✭ Water John


    Lead acid batteries don't like being fully discharged. No one to blame but at this point, invest in a new one I think.


  • Registered Users Posts: 217 ✭✭ DM1983


    Sorry to hear about this OP. Awful pain. 12V can be a cause of heartache by all accounts. Mine is a 161 but must must check on leafspy anyway to see what its showing as. How would I diagnose need to replace? Anything less than 12V I presume?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,158 ✭✭✭ Orebro


    slave1 wrote: »
    The GOM is not great but not the cause of this issue, if we take a quite reasonable 1% = 1km then there was 29kms on the GOM and car went dead after 12kms.
    Please get back once diagnosed OP so we know what happened

    +1 on this - would be very interested to know how you couldn't travel 14Km on 29% battery, that's a trip I wouldn't think twice about in mine regardless of the weather.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,876 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    Does the Leaf have that issue some EVs have where the battery drops like a stone in the last few percentage points? I know the Ioniq had a problem like this

    I've never seen it on mine but I've only been that low a couple of times


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,312 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Does the Leaf have that issue some EVs have where the battery drops like a stone in the last few percentage points? I know the Ioniq had a problem like this

    I've never seen it on mine but I've only been that low a couple of times

    Not in the way the OP described.
    29% should not be gone after 12km with the car been completely dead.
    Even on complete shut down you still normally get the dash lights and normal 12v battery power ups.

    I know this because I tested my 24 kWh to compete dead on the road.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,158 ✭✭✭ Orebro


    Could a very unbalanced pack have caused this? OP when was the last time you let it charge to 100% without the timer finishing the charge?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,719 ✭✭✭ Firblog


    Don't use the timer, charge to 100% at the house.

    We were getting dash lights (absolutely all of them I think :D) couldn't get the bloody thing to switch off, couldn't open the charge port, couldn't get out of Park, without the recovery guy attaching his battery pack.

    I'm the same as others on here, would have no 2nd thoughts about driving that car that distance with 29% charge.

    New battery installed yesterday.

    Was chatting to the service guy, saying how it was a bit of pain, no warning etc, he told me that they'd had a Kia Soul with the same issue, except they couldn't even open the doors, so couldn't open the bonnet to change/charge the battery; had to come at it from underneath & cut some cable to release the bonnet.

    One lesson I learned for sure with this, I'm always gonna make sure there is roadside assistance on the insurance :), wouldn't have liked to have paid for recovery truck to come twice!


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,226 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    We see it on this forum every year. As soon as outside temps drop you have people asking why they are seeing odd behavior from their EV and it is invariably the 12V dying, which will cause all sorts of weird sh it to happen.

    Unfortunately preventative maintenance is required if you have an EV that suffers from it, by putting the 12V on a trickle charger at the start of the winter to bring it up to peak health and then keep an occasional eye on its state of charge.

    In the case of the Leaf its quite easy... there is a little window at the top of the 12V battery where you can peer down into the battery and you are supposed to be able to see a green ball there. If you dont see it it means its low on charge and you best get it back on the 12V charger.

    If you opt for a new 12V you need to make sure it is fully charged also as that could have been sitting on a motor factor shelf for a few months and the EV may not charge it up like an ICE would.


    I did the above in my Leaf once a year and it was 5yrs old and still on its original battery. Car never let me down.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,901 ✭✭✭✭ Johnboy1951


    Seems it might be a good idea for manufacturers to include a mechanically generated trickle charge - even an alternator that is activated during decelleration would be advantageous.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,876 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    Seems it might be a good idea for manufacturers to include a mechanically generated trickle charge - even an alternator that is activated during decelleration would be advantageous.

    I have a mental image of a fold up bike strapped to a dynamo as the "emergency" charger :D

    I think some of the older Leafs had a solar panel on the spoiler which would charge the 12v

    Not exactly gonna double your range, but if it was enough to ensure the 12v never went flat then I'd be tempted

    Of course Murphy's law dictates that all breakdowns happen in winter at night time, when it's raining :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,026 ✭✭✭✭ Water John


    I have a mental image of a fold up bike strapped to a dynamo as the "emergency" charger :D

    I think some of the older Leafs had a solar panel on the spoiler which would charge the 12v

    Not exactly gonna double your range, but if it was enough to ensure the 12v never went flat then I'd be tempted

    Of course Murphy's law dictates that all breakdowns happen in winter at night time, when it's raining :(

    The driver could pedal away as he/she sits there, a la Fred Flintstone.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,719 ✭✭✭ Firblog


    I have a mental image of a fold up bike strapped to a dynamo as the "emergency" charger :D

    I think some of the older Leafs had a solar panel on the spoiler which would charge the 12v

    Not exactly gonna double your range, but if it was enough to ensure the 12v never went flat then I'd be tempted

    Of course Murphy's law dictates that all breakdowns happen in winter at night time, when it's raining :(


    I have the solar panel... and it was dark and raining :o


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,964 ✭✭✭ zg3409


    Firblog wrote: »
    Don't use the timer, charge to 100% at the house.

    We were getting dash lights (absolutely all of them I think :D) couldn't get the bloody thing to switch off, couldn't open the charge port, couldn't get out of Park, without the recovery guy attaching his battery pack.

    I'm the same as others on here, would have no 2nd thoughts about driving that car that distance with 29% charge.

    New battery installed yesterday.

    Was chatting to the service guy, saying how it was a bit of pain, no warning etc, he told me that they'd had a Kia Soul with the same issue, except they couldn't even open the doors, so couldn't open the bonnet to change/charge the battery; had to come at it from underneath & cut some cable to release the bonnet.

    One lesson I learned for sure with this, I'm always gonna make sure there is roadside assistance on the insurance :), wouldn't have liked to have paid for recovery truck to come twice!

    It looks like

    1) Main battery went flat as you drove it to flat and ignored usual warnings

    2) Small 12v battery went flat as car was not switched off with doors closed. You may have left hazard lights on etc. With dead 12v battery car needs a jump to come to life, then main battery needs to be charged.

    In terms of breakdown cover, most newish cars have free breakdown cover from dealer. If you don't, then you can add to most policies but beware home start it not always covered, so no jump start on driveway. The AA annual membership is most expensive and AA will turn up with most policies anyway. If you have no cover and need help you can ring the AA and they will come for a fee. Try to do the basics to prevent break downs such as replacing a dodgy 12 volt if you know its dodgy, check tyre pressures regularly, have a tyre compressor and or spare, bring public charge cable and granny cable everywhere. Don't risk running to 0% battery, stop with 15% and head to nearest charge point or house. Even a coffee shop or pub can be used to granny charge. Check plugshare app for non ESB charge points or home users willing to help out when stuck.

    By the way the Kia soul probably has an emergency key to unlock the door and pop the bonnet. Often the keyhole is hidden by a cover https://youtu.be/FxzdPt4e8fs


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,876 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    Something I've been wondering about:

    I'm guessing the dc-dc converter will cut out if the state of charge drops below a certain level? I know Tesla's will do this to preserve range, I assume other EVs do something similar

    If the 12v was low at this point, then the whole 12v system in the car might stop working, which would include all the electronics that run the car

    Would that then cause the car to stop dead like the OP described?

    It would explain why the car stopped despite seemingly having sufficient charge left in the traction battery

    OP, when the car stopped, did the infotainment screen and the other electronics still work, or were they dead as well? Were you able to select neutral to get the car onto the tow truck?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,964 ✭✭✭ zg3409


    Something I've been wondering about:

    I'm guessing the dc-dc converter will cut out if the state of charge drops below a certain level? I know Tesla's will do this to preserve range, I assume other EVs do something similar

    If the 12v was low at this point, then the whole 12v system in the car might stop working, which would include all the electronics that run the car

    Would that then cause the car to stop dead like the OP described?

    It would explain why the car stopped despite seemingly having sufficient charge left in the traction battery

    OP, when the car stopped, did the infotainment screen and the other electronics still work, or were they dead as well? Were you able to select neutral to get the car onto the tow truck?

    I believe OP said main battery died, they towed it home, then car would not home charge, so by that time 12v had died.

    In terns of main battery dying suddenly that can happen if the BMS has not been run to low and high battery levels recently so it's guess of when it will die is wrong. The car typically gives lots of warnings, reduces power and finally refuses to move to protect the main battery. Its good practice to run battery to 10% and 100% once in a while if it does not happen during normal driving.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,719 ✭✭✭ Firblog


    Something I've been wondering about:

    I'm guessing the dc-dc converter will cut out if the state of charge drops below a certain level? I know Tesla's will do this to preserve range, I assume other EVs do something similar

    If the 12v was low at this point, then the whole 12v system in the car might stop working, which would include all the electronics that run the car

    Would that then cause the car to stop dead like the OP described?

    It would explain why the car stopped despite seemingly having sufficient charge left in the traction battery

    OP, when the car stopped, did the infotainment screen and the other electronics still work, or were they dead as well? Were you able to select neutral to get the car onto the tow truck?


    That is what my thinking was, that the stoppage was caused by the 12v battery being totally drained; cannot say if the info screen was displaying or not, but could not get into neutral without the recovery truck attaching their portable battery to 12v.


  • Registered Users Posts: 611 ✭✭✭ slicedpanman


    After reading this thread I checked my wife's leaf... No green ball at the top of the 12v battery window. Can see a hint of green down there somewhere :O

    So, what's the best way to top up the 12v? A full full charge? Does it happen after cell balancing? Or is it take it for a long drive?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,876 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    After reading this thread I checked my wife's leaf... No green ball at the top of the 12v battery window. Can see a hint of green down there somewhere :O

    So, what's the best way to top up the 12v? A full full charge? Does it happen after cell balancing? Or is it take it for a long drive?


    I believe it should charge at the end of charging the HV battery, when driving, or periodically when off and not plugged in


    So maybe try a full charge and then a drive? But the battery could be getting old and losing capacity and might not hold a full charge anyway


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,226 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    After reading this thread I checked my wife's leaf... No green ball at the top of the 12v battery window. Can see a hint of green down there somewhere :O

    So, what's the best way to top up the 12v? A full full charge? Does it happen after cell balancing? Or is it take it for a long drive?

    Ideally stick it on a 12V trickle charge for 24hrs.

    Going for a drive wont really cut it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 36,082 ✭✭✭✭ ED E



    I'm guessing the dc-dc converter will cut out if the state of charge drops below a certain level? I know Tesla's will do this to preserve range, I assume other EVs do something similar
    well?

    Its a good protection, lead cells can fail in a short condition so theyll charge forever. Slowly draining the main pack.



    Surely 12v monitoring is simple to do. A cigarette lighter monitor is crude but even that would give you an idea if you're always closer to 12 than 14.


  • Registered Users Posts: 611 ✭✭✭ slicedpanman


    KCross wrote: »
    Ideally stick it on a 12V trickle charge for 24hrs.

    Going for a drive wont really cut it.

    Any recommendations for a decent/inexpensive trickle charger? Don't have one at the moment


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,226 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    Any recommendations for a decent/inexpensive trickle charger? Don't have one at the moment

    I have a “Ring” one myself but you can get cheaper. Just try local motor factor or Halfords etc. Preferably a smart charger, not just a maintenance one.

    On that green ball... it can also get stuck. Give the side of the battery a few taps and it might pop up. Still a good idea to give it a trickle charge anyway for the winter nights ahead. 24hrs at least.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,876 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    ED E wrote: »
    Its a good protection, lead cells can fail in a short condition so theyll charge forever. Slowly draining the main pack.



    Surely 12v monitoring is simple to do. A cigarette lighter monitor is crude but even that would give you an idea if you're always closer to 12 than 14.

    Chris from battery life got a nice looking battery monitor that connects to an app on your phone. Unfortunately he didn't post a link for it but something like that might be worth considering


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,226 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    Chris from battery life got a nice looking battery monitor that connects to an app on your phone. Unfortunately he didn't post a link for it but something like that might be worth considering

    I've seen this monitor advertised in the UK sites (no personal experience of it)... its about €25
    https://www.battery-guard.net/en

    You attach it to the terminals of the battery and leave it there indefinitely and then you have an app that communicates via bluetooth to it, which you can check at your convenience without popping the bonnet.

    ED E wrote: »
    Surely 12v monitoring is simple to do. A cigarette lighter monitor is crude but even that would give you an idea if you're always closer to 12 than 14.

    The cigarette lighter ones are alright too but depending on how they operate they might only give you the voltage while driving, which will usually be 14V+ which just tells you its being charged.... its the resting voltage when the car is off is what you really want to know... the above one will do that as its connected directly to the battery and not the cigarette lighter.


  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,916 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    That's a cheap enough gimmick. Might get myself one of those :D

    Bought a really cheap cigarette lighter splitter myself earlier this year, which also has a voltage meter. Think it wasn't much more than a fiver.

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



Advertisement