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-20C : Our Tesla will not charge

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by SmartElectric, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

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    This is the first really cold day of the year, and our Tesla charged to 80% overnight and stopped.

    Since then, I pre-conditioned the car earlier today and thought I would take it out, but noticed it wasn't drawing any current from the UMC, so decided to check further.

    I turned the car on (opened door, sat down, pressed brake) and clicked the start charging button on the big screen, but no current was drawn. I then changed the setting to disable timed charging hoping the car would start immediately, but it did not.

    Called Tesla Toronto service center, and they said the battery would need to heat before charging, but I had already pre-conditioned via the phone app, and sat in the car for many minutes, no voltage shown on the charging screen, just 24A like usual, but strangely, 0 volts. The car does not show any evidence it is heating the battery in preparation for charging.

    I unplugged the charging cord from the car, blew in it (sometimes that fixes charging issues). Didn't help, when I plug it in, the charge ring glows blue, and will not change to green.

    Right now, the car is 69% SOC, down from 80% that it charged to last night.

    Meanwhile, I took my Smart ED to the movies, and it worked perfectly, and is charging right now, no issues.

    I'm going out to reboot it and see if that helps.

    Any experience/advice would be appreciated. :confused:
     
  2. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    Did you check the fuse panel to make sure the circuit breaker did open? (I apologize - I don't know your tech skill level -I am assume the charge port was already open)
     
  3. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Are you in range mode?

    I don't know that it would lock things up to the extent you're describing, but I've read that one of the effects of range mode is that it won't trigger the battery heater when you remote start the car.
    Walter
     
  4. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

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    Fuse panel is fine, UMC has green light, Tesla charge screen shows 24A is detected, my other car is charging off the same panel on a different breaker, Tesla charge port door is open, glowing blue on connection, range mode is disabled (I've only used it once since purchase).
     
  5. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    Ok - step 2 - did you get some q-tips and clean the charge port (both male and female ends) - turn off power a panel when you do the male end.

    Next hard reboot main screen and keep the door open so the car knows its on - and reseat the charging cable until you hear a the relay "click". Also adjust the slider to max battery charge..
     
  6. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

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    Did quips, and hard reboot, still same.
    Took out for short 10 minute drive, saw blue snow flake early and it went away.
    Tried to charge again, no dice.
    Set to 100%, no difference.
     
  7. CA_Fabien

    CA_Fabien Member

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    Do you have the green ring around the connector on the car? It should draw power even when pre-conditionning the battery. If the ring is orange or with no light you may have a defective UMC. Ours failed last winter. Some water may have damaged the connector. We just did an exchanger of the UMC at the service center.
    You may try to recharge at a regular J1772 L2 charger with the adaptor to check if the problem is coming from the car or from the UMC.
     
  8. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Since it glows blue even when the plug is connected, it seems like the car is not seeing that the UMC is connected.

    Have you verified there's no ice or frost buildup on the portion of the connection that carries the pilot signal? If it's not making a connection, no current will go across to charge the car, obviously.

    Have you tried powering off the car via the touchscreen, letting it sit for a few minutes, then trying again?

    Have you tried rebooting the touchscreen and instrument cluster?

    You can also try resetting some fuses in the car, such as the BMS fuse. Make sure to wait about 30 seconds after removal before re-inserting.
     
  9. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

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    Ok, well, the ring changes from blue to green for less than a second, and then back to blue.
    I've seen amber/yellow before in the summer, and a q-tip cleaning fix it then, but doesn't now.

    Tried my Smart ED J1772 charger a few minutes ago (before you suggested ;-), and no, it doesn't work either.

    The dash indicates it can read the charging amperage, 24A for the UMC + 10-30 adaptor, and 12A for the Smart ED J1772 OEM charger.
    This means something, in that it can sense the current available and do basic negotiation with the EVSE's.

    The problem is the voltage only "blips" to 1 volt for less than a second, and back to 0.

    I'm warming the UMC in the house beside the fireplace, not sure if that will help, as I KNOW my Smart ED EVSE is working perfectly, as my Smart ED was charging when I disconnected the EVSE to try it on the Tesla, but what the heck, I'm out of troubleshooting options.

    On the phone to Tesla again (third time today).
     
  10. CA_Fabien

    CA_Fabien Member

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    If you have the same problem with the J1772 connector, it is probably on the car side. It the car is outside, you may try to heat the car's connector with a hair dryer to remove potential ice from the connector. I had this kind of issue with our Leaf once. A small bit of ice was it the way. The hair dryer did the trick.
     
  11. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

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    Went through troubleshooting with Tesla service.
    No obvious fault codes. He said it could be the internal charger in the car failing.

    When prompted that supercharging may work, I remarked that a one way trip to Tesla Lawrence supercharger uses 20% SOC on a cold night like this. It's -23C out, so if the charging failed, I don't want to drive home and end up with only 30% SOC remaining and then have little juice left for the battery heater overnight.

    It's a 3 day weekend, and we are pretty much locked to driving close to home now until Tuesday morning when Tesla may be able to work on the car. Bummer.

    - - - Updated - - -

    My car is parked "inside". The quotes are because the garage is a 1920's outbuilding with no insulation. The charge port was cleaned with q-tip, no frost. UMC just got a 1 hour warming up inside the house beside the fire, that didn't help either.
     
  12. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    If you lived near me I would let you try my CHADeMo - not sure if it uses the onboard on not.. does it?
     
  13. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

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    Rebooted, twice today, included hard reboot with brake pedal depressed.

    Haven't pulled fuses, and given that I've spent hours in -20C troubleshooting, I'm done for the night.
    Anyone have a quick link to fuse box location and fuse # for internal charger? Might do that tomorrow...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Similar to supercharging, CHAdeMO does not use internal charger for the high current pins. May use some of the internal charger for negotiation of low voltage pins though, but not sure. I've used/borrowed to test a CHAdeMO adaptor once (it worked), and have a local charge point (10 mins away), but don't have the adaptor (on my must buy list now...).
     
  14. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    If the car is showing the reading from the UMC's pilot signal (24A) then the master charger is powered and responding as it should. Does it ever command the UMC's relay to close? You'd hear a click and the lights on the UMC would start to move like normal. If not, then the charger is never even telling the UMC to unleash the AC power.

    In any case, -20 is pretty harsh. It takes a LONG time for the battery to warm up. To raise the temp about 25C takes 45 minutes to an hour at full battery heater power. I'm not 100% sure what the cut off is, but I know it will charge at -10C. My guess is that the car is acting normally (not throwing any real errors) because of the cold. Driving does slowly warm the pack, but it takes ~30 miles of highway driving to raise it ~10C. With range mode off at ~80% the car's thermal management should have been keeping the pack above 0-5C, also. (-10C in range mode)

    Overall, if you're still in warranty (charger is not covered by the 8 year unlimited miles battery warranty) then you should probably just let Tesla deal with it for you. Your car is essentially unusable without being able to charge it, so, it should be a priority.

    As for supercharging, if it's a thermal problem (pack too cold) then supercharging would not work either. If it's a charger issue, then supercharging/chademo might work. Since the charger is reporting the J1772 pilot current then at least the brain seems to be working and can probably signal the supercharger properly.
     
  15. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

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    Purchased CPO. Have lots of warranty left. Tesla will fix this, they've been great on our other major issue (cabin heater not working to start the winter ).
     
  16. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    This is precisely why they need to show more information regarding the battery. The temperature, and whether the charge it accepts is being limited by it.

    They also need to allow someone to preheat just the battery without the cabin.
     
  17. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    If this were a hardware problem, you'd expect an error code to be shown onscreen or at least in the logs.

    If it were due to cold, you'd think the screen would indicate as such.

    I don't have it handy, but if you check the manual on the car there are some fuse diagrams. The fuse box is under the plastic panel toward the rear of the frunk area, right under the hood. The BMS fuse is listed there. You might start with that one and the touchscreen.

    I removed the BMS fuse once, and plugged it back in too soon (probably after a 5 second wait). The end result is that a fan went on in the car and stayed on. I took the fuse back out, waited 30 seconds, then put it back in, and all was fixed. Moral of the story: If you're pulling fuses, make sure you wait more than just a few seconds to allow any capacitive energy to burn off and clear any "memory" before resetting.
     
  18. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    Cover the car with an electric blanket? Worth a shot maybe. My family used to have a Pontiac that wouldn't start, and we'd cover it with an electric blanket.
     
  19. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    Maybe if you glue it to the bottom of the pack... There's doesn't seem to be much (any?) insulation.
     
  20. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    That would be better. I was just thinking that it would be like a hat on a person - lots of heat escapes your body through your head. If you put an electric blanket on the top of the car maybe more heat would be trapped in the car and it would help the car heat its battery. Like I said, its just a shot. What have they got to lose??
     

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