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BSM Contactor failure - unable to charge...

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by wiztecy, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #1 wiztecy, Dec 26, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
    So when the temps have been dropping lately in Santa Cruz down to the high 30's I started having issues charging my Roadster. I'd get the red charge port light and on the VMS (debug mode) I had the following error:

    ===================
    BSM: Contactor power failure
    ID: 271 Data:0x00004000
    ===================

    I fixed this by removing the charger, closing the charge port door, and turning the car on, start, and then back to off. When connecting the charger back in the Roadster charged back up normally.

    This occurred 3-4 more times, either when it was cold or rainy out.

    I contacted Tesla and they indicated that since I had a 1.5 I may be missing a powershare adapter (that may have been added in later models) that allows the Roadster to charge in colder weather conditions. So I scheduled a time to drop by so they can inspect to take a look.

    Well today I ran into more BSM and charging issues. Its been Raining out, pouring pretty hard, and when I went to charge the Roadster today in 58F degree weather it failed to charge again. I had two more BSM error messages, and finally a message appeared on the VMS indicating that charging was aborted and service was needed:

    =====================
    BSM: Isolation fault
    while contactors closed

    ID: 286 Data: 024000000
    =====================


    =====================
    BSM: Isolation fault
    before charge

    ID: 287 Data: 0x44000000
    =====================

    =====================
    BSM: Isolation Fault

    ID:283 Data: 0x44000000
    =====================

    Unfortunately my workarounds no longer worked :(

    I then sent these error messages to Tesla, and the reply was that I had water work its way between the motor body and the motor shroud and that's what this message is indicating. And that I should allow the car to dry off. I also can bring the car in for good cleaning. I don't understand how water worked its way in there, I wasn't driving it in the rain, water can from what I can see only work in from the two side cooling vents behind the doors or drip from the rain-drip that's in front of the battery pack just behind the rear window. It appears to dump water down right around where those two vents are located behind the doors. The motor to me looks pretty tucked up and away from all this. Possibly it could get in there, but from what I am looking at I just don't quite see it.

    So my car is kept outside, I called Tesla before I bought it and asked what the impact would be if I kept the car outside and they said it would be ok.

    However I'm getting an odd response with this. Possibly its too early, I really want to push for a "permanent" fix. If water is working its way to the motor it should be addressed and fixed. The car should be able to charge outside in the rain, wind, and snow. If not it needs to be designed so it does work.

    I'm curious, has anyone come across this issue?

    My biggest concern is that its going to rain on a trip and I'll be stuck, stranded, unable to charge or get my Roadster moving for who knows how long and the best advice is to allow the car to dry out.... EeeGads!

    I'm sure there are other 1.5 Roadster owners who live in way more harsher environments than Santa Cruz California who keep their cars outside and not encountering this issue, right!?

    Owning a garage should not be a requirement of owning a Roadster :)

    It is in the early stages so I'll give Tesla the benefit of the doubt and I'll push for a proper diagnostic of the issue. Problem is if the problem disappears its harder for them to solve. What may happen is to try adding the powershare adapter under the dash if that's not present and allow time and rainstorms to pass. If the issue pops up again, then more diagnostic work.
     
  2. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    So following up, Rain stopped and after that I took the Roadster out to drive in order to shake off any excess water. I allowed the Roadster to sit outside today, sunny, which dried things off. It charged fine with no BSM errors.

    So it appears I have two issues linked to this BSM error.

    1) I cannot charge when temps have dropped below 45F degrees, mostly in the mid 30's. I think that can be fixed with the connector Tesla wants to mount under the dash. Great if that works.

    2) When it rains and if its just right it appears things get shorted out with the motor / charging system and I have to wait to allow things to dry out. Appears there's no fix for this.

    So my question, shouldn't #2 be addressed properly by Tesla so that this car works in Rainstorms? I'm a little worried since my warranty will run out in April and I think this is a huge concern. Anytime you can get left stranded and no way to fill back up the tank is bad. Just think, its like a locking gas cap on an ICE vehicle that gets shorted out in the rain. And you can't unlock it since the mechanism to allow it to unlock has shorted, so now you can't put gas in your ICE vehicle and you're stuck. I think saying to let it dry out in the rain so you can "fill up your tank" is not the right way to address it. They need to replace the gas cap or re-design it and make it so it does not short. There has to be some way to shield the motor from getting wet like this right!?
     
  3. augkuo

    augkuo Member

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    You can see if this is some condensation or water intrusion issue by putting a tarp on or something to block any water entering the car. If it still has some
    errors maybe they need to silicone some exposed wires or board traces? If they have exposed wires or traces on the "S", they should take this feedback seriously!

     
  4. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #4 wiztecy, Dec 27, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
    Really becoming very unhappy, they are saying its an inherent action of the design of the car. This is my daily driver!!! If this car cannot charge in the rain and randomly leave me stranded anywhere, its a useless vehicle to me.

    I think what they're saying is that the system will shut down and not charge if it detects water that is potentially shorting the system. Ok, I understand that. But shouldn't the design of the car not allow water to work its way and short things out? The odd thing is that I've driven my car in the rain, and its charged fine. Its rained and I've charged fine. Rain with some wind and its decommissioned.

    Ok... where is the water coming from, the car is just sitting. Its coming from either the side cooling vents behind the doors or from the rain gutter on the rear trunk behind the window. Its pretty limited really where the water can enter there just sitting... It needs to be diverted away from the motor and electronics! You can simulate testing with a hose and a powerful fan to act as wind to simulate conditions and get your design dialed in better.

    Has anyone else had issues and couldn't take a charge in the rain?
     
  5. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #5 wiztecy, Dec 27, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
    @Auggie, they're suspecting that water has worked its way between the motor body and the motor shroud, leading to an isolation resistance below 500K Ohm. There's also a possibility that the car may not operate if the resistance drops too low.

    To me I would think there should be some way to keep water from getting in there! That's the frustrating part, this does not appear to be that big of an issue to address.

    -You can either isolate the motor in a way to prevent water from working its way in.
    or
    -Like I mentioned earlier, divert the water at the cooling vents and rain gutters to prevent water from working towards the motor area.

    I presume this does not occur on the model S since that motor is water cooled, our motor is air cooled.

    I am also thinking the issue is limited the 1.5 Design since the 1.5 Roadsters use the motor has an inductor in the charging circuit and the 2.x's do not.

    I'm going to get some sleep, gather my thoughts.... Santa Cruz is to get some more rain which now is making me wonder do I now have to cover my car every time it does?

    Will formulate a constructive email and send it to Tesla to try and have the issue addressed and resolved.

    Zzzzzzzzz.
     
  6. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    I've never heard of this before. Did they suggest it was a 1.5 issue? Or was that your theory based on charging circuit?

    If you folks from Cali saw the stuff we drive through here in the Northeast, you'd wonder why we drive at all. I've driven through thick saltwater spray for several miles while the rear fans were blowing it through the PEM and motor. But it always charged OK afterwards. It's hard to believe you would get more water inside the motor cowling by just sitting in your driveway.

    Yes. But if you're anything like me, you should take a few days to cool off before drafting that email...
     
  7. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #7 wiztecy, Dec 27, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
    Just got an email from the guys in Menlo Park Tesla, one thing is that they are communicating... here it is 11:30pm. Like I had theorized, it is limited to the Roadster 1.5s and they addressed the issue with the 2.x's. What they suspected is that the blower kicks on and pushes moisture up into the motor area and shorts it out. However my blowers never ran so the water worked its way in from the top. Will give it time and patience, just seems frustrating at first but I have to take some Zen breaths, with time there should be a solution. I hope. If not I will have to engineer one myself.

    Henry, that was my theory based on the charging circuit. I sent off an email to Tesla at Menlo park answering some questions I posed earlier, if it would affect the Model S, and other Roadsters. I told them don't think this issue will affect the 2.x's and Model S for that the 1.5's have that charging circuit. Anyways, after I fired off that email an email came back right as I hit sent saying that Tesla addressed this issue in the 2.x's but not having the charging circuit in the motor essentially.
     
  8. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    So really pleased and happy that Tesla / Menlo park have been keeping up the email communicating to resolve the issue. One thing is to try to separate your emotions, which can be tough, and communicate clearly about the issue. Email may not be the easiest route to get your point or problem across. However I do appreciate when you clearly can see the engineers working and thinking about your problem, reading your symptoms and input, and attacking the problem.

    So in the beginning it appeared they thought my blower was running to cool the motor down and that was pushing moisture up into the motor, hence the fault and the inherent design of the motor/charging system of the 1.5. Ok I understand that and that's not an issue with 2.x's Great! It was addressed in future builds. However my car was sitting before, during, and after the storm so no blower was ever running. The next suggestion was the most likely water migrated in from the passenger side cooling vent. That sounds like it, on the drivers side I have my truck camper that's blocking most of the wind and the passenger side is wide open. What Tesla will look into doing is to drop in another neoprene sponge in that area to help keep the water away from the motor area and direct more towards the outside of the car. However they indicated that we have to watch not to restrict the cooling air flow that comes in for that the PEM will need it, which I agree. I can monitor the temps (true numbers not bars) and see if there's any impact, if there is I can just remove the sponge for summer / fall driving where the temps are higher and reinsert it when temps fall and the rain comes in.

    Tesla also mentioned they've seen these BSM faults triggered when people have washed their car and accidentally sprayed water in the side cooling vents. I had a great rundown on where not to spray water into or at when I 1st bought the car, but for those who didn't, you do want to keep water away from those cooling vents, also away by the inside of the wheels towards the motor, away from the rear blowers and the front fan motors.

    Honestly I don't think I would have had any other car manufacturer keep on it like Tesla did, especially emailing late hours like they did. Shows they definitively are passionate in what they do and do want to resolve the issues you may encounter, but mostly to let you know they are there to help!
     
  9. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    It's still a long way down to the motor from the side cooling vents. Glad to hear Tesla's been responsive. Hopefully they'll get the new sponge soon and you can show us pics of it.
     
  10. RobM

    RobM Member

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    I just ran into the same problem with my 1.5 - parked out in the rain and now it wont charge and gives me the same BSM faults.
     
  11. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    Follow up with your local Tesla technician. I'm curious what they say on it. I heard any short at a HP connector can trigger this as well. I haven't had the issue happen again, but of course we haven't had a hard rain lately.


     
  12. RobM

    RobM Member

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    Took the car out for a drive and after about 20 minutes the error code went away, and it has charged fine since. The local Tesla service center (NYC) didn't offer any info, deferring until after they have a chance to look at the logs. It seems clear, however, that some water got where it shouldn't, but that it wasn't hard to shake it loose. Not terribly reassuring, but only happened once so far. Still love the car.
     
  13. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    Rob, did you have a very hard rain with winds? Or a light rain?
     
  14. lmore

    lmore Member

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    I now got the same ID: 271 Data:0x00004000 error message as reported in this thread.
    But my car is a 2.0
    The message is is :
    Battery problem, vehicle shutting down.


    This is according to the guy that was going to clean the car while I am traveling. So I am not able to look at it myself until I come back, friday.

    I have used the UMC for charging, it is not always working here in Europe, and recently it has not worked, could this be because the charger has been laying outside (is there a moisture detector in it)?

    The car has been outside and in a cold garage for weeks, the temperature has not often been above freezing. But this weekend it was kept indoor in higher temperatures at the cleaning company. The guy cleaning said he only cleaned the inside of the car yet.
     
  15. cor

    cor Member

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    Moisture from condensation in the cold?
    It does not need any outside rain to enter, just (cooling) air blown through or just trapped inside an enclosure can get saturated with water in normal room temps and when it gets cold, the water condensates and with the tiniest bit of dirt, it will conduct (distilled water from condensation itself does not conduct).
     
  16. RobM

    RobM Member

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    Just had it fixed. It looks like the problem was actually a fan on the motor. Once that was replaced, no more faults, even with lots of rain / snow. It was fixed under warranty. Haven't had trouble of any kind with the car since.
     
  17. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    Thanks for the update Rob. My Roadster is going in within the next few weeks for its last annual service, warranty will expire, so I'll ask them to take a look at the motor on the fan. Thanks!

     
  18. ChargeIt!

    ChargeIt! Member

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    "BSM Isolation fault"
    "ID:283 Data:0x2400000" (not sure how many zeros after the "24")

    Roadster 1.5. Happened yesterday after doing a wash at self-serve with high-pressure gun. Problem is, however, not that I couldn't charge, but that the car wouldn't start ! I had left it "ON" during the wash (that's probably mistake #1). Several retries later it started without errors and I was able to drive it home.

    Not sure if a little trick was what finally cleared the fault: open/close the charge-port door 5-6 times in sequence, waiting each time for a second or two after opening it for white light to illuminate. Also wait 1 sec after closing it.

    HTH.
     
  19. lmore

    lmore Member

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    #19 lmore, Nov 25, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
    I got the same message as the title of this thread, I'm unable to drive. UPDATED: It worked the day after without any error messages :)

    I let my Roadster 2.0 sit for a few days here in the cold and snowy Norway and the battery dropped from full to less than 50 %. I posted about this here:
    Roadster Radio not working and past few days Battery life dropping 5% per day :(

    Now I get the red FAULT lamp and the car cannot be driven (it refuses to shift from P-Park). I have not tried to charge it since I don't have access to power here.
    On the VMS (debug mode) I had the following error:

    ===================
    BSM: Contactor power failure
    ID: 271 Data:0x00004000
    ===================

    I noticed that when I turn off the lights, the P,R,N,D-buttons get much lighter. Is this normal?
     
  20. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Yes. Cabin lighting is dialed down when the headlights are on. The idea is you want the lights dimmer at night. Most cars do this.
     

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