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Charging problems

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by bob_p, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    Starting late last week, I had a few charging failure with my "classic" P85 connected to the HPWC in our garage.

    Charging would stop with a "red ring" and an error message on the dashboard. Disconnecting and reconnecting the cable got the car charged the first time.

    On the second day when this happened, it appears one of chargers inside the car failed, because the HPWC would stop at 40A (instead of the full 80A that was configured). Charging would begin and then stop a few minutes later with a red ring & error message.

    I tried the UMC to a 14-50 outlet on the other side of the garage - and it saw the same problem - charging would go for a few minutes and then stop.

    I tried reducing the current setting - and while that stretched out the time before the charging stopped, charging still didn't go for more than 10 or 15 miles of range before stopping.

    Because I was seeing the same problem on UMC and HPWC, it appeared the problem was in the car, especially because one of the chargers didn't appear to be working.

    I dropped the car off at the service center this afternoon and brought home a loaner.

    To my surprise, the loaner is also having problems charging. Though a slightly different problem.

    I went out to the garage after the car had been on the charger for several hours. Charging had stopped early and there was a blue ring at the charging port, but no error on the dashboard. I unplugged and replugged the charging cable, and charging resumed - but only for a few minutes.

    Instead of stopping with the red ring error, every few minutes charging would stop for a few seconds, the current drops to zero, and then resumes charging again, ramping up to 40A (only a single charger in the car). Dropping the current to 30A results in the same problem. But unlike with my car, when the charging stops, it automatically resumes - at least during the time I was with the car in the garage tonight.

    Unfortunately the previous person who had the loaner didn't return the UMC, so I don't have a UMC to test with (and verify the problem with the loaner is only with the HPWC).

    I reported the problem to Tesla phone support, but they aren't seeing any errors, evidently they are only able to see an error if it is being displayed while you're on the phone. If the error is displayed and immediately cleared (which is what is happening with the loaner), they may not be able to see it - and it may take a local service center to dump the detailed logs to see what's happening.

    It appears my car had one of the two chargers fail. It's possible the failure was caused by the HPWC or when the charger failed, that damaged the HPWC. So getting everything working again may require replacing both the charging hardware in my P85 plus repairing/replacing the HPWC.

    Has anyone else seen anything like this???
     
  2. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    Did you press the reset button in the HPWC?
     
  3. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    Since pressing on the Reset button didn't appear to do anything, I cycled the power on the HPWC instead.

    It's probably a coincidence - I didn't start having these issues until after I received two software updates last week.

    The first time charging failed - the console was also showing a "waiting for update" message.

    Seems more likely a problem in either the car's onboard charger or HPWC caused this - damaging both sides of the charging hardware (car and HPWC).

    Hopefully will know more today. If I don't get my car back, will need to scrounge up a UMC and try charging the loaner that way until we can figure out if the HPWC also needs repair/replacement.
     
  4. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    Appears it may be a case of bad luck.

    After reviewing the loaner's logs, the service center believes that car had been experiencing different charging problems before I took it home yesterday.

    I should be getting my car back today - and will be able to verify if the HPWC is working properly, after they replaced the failed onboard (slave?) charger.

    The previous driver for the loaner evidently failed to report the charging problems.
     
  5. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    After returning home with my car, after the Service Center replaced the slave charger and successfully charged the car on their HPWC, I was surprised to discover that the car failed to charge again at home - both the HPWC and UMC were failing with the same error messages as the loaner car.

    After several calls with Tesla, it appears there are multiple Tesla owners in my area that are having exactly the same problems, including a Model X owner across the street.

    So it appears unlikely the problem is due to the hardware in our cars, our chargers/UMCs or by the wiring in our homes. What's more likely is that there is a problem with the power coming into our homes and/or recent firmware changes (I've received two updates in the last week) may be contributing to the charging problems.

    I had the local electric company send out a technician to check the power in my house tonight - and he verified I was getting the correct voltage to the house - and at the 14-50 outlet. Though he didn't have any equipment to test the quality of the power being received - just that the voltages appeared to be correct.

    Has anyone else seen this type of problem, either recently - or in the past - when they were having charging problems, possibly caused by the electricity being supplied to the house???
     
  6. JRMW

    JRMW Member

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    Is it possible that too many Tesla owners are pulling power at the same time in your neighborhood?

    I'd try charging at a SC or a level 2 charger and see if that works.

    My car wouldn't trickle charge in my garage (took forever to get upgraded electrical)

    I thought it might be my car but then found it worked fine at a Level 2 at work and the SC, so knew it was my garage.

    Anyway if your car charges normally elsewhere then it is helpful info for you and Tesla
     
  7. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    Since the voltage appears to be correct, it seems likely we are getting "dirty power" that is clean enough not to affect other 240V equipment, but causes problems with the Tesla onboard chargers.

    Either this power problem started in the last week, or we've had dirty power for a while, and a recent firmware change is causing the car to stop charging if it believes the power isn't clean enough to safely charge.

    Because the electric utility believes there isn't a problem, and multiple Tesla owners are having the same problem in the area, we'll likely need Tesla's assistance in determining what's wrong and helping us work with the electric utility (if needed) to make the needed repairs.

    I plan to do whatever it takes today to work with Tesla and the electric utility to get this issue resolved. Otherwise... without a nearby supercharger, Tesla will have multiple owners who will be unable to use our cars.
     
  8. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    After placing calls to multiple people at Tesla and the local electric utility, I was able to identify someone at Tesla and at the electric company who committed to get the problem fixed.

    Tesla's charging team is now coordinating with electric company on identifying the problem and getting it fixed.

    This problem is affecting multiple Tesla owners in the southwest Houston area. CenterPoint has scheduled a team to diagnose and work on the problem today.

    Any owner in the southwest Houston area that is having home charging problems, and hasn't contacted Tesla about the issue, should call the Westchase Service Center - and get the phone number of the CenterPoint contact - and then call CenterPoint to get added to the list of homes to be tested and included in the repairs.

    Without Tesla's assistance, a problem like this would be much more difficult to get corrected quickly...
     
  9. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    As of yesterday afternoon, CenterPoint was aware of 4 homes in the area (several miles apart) with the same charging problems.

    Charging with a UMC or HPWC is interrupted after a few minutes, even when running at lower amps or even at 110 volts.

    Anyone in the southwest Houston area that is having these charging problems should contact the Westchase Service Center ASAP and find out how to get on CenterPoint's list for testing and repairs - which will hopefully start today.

    We've been waiting for the 100D to be available - which it is today. But don't see us ordering a new Tesla if we can't charge our current P85!
     
  10. rhumbliner

    rhumbliner Member

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    FWIW, I had a similar problem 2 years ago with my boat's marine electronics. I would plug into shore power, the system would charge my batteries for a few minutes, and then my Heart Interface would shut down with a cryptic error message. I hired a marine electronics guru to track down the problem and what he found was a lot of electrical noise & transients (see http://support.fluke.com/find-sales/download/asset/2403183_a_w.pdf).

    This was not coming from my boat, nor from the electric utility, but rather it was coming from another boat. The lesson I learned was that my neighbor was causing the problem. I'm not sure if the "noise" that affected me could cross transformers or is limited to power shared from a single transformer, but it may be worth your while to have a similar guru analyze the nature of the noise you're experiencing.
     
  11. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    CenterPoint was planning to visit individual houses to take measurements.

    Evidently after reviewing their event logs they were able to make repairs and get us back up and running.

    Tesla's assistance may have been helpful in getting this quickly resolved.
     
    • Like x 1
  12. Hugh Mannity

    Hugh Mannity Mediocre Member

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    Very interesting thread this has been to read. Did you ever get the reason the power was "dirty"? Was it off frequency or perhaps current fluctuations or something like that?

    If this type of thing is common; all the more reason to go solar house with a power wall!
     
  13. Lloyd

    Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    I had a problem like that in 2012. PG&E was aware that a Co-generation plant a mile or so away was throwing "spikes" into the grid, causing the cars to drop from charging. It was corrected pretty quickly once I reported it.
     
  14. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    There was evidently an "event" in the area that caused multiple problems two weeks ago.

    It appears they initiated repairs after the event and believed they had corrected the problems - by restoring normal 110 and 220 service to the area - which seemed to work for everything except the Tesla chargers, which failed even at low amps and charging from a 110 outlet.

    CenterPoint had planned to send a team out to our house and take measurements, but that wasn't necessary. They were able to find problems upstream and fixed them. I don' t have the details on what they found.

    My major remaining concern is about the cause of the failed "slave" charger on my S P85. Tesla claims their cars have on board surge protection - which should have protected the onboard hardware. Evidently that isn't completely true, since my "slave" charger blew out around the time of the CenterPoint power event.

    I have surge protection on the other two 150A breaker boxes - but didn't have one installed on the box allocated for Tesla EV charging. And now I'm wondering if I should get a surge protector for that box - and if there's a recommended protector for use with the Tesla chargers.
     
  15. JJJW

    JJJW Member

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  16. JJJW

    JJJW Member

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    Have you tried turning off the battery conservation mode in settings? My car had the same problem as you described--charged for a few minutes and then stopped charging...like it was going to sleep. By turning off the battery conservation mode the car didn't go into sleep mode and charged perfectly fine. Hope this solves your problem.
     
  17. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    ..what mode is this? Do you mean "range mode"?
     
  18. JJJW

    JJJW Member

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  19. JJJW

    JJJW Member

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    No, there is a battery conservation mode which essentially puts the car into sleep mode when parked for extended periods. Causes the car to take longer to started up when you get in but conserves battery. It's a setting similar to range mode and is turned off by unclicking a button.
     
  20. JJJW

    JJJW Member

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    Actually under Controls/Power Management. Make sure Energy Savimgs is off and the Always connected button is checked.
     

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