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Not Charging. Main Inverter Fuse blown

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:49 am
by iDriver
Edit: This post is incorrect. The main charging unit is the issue
No, I don't have a ChadiMo

So I got a new traction pack about a year ago, under warranty. Everything has been great. Then, last week, I plugged in and charged the car from 1 bar to full. It had been a long time since the car had been that empty, but figured this would be a great chance to do a re-balance. Car charged up all the way, no problem there. However, when I went out to drive it the next day, it had the 12volt alert and the :!: over the car lights lit up on the dash.

However, the car still drove! OK, well that's weird. I'll go get some coffee and see if it goes away. 12 miles later, light is still on. Fine, I'll plug it back in and see what happens. Oh NO! It won't charge!! quickly tested with 2 other EVSE units (yes, I have 3), nope will not start charging. What the heck is going on??

Ok, I test the 12volt, it's not charging when the car is "Ready". Well that's strange, so I pull it and take it to AutoZone and they test it. It's fine. It's only about 70% full, but it's healthy. Damn. Ok, now what?

At this point, I gave up and had it towed to the dealership I trust to handle the issue with this car. I'm also freaking out! Because I'm concerned it's the onboard charger, and I've heard that can be wildly expensive to replace. Car is over 5 years old and has 60,682 Miles on it, so I'm screwed if it's the charger.

Edit: Here is the wrong info:
5 days later, I get good news. It's the Fuse in the Main Charging Inverter. It's $19.20 and on it's way from Japan. Score! The bad news, they said it's a 3 hour labor charge to change it, so I'm out $480. Fine! I'll live.

Anyway, if you have this issue, don't do what I did and panic right away. It might just be the fuse and you're good to go.

Re: Not Charging. Main Inverter Fuse blown

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:23 pm
by sandange
There is a Facebook group ( i-miev en francais) in French that recently reported a similar situation , in short
a diagnosis of a MCU needing replacement for some astronomical cost and eventually discovered and replaced a blown fuse .
He has been driving for several weeks now with out any problems .
He has been warned that this may not last and that the MCU needs to be changed.
They offered him a new MCU at a discount but still outrageously priced.

If you read french or want to follow them here's the Link to the facebook group discussion
https://www.facebook.com/groups/iMievEnFrancais/permalink/675825275959461/?comment_id=696664940542161&notif_id=1511743982039552&notif_t=group_comment_reply

Re: Not Charging. Main Inverter Fuse blown

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:01 pm
by Don
I believe we had a recall for some USA models to replace the MCU - Maybe these problems are what led to that recall??

Don

Re: Not Charging. Main Inverter Fuse blown

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:55 am
by iDriver
Well, bad news, the fuse blew again. Now they want to replace the MCU. And you're right, the cost is and outrageous $4800.

Need help! What should I do? the car is over 5 years old (less than 6) and has 60,680 miles on it, so I'm out of warranty. I'm desperate here. Does anyone know where I could get a used MCU?

Re: Not Charging. Main Inverter Fuse blown

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:26 am
by kiev
i would replace the 12V battery--for an EV there is no such thing as a "good" 70% charged 12V battery.

Did the fuse blow immediately when you turned the key to START, or did it happen while driving?

If at START, then i doubt that your MCU is bad--the most likely culprit is a defective precharge resistor located inside the pack. The huge in-rush current into the main capacitor in the MCU would blow that fuse if the cap was allowed to connect directly to the pack voltage without a pre-charge. You could easily replace the fuse yourself and give it another try. The 12V battery is what supplies the power to energize the contactors inside the pack, so if it was weak then the contacts could bounce and the pre-charge may not have occurred properly--hence my recommend to replace the aux battery. There should have been a DTC for the aux battery when they connected the MUT.

If it happened later while driving then there should be a trouble code. Did they read the DTCs during the previous visit? Get the MUT printout of the trouble codes from the dealer and post it up here and we can troubleshoot it.

If you find a used one then i would be interested to buy your "bad" one and fix it. If you can't find a used one then PM me if you want to have it repaired.

Re: Not Charging. Main Inverter Fuse blown

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:37 pm
by iDriver
@Kiev, thank you so much for your response! It really means a lot to me. I will contact the dealer and get the codes and post them. Until then here is what I know.

First the Aux battery, is less than a year old. I did hook it up to a battery charger and charge it to full, to make sure the low state of charge on it wasn't causing an issue. However, I did not replace it. I will ask the dealership if they've tried a new battery.

Fuse: I do not know if it blew during start. Just that I got in the car, started it, and had this issue. I will contact the dealer and see when it blew for them.

Charging main battery issue: This is the key issue. When I connect to Level 2 or 1, I can hear the contacts start clicking, then very quickly the charge cycle aborts.

I will update you right away when I hear anything. And yes, I'm totally willing to let you have a crack at it before I dump $5k on it. I'm sure we can work something out. More to follow.

Re: Not Charging. Main Inverter Fuse blown

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:28 pm
by iDriver
No luck. The fuze pops while charging the car. So it looks like I'll be buying a replacement. Merry (expletive deleted by moderator) Christmas to me. :x

@Kiev, i'm having them give me the old one. I'll send it to you if you'd like to check it out. Any other advice or help would be appreciated. Thanks again.

Re: Not Charging. Main Inverter Fuse blown

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:25 pm
by JoeS
iDriver, sorry to hear, and I'm sorry you don't have a backup vehicle to use while you scrounge around for a cost-effective solution.

The horrible replacement cost of the MCU, just as the cost of the air conditioning compressor, puts into serious jeopardy the viability of our i-MiEVs in the long run without a source for reasonably-priced used parts. All those wrecked i-MiEVs that have been purchased by unknown buyers - whatever happens to them?

iDriver, thank you for your continued inputs and do let us know how and at what cost this finally gets resolved.

Edit: I just sent an email to Pick-n-Pull asking them why they don't have the i-MiEV listed in their pulldown menu.

Re: Not Charging. Main Inverter Fuse blown

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:20 pm
by iDriver
Thanks JoeS. I've been scrounging around trying to find a used one for almost a week now. Nothing.

What I really want to know is, what went wrong with the current one? I bet it's actually nothing expensive to fix at all, but it's much easier for them to simply force you to replace the whole unit, rather than actually have someone on staff who is trained to truly troubleshoot these things and replace the capacitor, or control board, or whatever-ma-jobber that's the real problem.

Anyway, my wife and I have decided to just go ahead and get the job done. I still have a year of payments left, an if I get another 6 years out of this one, I'll be fine.

After this, I'm not buying an Electric Car from a traditional car manufacturer again. The existing dealership model, and state of ability/knowledge in their service departments, has a long long way to go. If I had know that the MCU would cost this much, I honestly would not have purchased the car. It's truly senseless. No car should have a single part that costs this much on it. Certainly not a car at this price point. Live and learn I guess. Sometimes cheap gets expensive....

I'll let you know how things shake out, and if someone wants to take a crack at fixing the broken MCU, you're welcome to it. I won't need it back anytime soon, and if it turns out to be something simple, we'll all be better off knowing that.

Re: Not Charging. Main Inverter Fuse blown

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:46 pm
by Don
iDriver wrote:What I really want to know is, what went wrong with the current one? I bet it's actually nothing expensive to fix at all, but it's much easier for them to simply force you to replace the whole unit, rather than actually have someone on staff who is trained to truly troubleshoot these things and replace the capacitor, or control board, or whatever-ma-jobber that's the real problem.
Most all high tech things are replaced in this same manner. If they are repaired at all, it's done in a central location (no doubt Japan in this case) where a skilled technician with special fixtures, jigs and tools *and* test equipment troubleshoots and replaces the defective parts. To maintain anything like that at a dealership would not be cost effective. When they change out a battery pack, they have to get special tools and lifts shipped to the dealer to do the job and I suspect the only reason they do that at the dealers is because it's cheaper than shipping the car to a central location

Don