jray3
Posts: 1640
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Another successful transplant: was Re: Troubleshooting and repair for On-board Charger (OBC), DC-DC Converter

Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:41 pm

I replaced another OBC today, transplanted a 11k mile 2011 manufacture date charger from Texas into a 2012 Premium Edition with 44k miles. 90 minutes from start to finish, including a lot of BS time with the crew of EV club members. I could probably do the next one by myself within 45 minutes (IMHO) :roll: .

The failed unit had the same burnt blue capacitor as most others, on the 2nd board down. Interestingly, the failed charger showed much less heat damage than mine that failed at twice the mileage, as it is a daily driver, but with far fewer miles per day, so few long-duration recharges, though most were at L2, outdoors in Seattle. However, the capacitor itself was completely brown and blown apart, where mine had just quietly cracked open. This failure occurred during a deep freeze.
It makes one wonder if calendar age plus thermal extremes (warming up an ice-cold component) made the difference.

Delivered cost was $475 from a wrecking yard found on car-part.com
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 105,400 miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

phb10186
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 12:58 am
Location: North London suburbs, UK

Re: Troubleshooting and repair for On-board Charger (OBC), DC-DC Converter

Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:49 pm

^

It is extremely surprising to me that such a clear single point of failure is not protected properly by a) thermal protection, b) resistance protection, c) secondary circuit breaking or d) a replaceable sub-component.

What's that fuse on the board there for?

This is the sort of evolution that ICE cars benefit from over the relatively limited amount of post marketing R&D the IMIEV has benefited from/ had available.

I wonder if the global IMIEV iterations have different componentry - though I would guess it would be the same.

Don't forget that far more of the world likely runs on 220-240v than 110v, so the most common global charging scenario would be a L2 charge.

I would think that a certain amount of thermal shock would occur at extreme temperatures, and that full charging from near empty on a very hot/ cold day would place additional stress on the component, but it should have been designed with the relevant safety mechanisms.

5-8 years of age (depending on charge cycles of course) isn't that old for the high quality components available today - so I am drawn to premature failure by either quality control issues (less likely) or sub-optimal design (more likely).

Quite simply, at such extremes of temperature; it should either not charge at all, charge partially, or charge incrementally in a way that prevents unduly high loads on the charger, battery or anything else.

To make matters worse, the failure of that single component not only takes the whole board out, it takes the entire charger out.
2012 I-MIEV Keiko Silver 21K
2010 Insight ES-T 64K
2009 RX400h 4WD - 86K
2001 Accord Type-V (F23 manual)
2009 Hornet CB600F
2008 SH300

mikedufty
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:04 am
Location: Western Australia

Re: Troubleshooting and repair for On-board Charger (OBC), DC-DC Converter

Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:52 pm

At least 2 of the failures in Australia were chargers that had already been replaced under a recall and were only about 18 months old.

kiev
Posts: 946
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Location: The Heart o' Dixie
Contact: Website

Re: Another successful transplant

Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:28 am

jray3 wrote:I replaced another OBC today, transplanted a 11k mile 2011 manufacture date charger from Texas into a 2012 Premium Edition with 44k miles.


Thanks for posting the information about this. Would you happen to know, or could you ask them, about the recent history and status of the 12V aux battery before the OBC failure--had it been replaced, were they having any starting issues, was it an old original OEM, etc? Just looking for clues to help identify the root cause.

@phb
i think that the little blue snubber cap (failure) is acting somewhat like a "fuse" to protect the more expensive and inaccessible switching transistors in the waffle plate.

There are at least 4 little fuses in the OBC/DC Conv., and it seems that none have ever been reported as having blown.

But in many failures it seems that the big MCU 20A fuse blows, in the HV(+) line between the OBC/DCDC and the MCU.

i don't think these are component failures, but rather the damage that results from some system-level glitch. Do all the failures have a common root cause, or are there a couple of separate mechanisms or paths to the damage?
kiev = kenny's innovative electric vehicle

jray3
Posts: 1640
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Troubleshooting and repair for On-board Charger (OBC), DC-DC Converter

Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:07 am

Yes, this victim had an original 12V battery, and it's weakness was not apparent until the owner tried to drive in 'total loss mode'- overnight 12V recharging and DCFC traction battery recharging.
He replaced the 12V battery before we replaced the OBC.

This car had been subjected to 'hard shutdowns' by yanking the plug before disconnecting via J1772 when opportunity charging on 120V a number of times.
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 105,400 miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

Barbagris
Posts: 237
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:34 am
Location: Bilbao, Spain

Re: Troubleshooting and repair for On-board Charger (OBC), DC-DC Converter

Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:31 am

Finally I was able to return my little car (problem described on the previous page) to the road, thanks to the change of the complete converter.

New was more modern and I had to modify wiring / connectors, but everything seems to be fine.

Thank you all!
...learning...

phb10186
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 12:58 am
Location: North London suburbs, UK

Re: Troubleshooting and repair for On-board Charger (OBC), DC-DC Converter

Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:00 am

jray3 wrote:Yes, this victim had an original 12V battery, and it's weakness was not apparent until the owner tried to drive in 'total loss mode'- overnight 12V recharging and DCFC traction battery recharging.
He replaced the 12V battery before we replaced the OBC.

This car had been subjected to 'hard shutdowns' by yanking the plug before disconnecting via J1772 when opportunity charging on 120V a number of times.


The obvious two culprits.

I think, especially now that these cars are ageing a bit, I will charge control more closely in the very hot/ very cold weather via the remote... though luckily that is quite rare here in the UK (and the climate is somewhat similar to Japan) (can't remember any charger failures here). If I lived in a hot dry climate, a well placed CPU fan cut into the charger case could also help with heat dispersion, as could (possibly) modification with an improved heatsink in the vulnerable places.
2012 I-MIEV Keiko Silver 21K
2010 Insight ES-T 64K
2009 RX400h 4WD - 86K
2001 Accord Type-V (F23 manual)
2009 Hornet CB600F
2008 SH300

DBMandrake
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:57 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Troubleshooting and repair for On-board Charger (OBC), DC-DC Converter

Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:49 am

phb10186 wrote:The obvious two culprits.

I think, especially now that these cars are ageing a bit, I will charge control more closely in the very hot/ very cold weather via the remote... though luckily that is quite rare here in the UK (and the climate is somewhat similar to Japan) (can't remember any charger failures here). If I lived in a hot dry climate, a well placed CPU fan cut into the charger case could also help with heat dispersion, as could (possibly) modification with an improved heatsink in the vulnerable places.

Don't get too comfy, there have been multiple on board charger failures in the UK recently.

Kes who posted this thread is located in Scotland not far from me and has had the charger go on both his cars... :(

He also posted over on speakev.com about his problems, (with more up to date information) and there have been other reports on speakev.com of UK charger failures recently as well.

Makes me a bit nervous about mine which is a 2011 model with over 50k miles now. On the plus side I recently replaced the very weak 12v battery so it has a good healthy 12v battery now. If that is the underlying cause of many of the failures I should be alright for a few years, touch wood.

I also use a Rolec wall charger and always end charging either by letting it finish charging itself (most days) or squeezing the trigger on the J-1772 connector - I never turn the power off at the wall first even if I was using the granny EVSE. So if that's another cause of failures I should be OK there too, especially now I'm aware not to do that.
- Simon

EV: 2011 Peugeot Ion
ICE: 1997 Citroen Xantia V6

phb10186
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 12:58 am
Location: North London suburbs, UK

Re: Troubleshooting and repair for On-board Charger (OBC), DC-DC Converter

Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:39 pm

DBMandrake wrote:
phb10186 wrote:The obvious two culprits.

I think, especially now that these cars are ageing a bit, I will charge control more closely in the very hot/ very cold weather via the remote... though luckily that is quite rare here in the UK (and the climate is somewhat similar to Japan) (can't remember any charger failures here). If I lived in a hot dry climate, a well placed CPU fan cut into the charger case could also help with heat dispersion, as could (possibly) modification with an improved heatsink in the vulnerable places.

Don't get too comfy, there have been multiple on board charger failures in the UK recently.

Kes who posted this thread is located in Scotland not far from me and has had the charger go on both his cars... :(

He also posted over on speakev.com about his problems, (with more up to date information) and there have been other reports on speakev.com of UK charger failures recently as well.

Makes me a bit nervous about mine which is a 2011 model with over 50k miles now. On the plus side I recently replaced the very weak 12v battery so it has a good healthy 12v battery now. If that is the underlying cause of many of the failures I should be alright for a few years, touch wood.

I also use a Rolec wall charger and always end charging either by letting it finish charging itself (most days) or squeezing the trigger on the J-1772 connector - I never turn the power off at the wall first even if I was using the granny EVSE. So if that's another cause of failures I should be OK there too, especially now I'm aware not to do that.


I use a Rolec as well - but I doubt the wall charger has anything to do with it - saying that I find my Rolec can be a bit jumpy on occasion which may be a hard stop in effect. I too never hard unplug, and let the car end the charging cycle. My parents also have an IMIEV, and they use the standard 3 pin wall outlet charger - but charge the same way I do. No problems yet, though mileages are lower than yours.

To have two failures on two cars in the same household is either the worst luck imaginable, or due to some charging practice or domestic electricity issue... but I wouldn't speculate.

Unfortunately, I'll probably have to sell the IMIEV as its very restricted with two kids seats in it - even though I am trying not to.
2012 I-MIEV Keiko Silver 21K
2010 Insight ES-T 64K
2009 RX400h 4WD - 86K
2001 Accord Type-V (F23 manual)
2009 Hornet CB600F
2008 SH300

Kes
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:43 pm

Re: Troubleshooting and repair for On-board Charger (OBC), DC-DC Converter

Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:39 am

Thanks for the mention DBMandrake, Yes both my ION's failed. I sent them to a local EV specialist, he has managed to get one up and running by cleaning off corrosion and dry solders on inverter. The other he couldn't repair unfortunately. He says there is a hole in the box for cooling and due to the car having no undertray water and salt are getting in causing the damage?
I sent the inverter box to a PCB repair place and they can't/won't repair.
I know quite a few of you have managed to repair these boxes, would anyone be interested in taking on the repair. I am sure I could ship the package worldwide and am at a wits end, my electric van has just given up on me too! Happy to pay.

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