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Help with problems with the 12 v battery

Posted: Sun May 17, 2020 4:29 am
by casperchristophersen
Dear forum

I am stuck with a problem with the 12 v battery in my Peugeot Ion 2013 (I think, maybe 2012) that I can't fix. I really hope that you guys can help me out.

I am a total rookie in terms of cars both electric and ICE, but I will try to describe the history of the issue as well as I can.

Two/three weeks ago the red battery signal started showing. This came after a period where the car had been used less, then usual because of the Corona stuff, but had been used at least once a week. Then a couple of days later the yellow alarm signal started showing. Then a couple of days later everything in the car started blinking and it stopped just before I could get it to the garage.

I got towed to the garage and thay said that the problem was that the car wouldn't charge the 12 v battery. But didn't know how to fix it.

I then found a guy who knew a lot about the Ion/Imiew/C-zero. He took the relay from the fog lights and changed it with the one for the 12 v battery ( I am not exactly sure what it is called). Then the car charged the 12 v battery. But the red and yellow alarms were still showing. He removed the minus thing from the 12 v for 15 minutes and the alarms stopped showing, but the next day thay were back.

He couldn't figure out why but told me to change the 12 v battery and see if that would make a difference. I changed it but while changing it me and my friend noticed that it made a little zapping sound and some relays were clicking, when we connected the minus pole. My friend said that that was bad because it meant that somewhere in the car something was using power and that was draining the car, but the Imiew/C-zero/Ion-guy said that all cars have current in the background for alarms and stuff. Well anyways it worked. I drove for a while with no alarms in the dashboard and again later in the evening. I also checked with a multimeter. The battery said 12,5 when the car was off, but 14,3 when I turned it on, which meant that the car was charging the 12 v battery

BUT the next morning the alarms were back. I don't know what to do. I am going to take it to a garage as soon as possible so that they can read the alarm codes. But I am afraid that they won't know what to do either. I also dont know what to do with the car in the meantime. Is it okay I let it just stand in the street if its draning the 12 v battery?

Re: Help with problems with the 12 v battery

Posted: Mon May 18, 2020 4:28 am
by Al123
I am not an expert, and I am new to I-Miev as well. My I-Miev has a high drain on the 12V battery. In one week it discharges the battery significantly. I understand that the alarm is partly to be blamed. I lock the car by the switch on the door, and that doesn't set the alarm. I don't lock the car with the fob. When I plan not to drive the car for a while, I disconnect the negative battery lead, and top up the 12V battery.
If you use the car infrequently, I would charge the battery in between. I disconnect the negative for charging.
Lead acid batteries degrade fast if left discharged. You could also once in a while just turn the car on.
If you see 14+ volt on the battery, it is charging. The battery can show 12.5V and be half discharged.
Toping it up with a smart charger is a best bet. The advice you got from your friends sounds good.

Re: Help with problems with the 12 v battery

Posted: Mon May 18, 2020 11:05 am
by JoeS
Don't know if this will apply, but note this post by PV1

"Both of my i-MiEVs have this quirk where if the car is locked, and I go to retrieve something out of it with the simple process of unlock doors with key fob, open a door, close it, and lock the car with the fob, I'll have a dead 12 volt battery within a week. If I unlock the doors with the fob, open a door, start the car, shut it off, close the door, and lock it with the fob, the car can sit for a month+ and be able to start without a jump. Whatever drains the battery, having the car fully cycled before locking the doors lets it power down successfully."

As a side note, I never understood why it's necessary to disconnect a terminal when externally charging a 12v battery, as any slight quiescent drain will be overwhelmed by the charger, and the charger's voltage regulator will prevent any excessive (damaging) voltages.

Re: Help with problems with the 12 v battery

Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 11:10 am
by casperchristophersen
Thanks for replying

I just got word from the garage. It is Bosch mechanic so I figured they would be the best to know. He said something like I cant really figure out what the problem is, but it must be the converter. And that is like 40.000 kr (like 8.000 dollars).


I think I will see if the key thing maybe will help. Should I then recharge the 12v battery somehow or could I let the car do it? I don't have the fob car key, only the manual one and I never lock it and that hasn't been a problem so far

Re: Help with problems with the 12 v battery

Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 12:39 pm
by JoeS
casperchristophersen wrote: The battery said 12,5 when the car was off, but 14,3 when I turned it on, which meant that the car was charging the 12 v battery...
Correct, and that would rule out the OBC (Onboard Charger) which is otherwise called the DC-DC converter as it takes the car's main battery high voltage and converts it into ~14.4vdc to charge the 12v battery. Hopefully that is not your problem as, yes, the price of that OBC is ridiculous and, unfortunately, it has proven to be the car's Achille's Heel.

Next step I'd suggest is to measure the quiescent current being drawn from the 12v battery. Do that by disconnecting one of the terminals and putting a milliammeter in series with the battery connection. I don't remember what the measured number should be (it's here somewhere on this forum), but I would guess that anything over about 20ma would be excessive. This tiny amount of power is used to keep some of the car's systems alive - such as the car alarm. If you measure significantly more than that amount then the next problem will be to try to isolate and identifuy what is drawing that power. That is not a trivial challenge.

Anyone have any more suggestions for Casper?

Re: Help with problems with the 12 v battery

Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 6:45 pm
by Al123
I suspect that the lack of use could be the reason for the battery being low.
If the slow drain is cumulatively greater than the infrequent charging, the battery will discharge, and if left discharged for a while, the capacity will go down.
A battery load test would clarify that.
If the car is providing 14.4V when it is on, or being charged, then that is all it has to do. I would check if the 14.4V is staying on consistently.
The battery voltage is accessible inside the car. The minus is any connected bare metal, and the plus is accessible in a fuse box. My I-Miev doesn’t have a fuse in slot #6, and the 12 volts can be picked up there.
I have stored my I-Miev last winter, and I had the negative disconnected most of the time. I have connected it and turned the car on only once a week, so it would not forget any settings, and I think, it didn’t. Without the slow drain, I have topped up the battery only once a month and it was always almost full.
Could it be that a bad connection or maybe a bad ground somewhere could cause the 12V to be read incorrectly?

Re: Help with problems with the 12 v battery

Posted: Tue May 26, 2020 8:51 pm
by casperchristophersen
Now I am back from the mechanic. He says that everything in the car seems to be working just fine and that I should just drive it and see what happens. I drove it yesterday without a problem except for the two alarms being turned on.

A funny thing is that when I have driven it for like 30 minutes, turn it off and turn it on again the red and yellow alarm are turned off and I can drive it without them coming back on again. But when I then come back to the car the next day the alarms are back.

The error code from the cars computer is: POA09 - DC/DC-converter - function error (my translations)

I have tried locking the car and not locking the car in different ways with no difference

Do you make anything from this?

Re: Help with problems with the 12 v battery

Posted: Wed May 27, 2020 8:26 am
by JoeS
The good news is that your car charges and drives properly.

There's a school of thought that ignorance is bliss, that all warnings should be ignored, and if the car makes strange noises simply turn up the volume on the radio to drown them out. :twisted: Some cars have been driven hundreds of thousands of miles like that. :roll:

Agree that you should keep driving but I'd be inclined to plug in one of those small voltmeters into the auxiliary port to monitor your 12v battery to ensure that the dc-dc is consistently providing ~14.3vdc while you are driving and, when you first get into the car and turn the key and before going into READY that the voltage reading is above 12.0vdc.

If anything changes, please do let us know, and wish you luck!