Erratic power drop from On to Start

Mitsubishi i-MiEV Forum

Help Support Mitsubishi i-MiEV Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Sep 24, 2023
Ashland, Oregon, USA
I like my new (2012) MiEV even though I knew it had only about a 30-mile range. It's safer and more comfortable than my previous electric bike, adequate for around-town use. The previous owner always plugged it in after trips. I drove it until it reached 2 miles left before charging. Usually, it would show about 50 miles available charge on On, then it would drop by half to 25 when I put it in Start. But a few times it showed 50 miles and did not drop. I drove it gently until it reached below half empty when it dropped by half again. Once, it never dropped by half. I'm going to continue to deplete the battery to very low before charging in hopes that it recalibrates the battery. Has this worked for others?

Also, I noticed if I push it when it is below half charge the Turtle can come on. However, after creeping up a hill, it went off when going down the hill. Hitting the brakes also can turn the Turtle off. Any advice here?
Sounds like a couple different issues. Is the heat or A/C in the cabin on? You’ll want the temperature knob in the center (at the green dot) with the A/C button not lit. As long as these are set, the fan will only blow air, not condition it, and it shouldn’t affect range.

As for the Turtle light under load, these packs are aging and getting weak, so they may struggle under heavy acceleration at times, especially in cooler weather.

Does the car fully charge to 16 bars?
Thanks. The most recent charge topped out at 54 miles and did not decrease when moved from On to Start. I charged up to all the bars.

Still uncertain is whether and how to heat the cabin via the remote when plugged in and charged. One time, merely waiting a while after pressing Send finally gave me the four descending beeps. Whether it turned on the heat or defrost was uncertain. Supposedly, setting the in-cabin controls doesn't affect remote function (except Seat Heat). It's tricky.
The remote is tricky if you’re new to using it. You are correct that the remote completely ignores the dashboard climate controls. It will activate the heated seat if the switch is turned on under the steering wheel (both front seats and their switches next to the door and on the lower center console in 2014, 2016, and 2017 NA models).

A full write up on the remote’s functions can be found here:

In short, HEAT will barely do anything for warming the cabin, so use Defrost instead (I personally use HEAT for 5 minutes to pre-heat the coolant loop and then switch to Defrost). COOL is self-explanatory, and all 3 options work best when the car is plugged into a level 2 charging station and you give the car at least 15 minutes to pre-condition. All modes shut off after 30 minutes, and will only work while the car is plugged in.
Thanks. I especially will try the Heat function before using the Defrost. Perhaps that will work. When I manage to get Defrost to go on remotely, I feel no heat in it. I'll try your suggestion.

I was enjoying my MiEV until suddenly, at 12 miles left, it not only went into Turtle Mode, another icon came on the screen, a car with a big vertical line in it. I lost almost all power. I crept along at one mile per hour until I pulled into a closed business and found a 110 outlet. It took over an hour to bump it up to 16 miles. Then I drove home okay except fearing to run the Defrost. It charged overnight to 45 miles.

I have found that pushing it for power on the freeway or on uphills trips it up and sends it into Turtle - and/or that other worse icon. I avoid the freeway and won't try to big hills. Otherwise, I'll tootle around town okay, hopefully not triggering any utter failures or further degradation to the batteries or BMS or whatever is causing the trouble.

I like the car so much I hope one day to pull the battery and BMS, upgrading both with newer components. That is, assuming I will learn how to do that.
Unfortunately, it does sound more and more like you have a few weak cells in the battery pack. Unless your I-MiEV sold rather late, it’s almost certain that the battery warranty is gone by now. Do you know the original purchase date? If not, you can create an account on and add the car to your “Garage”. This will show you history of the vehicle and the expiration dates for your warranties. It’s a long shot, but if the warranty on the battery happens to still be in effect (or very recently expired), I’d try to pester Mitsubishi that the car shuts down before the battery is discharged and often shows warning lights below half a charge. You might get quite lucky and they replace the battery.

If not, there are other avenues to explore, starting with more in-depth diagnosis.
Thanks. Mine is a 2012 with 59K miles on it. Warrentee probably gone.

I'm using it around town - with trepidation. I'll explore registering it with Mitsubishi and possible diagnostic proceedures.

Remote heat still a mystery.
Couldn't register it at Mitsubishi Garage. Couldn't get past Salesforce Authentificaiton bizarre process, which demanded I register a two-step on my phone and wouldn't allow Mitsubishi.
byronbradley said:
I'll explore registering it with Mitsubishi and possible diagnostic proceedures.

I’d say it’s cheaper and way more productive to get your own OBD dongle (e.g. a Vgate iCar Pro), an old Android device and the free OBDZero app than going to a dealer for diagnostic purposes…