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Mitsubishi i-MiEV Forum

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New member
Dec 1, 2022
Hey Gang, I like the forum and have been lurking for a few days. A quick introduction, my name is John and I am in St. Louis, MO. I sometimes buy vehicles at the insurance auctions (only as a hobby and mostly motorcycles because I love them and can’t see them go to scrap if I can fix them!) Anyway, I just kind of fell into an 2012 IMiev. I got it cheap enough, around $1k even after all the auction fees are paid. I am driving up to Chicago in the morning to pick it up. Carfax indicates it spent most of its life as a government fleet vehicle until this year. In February it was sold to a private owner with 8k miles on it. Then it was involved in an accident on 11/2/22 where it was damaged in the front and rear. I can’t see any damage in the photos but paint is probably scratched ect. The insurance company did not not total it, but sent it to auction. Often they do this when it has mechanical issues as opposed to severe accident damage. Which gets me to the question:

This thing appears to be totally dead. They could not even get the dash to light up to get the miles. Typically (on gas cars at least) they will try to jump start it and if it doesn’t start this listed it as inoperable. Sometimes its and easy fix and sometimes its a part out the car problem. I don’t know what they did to this but it isn’t working at all. I know that if the 12v battery is dead they will not work but beyond that what would you start looking at to diagnose the problem? Possibly something got jarred lose in the accident? Is there an emergency cut off of power in an accident by chance? I found this: which indicates there are sensors that can cutoff power but it doesn’t tell you how to reset them. Is it possible they could have been tripped and cause the dash to go dark (which I assume is off the 12v) battery? I can’t find it mentioned in the forum but maybe I am not using the right search terms.

I really appreciate your wisdom and thank you in advance for any thoughts you have at this somewhat unique situation.

Hi John,

Nice find, the battery is worth more than you paid for the car. I think you are on the right track suspecting the battery. The symptom of no dash lights indicates no 12v power. That is your first check. Jumper cables and a good battery is all you need to check that. Do I need to mention to check the battery cables? I drained my 12v a few days ago and the car went completely dead. A few minutes on a 12v charger brought back the open door indicator. Also there is a fuse box under the hood and one under the dash on the drivers side.

There is a high voltage shut off. It's under the drivers seat, push the seat back all the way, you'll just be able to reach a carpet flap to expose a cover held in place by two wing nuts. Remove those, pull the cover and release the plug by pulling forward and up on the locking handle. I don't believe that the high voltage shut off affects the 12v system.

let us know how it goes.

Howdy and welcome to the forum,

Did any air bags deploy?

With a good strong 12V then the dash should come alive with the bulb check when the key is turned to ON position. If there are DTCs then some of the malfunction lamps will be lit.

With an obd2 dongle and a phone app or a obd2 scantool it is possible to read out the DTCs to determine the faults that the operating system has stored.

You really need that data in order to troubleshoot, its too complicated for guesswork.
Welcome Aboard, John! With such low mileage I’ll be real curious to hear actual Ah capacity of the traction battery, if you can get CANIon or another tool to run (or get the a dealership to measure it when taking care of the likely outstanding vacuum pump recall).
I’m picking up a 2012 parts car this week with only 31k miles- poor thing got hit while parked at curbside.