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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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Level 2 charging issues - test method?

Hi all, I’m having issues with level 2 charging. Charges fine on level 1, so I thought it was my charging station. I then bought a cheap level 2 charger online, but it also doesn’t charge. I have low confidence that the new level 2 charger is a “quality” unit. So my question is, does any one know how to test the charging port or onboard charger on the smart to see if its working properly? I don’t have any error codes or anything. The car seems to handshake, and the coolant circulation can be heard, but no charging initiated.

Thoughts and comments much appreciated.

Marc
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by marc hanna View Post
Hi all, Iím having issues with level 2 charging. Charges fine on level 1, so I thought it was my charging station. I then bought a cheap level 2 charger online, but it also doesnít charge. I have low confidence that the new level 2 charger is a ďqualityĒ unit. So my question is, does any one know how to test the charging port or onboard charger on the smart to see if its working properly? I donít have any error codes or anything. The car seems to handshake, and the coolant circulation can be heard, but no charging initiated.

Thoughts and comments much appreciated.

Marc

Try another Level 2 charger just to see if the one you bought was defective... perhaps a public charger.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 05:13 AM Thread Starter
 
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Yes. That was what I was thinking. The new area I live in only has one public charger within range. So, one day when I have a chance I’ll make a special trip over there.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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So, unfortunately no it doesnít work on the public charger either.

I called the closest Benz dealer and they were of no help (no surprise). They said to get it towed in, and theyíd take a look at it, but their service manager said theyíve never seen a similar issue before, and admittedly said, they very rarely ever see these cars in their shop.

The only potential piece of information if have uncovered is a blown high-voltage fuse, which would make sense becuase there are two to hot leads feeding into the car and if one of those were blown, it would still enable level 1 charging, but I donít know where on the car to locate that.

Hereís to hoping I donít electrocute myself . . .
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 09:31 AM
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So, unfortunately no it doesnít work on the public charger either.

I called the closest Benz dealer and they were of no help (no surprise). They said to get it towed in, and theyíd take a look at it, but their service manager said theyíve never seen a similar issue before, and admittedly said, they very rarely ever see these cars in their shop.

The only potential piece of information if have uncovered is a blown high-voltage fuse, which would make sense becuase there are two to hot leads feeding into the car and if one of those were blown, it would still enable level 1 charging, but I donít know where on the car to locate that.

Hereís to hoping I donít electrocute myself . . .
Remember, a service center is not likely to diagnose and find solutions to fix your problems over the phone. That's not a good expectation to have anywhere because that is their actual business. It's like asking for free food from a restaurant.

The good news is that chances are your problem is not going to be terribly difficult, so you may have to throw the dealer a hundred or so bucks to at least give you a diagnosis. If you have a 453 you're still under warranty, if you have a 451 then good luck unless it's a 2015 or newer you may have a chance at a warranty claim...
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
 
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Unfortunately, Iím way out of warranty. My inquiry was whether or not they had any experience with the problem, because I donít want to spend a fortune getting the car to them for them to diagnose and then find that they cant figure it out. Iím 150km from the nearest dealer, so it will cost me $200 - $300 just to get it towed to them. So just to get it diagnosed by them is going to cost me at least $600 even if they dont actually fix anything. Based on my past experience with the dealerís service department, I have a very low confidence that they can find Ďabnormalí problems.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 11:46 AM
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Unfortunately, Iím way out of warranty. My inquiry was whether or not they had any experience with the problem, because I donít want to spend a fortune getting the car to them for them to diagnose and then find that they cant figure it out. Iím 150km from the nearest dealer, so it will cost me $200 - $300 just to get it towed to them. So just to get it diagnosed by them is going to cost me at least $600 even if they dont actually fix anything. Based on my past experience with the dealerís service department, I have a very low confidence that they can find Ďabnormalí problems.

Yikes!


Have you considered renting a truck and trailer and towing it yourself, for significantly less?


The dealer will certainly be able to fix your problem, but I doubt it will be cheap. It's overwhelmingly likely they're using all oem parts that are brand new or factory refurbished, so the cost of parts will likely be up there. Only thing I hope you don't do is trying to do it yourself. You have nearly 400V running through the HV battery, and trial and error repair jobs should never be done on hybrid or electric vehicles. Risking your life isn't worth it. I'd recommend you at least get your diagnostic from a professional, even if you finish the job elsewhere.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 03:05 PM
 
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If you have some electronics experience and can use an oscilloscope with capture, you can do some basic troubleshooting of the pilot/handshake signaling.

https://e2e.ti.com/blogs_/archives/b...ring-standards is a decent intro. I think there's a good Wikipedia page as well, but Google didn't turn it up and I didn't have time to go spelunking for it.

Far easier of course is to use another, known good EVSE. I'd even be willing to stop other EV drivers you see out and ask them if they know of/have one nearby.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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To presume that the dealer can fix it, may be a little premature. And certainly, under what circumstances they can fix it is even more uncertain. When I had my CLK they performed over $1,5000 worth of work to get the AC working when they finally gave up and said they couldn’t figure it out. What I’ve generally found is that they just keep throwing parts at it until something solves the problem. So I am a little leary when they say they have very little experience with the Smart ED and say that they don’t know what could cause the problem.

I may rent a dolly and tow it down myself. That would be the most cost effective route.

Unfortunately, being in Northern Nova Scotia, there are very few public stations and even fewer electric cars. But yes, I might be able to get my hands on some electrical equipment to test it. I’d rather diagnose it myself, that way at least I know if the service department is feeding me a load of BS, when they try to justify the work they claim they have to do. That’s assuming I can’t actually do the repair myself.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 06:43 PM
 
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Jim and Marc,

The fact that it charges on level 1 but not level 2 would seems to exclude a problem with the car not handling the control pilot signal properly - because it works the same on either level 1 or level 2 - the only difference is the control pilot signal duty cycle would be different to reflect the different maximum current they can provide (12A for the Smart's 120V EVSE, up to 50A for a commercial level 2 EVSE (although the Smart's on-board charger, or course will only accept about 15A).

For troubleshooting, I'd start with continuity checks between the cars charging receptacle pins and the connector at the the on-board charger end. It might be another case of wire-chafing in the right-rear quarter panel space or engine compartment problem.


The Wikipedia article on "SAE J1772" also explains the J1772 standard well.
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