Smart Car of America Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
465 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,297 Posts
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

Try another Level 2 charger just to see if the one you bought was defective... perhaps a public charger. :nerd:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
465 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
465 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
So, unfortunately no it doesn’t 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 they’d take a look at it, but their service manager said they’ve 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 don’t know where on the car to locate that.

Here’s to hoping I don’t electrocute myself . . .
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,297 Posts
So, unfortunately no it doesn’t 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 they’d take a look at it, but their service manager said they’ve 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 don’t know where on the car to locate that.

Here’s to hoping I don’t 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...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
465 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Unfortunately, I’m way out of warranty. My inquiry was whether or not they had any experience with the problem, because I don’t want to spend a fortune getting the car to them for them to diagnose and then find that they cant figure it out. I’m 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 dealer’s service department, I have a very low confidence that they can find ‘abnormal’ problems.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,297 Posts
Unfortunately, I’m way out of warranty. My inquiry was whether or not they had any experience with the problem, because I don’t want to spend a fortune getting the car to them for them to diagnose and then find that they cant figure it out. I’m 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 dealer’s service department, I have a very low confidence that they can find ‘abnormal’ 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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
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/smartgrid/archive/2015/08/06/untangling-electric-vehicle-chargers-exploring-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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
465 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,109 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,109 Posts
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...
If you tow it on a dolly, make sure you put the rear wheels on the dolly, not the front ones! You then need to secure the steering wheel in a straight-ahead position with cargo-straps to the seat frame or the like.

And yeah, I've heard N. Nova Scotia is the closest thing in Canada to W. Pennsylvania or West Virginia - coal mining heritage and not very receptive to "green" things. I wish we had a beautiful sea coast and good sea food like up there though...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
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.
Ah, I was looking at your Kitchener location and thinking "surely there are many other EVs nearby..."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
465 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Ah, I was looking at your Kitchener location and thinking "surely there are many other EVs nearby..."
Yup, I couldn’t change that on the mobile version of the site. Still doesn’t seem to be working even thought the details are corrected in my user CP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
465 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
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.
That’s kinda’ what I’m thinking also. When I have time this weekend, I’ll take a look in there for any physical damage or wear.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10 Posts
I'm seriously thinking that your vehicle could have a blown fuse on one of the input phases, hence disabling the 240AC charge.
I work with power electronics every day and depending on the level of the vehicle's internal charger protection, this situation is not uncommon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
465 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Hi all, no updates. Still trying to get my hands on a workshop manual so I can trace the possible faults in the system.

FYI:
No error codes
I can hear the startup of the cooling system and the unique whine that immediately precedes the charging station 'click', but no charging begins.
Level 1, no issues

I'll update when I have more info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Hi all, no updates. Still trying to get my hands on a workshop manual so I can trace the possible faults in the system.

FYI:
No error codes
I can hear the startup of the cooling system and the unique whine that immediately precedes the charging station 'click', but no charging begins.
Level 1, no issues

I'll update when I have more info.
I had an issue at a public charger where it would not start the charging process. I bought some Penetrox(Can be bought on Amazon ~$15) based on a users suggestion in another thread to improve the electrical connection in the charge port.
I put it on my cars charge port and then I slid the charger on and off a couple of times.
It worked. Been working ever since.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I had an issue at a public charger where it would not start the charging process. I bought some Penetrox(Can be bought on Amazon ~$15) based on a users suggestion in another thread to improve the electrical connection in the charge port.
I put it on my cars charge port and then I slid the charger on and off a couple of times.
It worked. Been working ever since.
Interesting.

I just started having this issue today (no 230V charging), and luckily, I think it's been gradually getting worse (now that I think about it). I remember a few times during this past winter where I had to plug the charging cable in a few times to get it to kick on, but I don't remember that ever happening at a public charger we regularly use. So it seems like it must be my L2 charging cable contacts that are the culprit, and need some deoxidation love.

I'll try to remember to report back here after I try applying something to it (e.g. Deoxit).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Interesting.

I just started having this issue today (no 230V charging), and luckily, I think it's been gradually getting worse (now that I think about it). I remember a few times during this past winter where I had to plug the charging cable in a few times to get it to kick on, but I don't remember that ever happening at a public charger we regularly use. So it seems like it must be my L2 charging cable contacts that are the culprit, and need some deoxidation love.

I'll try to remember to report back here after I try applying something to it (e.g. Deoxit).
I just tried it, and it didn't solve the problem.

So, I guess the next thing is to check the fuses, like someone else mentioned. But I wonder if the fuse related to this is even user-accessible, or if it's something more challenging. I live out of range from the nearest dealer, so going there will to require slow-charging once somewhere (since I can't fast charge), probably overnight. Sigh.

At least while I'm there I can have them reset the "maintenance due in -5xx days" that's been bugging me for almost 2 years. LOL
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top