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Discussion Starter #1
When I plug my 451 ED into my home charger, the dashboard icon changes into a plug, the dash changes from "Charge Vehicle" into "Ready to Charge", and I hear the contactor "click" sound, and the charger itself changes from solid blue to blinking (blinking is normal behavior while charging), but the car isn't actually gaining any charge, and none of those squares at the bottom of the display are blinking like they would if it was charging. I haven't done anything special recently.

I have been driving it without power brakes for over a year now but it has always been able to charge fine despite the dashboard brake warning (and that warning doesn't even appear until after I turn the key, so it shouldn't be an issue). MB said it's a wire chafing problem but won't tell me where and want $800 to fix, and I haven't been able to locate the chafe area from any of the guides on this forum.

Anyway, here's the display when the charger is unplugged vs plugged:

63439


63440
 

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The "ready to charge" status means that that the car is signaling the EVSE ("charger") to turn on the power to the charge plug. Make sure the plug is pushed in fully and the latch button is fully up - the latch can stick on that rubber boot. If the plug is in corectly, my first guess would be that your EVSE is not working or there is a broken pilot signal wire in the cable, or between the charge receptacle and the on-board charger (it passes through the chafe-susceptible area near the brake vacuum pump too). What make/model is the EVSE?

The $800 to fix a broken wire is ridiculous - apparently the dealer wants to replace a whole wiring harness rather than just splice the broken wire. You might want to try taking it to a small mom-and-pop shop and explain that the problem is a broken wire going to a vacuum pump behind the right quarter panel.
 

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MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
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When I plug my 451 ED into my home charger, the dashboard icon changes into a plug, the dash changes from "Charge Vehicle" into "Ready to Charge", and I hear the contactor "click" sound, and the charger itself changes from solid blue to blinking (blinking is normal behavior while charging), but the car isn't actually gaining any charge, and none of those squares at the bottom of the display are blinking like they would if it was charging. I haven't done anything special recently.
“Home charger” is Level 2?

Same results with the (120v) OEM Level 1?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My home charger is dual voltage both 120 and 240. I tried it in both the 120 and 240 and it had the same behavior. Then I drove it to a public charger and it had the same behavior (ChargePoint charger screen said it was pulling 0.1 KW, and after 30 mins used 7 cents and no increase on SOC needle. Finally I drove it to the charger at the MB dealership with 10% left, and it STILL had the same behavior on their charger.

MB said they want $180 to look at it, even though this happened once already years ago and they had to reset all the computers in the car, but they never figured out why (their service record said they'd notify me when they found a "final solution", which I mentioned at the time was a poor choice of words for a German company lol).

It doesn't seem right that they can try to get $180 out of me for something they couldn't determine the root cause of while I was in warranty. I guess I was just wondering if there's some kind of DIY fix so I'm not at the mercy of MB every time this spontaneously happens.
 

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I doubt it's the vacuum pump's wiring. The charge inlet 'pins' get corroded with so many uses. I cleaned my friend's EVSE handle plug, as the electrical ports were black and sooty with carbon.
You need to carefully clean (scrape) the carbon off of the charge port pins on the car. Always depress the charging handle button for 1-2 seconds before removing the plug. If you don't, an arc can fly which burns the pins and ports, leaving a black sooty carbon residue from the burn.
 

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Found the 'dirty' picture of the J1772 inlet port - you can carefully clean the two upper pins that carry the charge current. I'd start with some contact cleaner and a cotton swab. You can also gently scrape with the flat side of a small screwdriver - but be extremely careful, as you don't want to damage the pins or metal 'springs' on those pins, meant to 'clean' during each plug / unplug.
 

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My home charger is dual voltage both 120 and 240. I tried it in both the 120 and 240 and it had the same behavior. Then I drove it to a public charger and it had the same behavior (ChargePoint charger screen said it was pulling 0.1 KW, and after 30 mins used 7 cents and no increase on SOC needle. Finally I drove it to the charger at the MB dealership with 10% left, and it STILL had the same behavior on their charger.

MB said they want $180 to look at it, even though this happened once already years ago and they had to reset all the computers in the car, but they never figured out why (their service record said they'd notify me when they found a "final solution", which I mentioned at the time was a poor choice of words for a German company lol).

It doesn't seem right that they can try to get $180 out of me for something they couldn't determine the root cause of while I was in warranty. I guess I was just wondering if there's some kind of DIY fix so I'm not at the mercy of MB every time this spontaneously happens.
1. Plug the charging plug in and listen for a "click" of a relay in the EVSE. Also,

2. Open the "engine compartment" cover. The on-board charger is located near the rear edge of the of the compartment. There is a pull-apart wiring connector on it. Disconnect this connector and using a ohmmeter, check the continuity of the two smaller wire pins of this connector with the small pins on the charge plug receptacle.

Report results.
 

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About the dirty pins from carbon. I have my EVSE attached to an electronic timer to charge only from 8:00pm to 8:00am to avoid the demand usage. My wife gets home from from work and plugs the car in, then at 8:00pm the charger energized with no spark. And off at 8:00am, then she removes the plug at 9:00am before work. Again no spark, and no carbon buildup.
 

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I charged the other day at a public Charge Point station. I looked at the plug and three of the terminals were pretty disgustingly dirty/corroded. I used it anyway and it worked just fine. Curious if all five of the terminals are even used.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 20,000 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 18,000 miles
 

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Discussion Starter #10
1. Plug the charging plug in and listen for a "click" of a relay in the EVSE. Also,

2. Open the "engine compartment" cover. The on-board charger is located near the rear edge of the of the compartment. There is a pull-apart wiring connector on it. Disconnect this connector and using a ohmmeter, check the continuity of the two smaller wire pins of this connector with the small pins on the charge plug receptacle.

Report results.
Hi Yinzer. I just got it back from the MB dealer. They want almost $6000 to put in a new onboard charger. Car is at about 2% left on HV battery so I'm up against a clock before the battery is damaged.

1) In 2014 it refused to charge so I brought it to them and they said "it's a rare bug we haven't found the solution for, we unplugged the onboard charger for 5 minutes and plugged it back in to fix it, we'll notify you when we have a final fix".

2) In 2016 there was an error message about "check HV system" or something to that effect, they disconnected and reconnected the charger again, and they also performed "update HV software per bulletin 2016060003"

3) Today they are saying that the mechanic did not even attempt the HV disconnect/reconnect because the mechanic "said it wouldn't help". Report says:

  • Performed short test. Checked and processed codes. No related codes to HV system.
  • Tried charging vehicle. Will not charge.
  • Tested charging socket to Charge N83. Cabling tested good. Diagnosed faulty on-board charger.
The crux of my argument is that they never gave me a promised permanent fix for it refusing to charge when it was under warranty in 2014. They are saying that this time the onboard charger is faulty, even though they confirmed no disconnect/reconnect was performed (sounds odd to me, I pressed them to try it anyway since it literally worked twice but they declined). They said if I don't want to pay the $6000 then I'll just have to take it up with MB corporate phone number.

Anyway, is this "engine compartment cover" you refer to on the outside bottom rear of the car, or is it accessible from the inside? Just want to know in case I have to power-cycle the onboard charger myself (I own a polycarbonate face shield and HV lineman gloves so I don't fry myself). If I want to jack the car up, the car's handbrake doesn't fix the front wheels in place, only the rear, correct?
 

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Just my .02, but I think you still have a warranty claim as they did not correctly respond to your first two reports of the issue. You can try elevating it to the dealership general manager or owner or to M-B corporate. You also have the option of taking them to small claims court and/or going through your state consumer protection agency. Last resort, get a lawyer. :)
 

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Rather than just click "like" on jwight's post above, I want to say that I totally agree with him. Kick it upstairs and don't let them get off easy. There is still some question as to whether the carb states have an eight year warranty on the battery or not? That might also be a way to attack.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 20,000 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 18,000 miles
 

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Coincidently I just had the same issue yesterday, It was the first time I had run the battery down to 6 miles left in RESERVE mode, add that to a hot day maybe.
I also just received a level2 charger and thought I sure need this now. So I plugged it in and the same thing happened to me, READY TO CHARGE but nothing.
I then went back to my OEM 110VAC charger and now it didn't work either!
I got in the car and turned on the key to see if there were any error messages and I then heard the contactors click, Now both chargers work. Try turning on the car while the charger is in.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just my .02, but I think you still have a warranty claim as they did not correctly respond to your first two reports of the issue. You can try elevating it to the dealership general manager or owner or to M-B corporate. You also have the option of taking them to small claims court and/or going through your state consumer protection agency. Last resort, get a lawyer. :)
I called MB Corporate and the guy who answered took down my info so he can give it to a team who investigates "customer goodwill" repairs, so we'll see how that goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Coincidently I just had the same issue yesterday, It was the first time I had run the battery down to 6 miles left in RESERVE mode, add that to a hot day maybe.
I also just received a level2 charger and thought I sure need this now. So I plugged it in and the same thing happened to me, READY TO CHARGE but nothing.
I then went back to my OEM 110VAC charger and now it didn't work either!
I got in the car and turned on the key to see if there were any error messages and I then heard the contactors click, Now both chargers work. Try turning on the car while the charger is in.
I cleaned all the charger pins with q-tips and alcohol and tried this but no joy, thanks for the suggestion though. It could definitely be a stuck contactor somewhere.
 

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Hi Yinzer. I just got it back from the MB dealer. They want almost $6000 to put in a new onboard charger. Car is at about 2% left on HV battery so I'm up against a clock before the battery is damaged.

1) In 2014 it refused to charge so I brought it to them and they said "it's a rare bug we haven't found the solution for, we unplugged the onboard charger for 5 minutes and plugged it back in to fix it, we'll notify you when we have a final fix".

2) In 2016 there was an error message about "check HV system" or something to that effect, they disconnected and reconnected the charger again, and they also performed "update HV software per bulletin 2016060003"

3) Today they are saying that the mechanic did not even attempt the HV disconnect/reconnect because the mechanic "said it wouldn't help". Report says:

  • Performed short test. Checked and processed codes. No related codes to HV system.
  • Tried charging vehicle. Will not charge.
  • Tested charging socket to Charge N83. Cabling tested good. Diagnosed faulty on-board charger.
The crux of my argument is that they never gave me a promised permanent fix for it refusing to charge when it was under warranty in 2014. They are saying that this time the onboard charger is faulty, even though they confirmed no disconnect/reconnect was performed (sounds odd to me, I pressed them to try it anyway since it literally worked twice but they declined). They said if I don't want to pay the $6000 then I'll just have to take it up with MB corporate phone number.

Anyway, is this "engine compartment cover" you refer to on the outside bottom rear of the car, or is it accessible from the inside? Just want to know in case I have to power-cycle the onboard charger myself (I own a polycarbonate face shield and HV lineman gloves so I don't fry myself). If I want to jack the car up, the car's handbrake doesn't fix the front wheels in place, only the rear, correct?
Firstly, I can but help to think that you are largely being fed BS by the service poeple.

The engine cover is under the carpet in the cargo area behind the seats. Turn the single screw with a coin and remove the cover. It serves as the "hood" for all Smarts. If the car is switched off and the key removed, nothing is energized in the engine compartment area. All HV wires are bright orange (a convention in all EV's) - but they will be dead.

As far as replacing the charger, you need to find a vastly cheaper junkyard one. Replacing it would not be a difficult DIY job. If you don't do that, make the shop install your junkyard one - but then again, the dealer might claim that they are prohibited from usung used high voltage parts...more BS. Surely, there is a local independent MB mechanic who might be able to do it for you.

Maybe you can try unplubgging, re-plugging connections yourself. The orange HV cables use a bayonet-type connector - twist the orange sleeve and pull out.

The photo below is looking downward and rearward at the OB charger (box under edge of compartment). The connections to the charger from left to right are:

1. 120 or 240 VAC from EVSE (Pins 1 and 2 on plug).
2. Ground wires (Pin 3 on plug).
3. 330-390 VDC to HV battery.
4. CAN, interlock, 12V power connector.
5. EVSE control pilot and proximity pilot wires (smaller pins 4 and 5 on plug).

The charger also has coolant lines, one visible on far left.

(Then again, if you can get in serviced under warranty, all this is moot.)


63465
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm not sure if I follow your diagram. Does unplugging the 3 orange HV cables (like the 2 at the top of your picture) cut power to the onboard charger (to reset it)?
 

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I'm not sure if I follow your diagram. Does unplugging the 3 orange HV cables (like the 2 at the top of your picture) cut power to the onboard charger (to reset it)?
There are only two orange cables going into the charger box - the ones with the plastic sleeves. But if you need to cut off the 12V power and CAN communications to the charger it would be the left of the two elongated connectors. The one with several wires (not just two). You will need to figure how the connector catch works. It seem to entail pulling the gray tab on the side of the connector upward then pushing it in toward the connector. MB does not make anything easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just a followup, it took me over TWO DOZEN calls to MB Corporate for them to give me an answer on if they could honor the warranty claim like they initially promised. They finally let me know as a "goodwill" gesture they could discount the $6000 charger replacement by 15%.

Should I be suing the dealer, or MB Corporate? Not sure which is appropriate in this case.
 

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They finally let me know as a "goodwill" gesture they could discount the $6000 charger replacement by 15%.

Should I be suing the dealer, or MB Corporate? Not sure which is appropriate in this case.
Sue both, local dealer failed diagnosis and never prvided proper repair during warranty period. MB Corporate is only offering a 15% discount on service that should have been done UNDER WARRANTY!

Dunno if this could be an answer if M-B shows their usual lack of love for their smart Customer?

 
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