Robert123
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:31 am

Interesting Cold Weather Event

Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:56 am

Finally got cold here and it snowed. The FFE has been parked for the past 3 days. Was in garage working on the AWD winter beater and got a text message from the Focus. 12v battery low. Plug in now. I finished what I was doing (about 20 minutes).

Opened the doors to the FFE and all heck broke loose so to speak. Relay started clicking. Brake lights turned on, no response on dash. Plugged in the level 2 charge and nothing. Click. Click. Click. .....

Went down to the barn and got a battery charger. Popped open hood and hooked it up set for 2 amps. No change. Increased to 6 amps. No change. Click. Click. Click. Relay still raising heck. Brakes lights did turn off though. No response on dash.

Got a voltage meter. 8.5 volts on the 12v battery. What the heck????

Went back to barn and got the jump box. Hooked it up and the car went back to normal. Level 2 charger kicked in. Battery charger shut down after about 4-10 min saying battery was charged. Apparently, the level 2 charger was now charging the 12v battery based on the voltage at the battery.

OK... so I assume the 12v was drained due to features trying to keep the big battery warm? Do we need to keep these cars plugged up to the charger during the winter?
2015 FFE "Orphan"
Adopted October 2016 w/ 3k miles

EVA
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Location: Chicago Area

Re: Interesting Cold Weather Event

Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:00 am

Oh Robert, those horrible memories, thank you for that.

What you described is exactly what happens when the 12V battery dies. All the clicking and other noises. It is a nightmare I wish you hadn't reminded me of.

OK, that was from two years ago. There was a software update that solved the problem. My Ford dealer did some wonderful things and sort of faked the warranty replacement for my 12V battery. It was a goodwill gesture because I was concerned that my 12V battery was damaged by going to that low voltage you mentioned.

If the car is brand new and under warranty, sadly you should of had it towed to your dealer and let them fix the battery. Now that you have charged it, they can't really replace the battery under warranty (when they get the car, the battery will check out perfect).

If the car is an older one you just acquired - buy a new 12V battery and have the software update done at the dealer. There was a recall or technical service bulletin to fix that problem.

So sorry to hear you went through that. A 12V lead acid battery that has been that far discharged should probably be replaced.
2014 Platinum White FFE (Turning in mid Dec. 2016 25,000 miles)
2013 Ingot Silver FFE
2012 Titanium ICE Focus
2014 Tesla Model S 85

Robert123
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:31 am

Re: Interesting Cold Weather Event

Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:38 pm

Thanks for the info on the software update. Truly appreciated. I'll get it taken care of. I thought about the dealer, but I couldn't stand hearing that relay so I had to do what I could to shut the car up.

Interesting, today when I left church for the grocery store the car notified me of the left dash pod something like "its cold outside. Be sure to keep plugged in when not driving."

LOL, thanks FORD. Got that one figured out now :D
2015 FFE "Orphan"
Adopted October 2016 w/ 3k miles

NightHawk
Posts: 535
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Location: Southern CA

Re: Interesting Cold Weather Event

Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:33 pm

I suggest getting a cheap 12v battery maintainer and use it in the garage with the FFE.
2014 Ford Focus Electric - Oxford White, Cloth Seats (Lease ended 9/28/2017)

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Re: Interesting Cold Weather Event

Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:17 am

Yeah Robert, that is a funny message that comes up whenever it is cold outside.

Good luck. I hope the software update works for you.
2014 Platinum White FFE (Turning in mid Dec. 2016 25,000 miles)
2013 Ingot Silver FFE
2012 Titanium ICE Focus
2014 Tesla Model S 85

Robert123
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:31 am

Re: Interesting Cold Weather Event

Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:18 am

We haven't had the car long, and it's rare when it isn't used every day. It just so happened that I had to get a load of poulty feed one day (drove the truck), got the daughter's car lined up the second day, and snow hit on day 3 (very rare event here) so i drove the AWD vehicle. Wasn't cold when this cycle started, so I had never seen the message before. I live in SC. It doesn't get into the 20's here very often at all, let alone approach single digits :o. BURRRR. I live down here for a reason ;)

Software update is definately on the horizon. Car reminded me again this morning when I got to work. No outlets around here, so I'll probably take it out at lunch to insure the 12v stays topped off. High is only supposed to be 32 F today, but southern weather returns tomorrow :). Looking to take it in on Thursday. Thanks again.
2015 FFE "Orphan"
Adopted October 2016 w/ 3k miles

scottt
Site Moderator
Posts: 318
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Re: Interesting Cold Weather Event

Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:00 am

Robert123 wrote:We haven't had the car long, and it's rare when it isn't used every day. It just so happened that I had to get a load of poulty feed one day (drove the truck), got the daughter's car lined up the second day, and snow hit on day 3 (very rare event here) so i drove the AWD vehicle. Wasn't cold when this cycle started, so I had never seen the message before. I live in SC. It doesn't get into the 20's here very often at all, let alone approach single digits :o. BURRRR. I live down here for a reason ;)

Software update is definately on the horizon. Car reminded me again this morning when I got to work. No outlets around here, so I'll probably take it out at lunch to insure the 12v stays topped off. High is only supposed to be 32 F today, but southern weather returns tomorrow :). Looking to take it in on Thursday. Thanks again.
And don't panic that the car needs to be plugged in all the time. My car is parked outside each workday (not plugged in), and no issues last winter or this winter with the 12V battery.

and, now that my modem has been replaced, I can remote start and heat it before I get back in the evenings :-)
2015 Magnetic FFE (aka Magneto) - Retired
2017 Kona Blue FFE (aka King Kona) - Current

jmueller065
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Re: Interesting Cold Weather Event

Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:26 am

My car lived like that the entire time I had it: Sat unplugged every day at work. I think I had to charge the 12V battery up only once, but I think that was something I did..was a bit ago (before the software update to fix the 12V issue).
2018 Cajun Red Chevy Bolt
2016 Magnetic C-Max Energi (lease returned)
2014 Sunset Escape
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triangles
Posts: 1064
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:40 am
Location: Toledo, Ohio

Re: Interesting Cold Weather Event

Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:22 pm

scottt wrote:And don't panic that the car needs to be plugged in all the time. My car is parked outside each workday (not plugged in), and no issues last winter or this winter with the 12V battery.
My FFE sat out in the cold northern Ohio from before Turkey day until after Christmas. I was getting rid of my old car so I parked my FFE and used the old car full time until it was scheduled to be my nephew's first car. My FFE was not fully charged when parked and left unplugged outside the whole time. I kept waiting for the dreaded "12v low" text that never came.
Last edited by triangles on Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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amped
Posts: 60
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Re: Interesting Cold Weather Event

Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:29 am

Robert123 wrote: Got a voltage meter. 8.5 volts on the 12v battery. What the heck????

Went back to barn and got the jump box. Hooked it up and the car went back to normal. Level 2 charger kicked in. Battery charger shut down after about 4-10 min saying battery was charged. Apparently, the level 2 charger was now charging the 12v battery based on the voltage at the battery.
I don't think I would trust this 12v battery without getting it checked out (load test, etc.). Very little juice is required to start the FFE compared to cranking an ICE. I had a very sick 12v battery for a while that still managed to start the car most of the time. It eventually degraded to the point of, apparently, having <1 amp-h capacity remaining. If it had been recently topped up by the DC-DC converter from driving around, or topped up with an external charger, it could start the car just fine. OTOH, if the car was off for more than a little while, the 12v would be too depleted to operate the relays to hook up the traction battery. The voltage drop while starting was ridiculous.

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