electrons
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:22 pm

"Yellow Wrench" light while driving in the rain... later red warning!

Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:44 am

Problem: Yellow wrench came on while driving this morning in the rain, a powertrain fault. Got home fine (5 miles after yellow wrench), plugged it in. No drop in performance, nothing that I could tell was wrong, drove OK.

Then I went out and started it while it was still plugged in and immediately saw the dreaded "Stop Safely Now" with red triangle+! while on the driveway. Since its a red level warning, kinda serious maybe, I unplugged the car with about a half battery charge remaining.

Owner's Manual says:

Powertrain Fault (yellow wrench symbol)
"Lights when the system detects
a powertrain or high-voltage
charge system fault. If the
indicator stays on or continues to come on,
contact an authorized dealer as soon as
possible."
Stop Safely (red triangle with "!" inside)
"Indicates an electrical
component fault or failure that
causes your vehicle to shutdown
or enter into a limited operating mode. A
message may also display."

Background: 2016 Ford Focus Electric, almost problem free for 4 years and 32,000 miles so far.

Now I'm wondering if I should try to drive it 11 miles to the Ford dealership or call a tow truck (AAA) from my driveway. (???)

I'll read some other threads to see if its just the 12v battery or something simple. A 12v battery can go out at about 4 years. (Happened on my '15 C-Max at about that point.) ... Though, the Owner's Manual did say it may be the High Voltage charging system at fault when the Yellow Wrench comes on while driving. ... We could all learn something from this I guess.

I think the Ford dealership is operating just fine during the global pandemic.

jmueller065
Posts: 2396
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:36 am
Location: Southeastern MI
Contact: Website

Re: "Yellow Wrench" light while driving in the rain... later red warning!

Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:40 am

Did your car get the recall fixed for that? (It may not be a recall but I know there is an issue there.)

There is a high-voltage wiring issue with the battery near the drivers side rear-wheel. Water can get in there and cause some corrosion in the connectors.

For the fix I believe they clean up that area, put new connectors on, and install a shield.

Call a dealer and ask--or if it is driveable take it there.
2018 Cajun Red Chevy Bolt
2016 Magnetic C-Max Energi (lease returned)
2014 Sunset Escape
2014 Thor Axis (V-10)
2013 Focus Electric (lease returned Jan 2016 for the C-Max above)
https://spareelectrons.wordpress.com/

electrons
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:22 pm

Re: "Yellow Wrench" light while driving in the rain... later red warning!

Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:49 am

Since its a 2016 model, there was no recall for it, only earlier model years. Still, could be something like that. It was raining moderately hard when the yellow wrench appeared. A guess would be that water got somewhere in there. Sounds like that anyway. Maybe once it dries out I can take it in to the dealership, and hoping nothing got fried (over-amped) from shorts.

electrons
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:22 pm

Re: "Yellow Wrench" light while driving in the rain... later red warning!

Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:03 am

Calling the Ford dealership today to see if I can drop it by. As long as they are disinfecting and social-distancing in the shop, they should still be able to work on cars. They are selling & doing it all there now. Many places are closing or almost closing, but many can just function with precautions.

Should be covered under the 8-year "electric components" warranty:

"Under your New Vehicle Limited Warranty, the following Focus Electric components are covered against defects in factory-supplied material or workmanship for 8 years or 100,000 miles (whichever occurs first) from the original warranty start date: High-voltage battery packs, high-voltage charger, DC/DC converter, Electric Drive Module Assembly (includes electric motor and gear box), trans range and charge cord."

https://assets.forddirect.fordvehicles. ... 210AF5.pdf

Few of us will reach the 100,000 mile mark in 8 years since these fun sports car toys only get a reliable 60 miles (with margin) per day or per charge, especially if using it on the highway with that extra aero drag and/or cold weather heater usage!

electrons
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:22 pm

Re: "Yellow Wrench" light while driving in the rain... later red warning!

Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:13 am

OK, I did find tech bulletin 16B02 which does indeed cover my model year (2016 and earlier models) and build date too.
However, Ford was doing this "customer satisfaction" program only in certain states, and not in my Colorado, which would explain why I was never contacted about it.
(Maybe the state attorney generals in those affected states were more agressive? Don't know why some states are excluded. We get rain & snow here too.)...

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2016/ ... 4-0699.pdf
https://ford.oemdtc.com/2117/16b02-high ... s-electric

Build Dates: September 15, 2011 through December 9, 2015
Colorado and California were excluded from this thing that ended May 2017 anyway, so this is just info, not a recall.
Could be useful to tell the local Ford technicians & service advisor about it so they have a clue.

Customer Satisfaction - 16B02 – High Voltage Lower Battery Connector Corrosion – 2012-2016 Ford Focus Electric

Certain 2012-2016 Model Year Focus Electric Vehicles
High Voltage Lower Battery Connector Corrosion


REASON FOR THIS PROGRAM
In the affected vehicles, corrosion on the high voltage lower battery connector may cause deformation of the connector allowing water ingress. Water ingress into the high voltage lower battery could result in a high voltage circuit isolation fault with a “Stop Safely Now” message displayed in the message center. If this occurs, the vehicle may not restart once it has been shut off.

SERVICE ACTION
Before delivering any of the vehicles involved in this program, dealers are to remove the high voltage lower battery from the vehicle, clean and inspect the high voltage lower battery connector, apply corrosion protection, install a protective shield and reinstall the high voltage lower battery in the vehicle. This service must be performed on all affected vehicles at no charge to the vehicle owner. NOTE: The high voltage lower battery in some vehicles may require shipment to a specialized facility to complete repairs.

OWNER NOTIFICATION MAILING SCHEDULE
Due to capacity constraints to repair the high voltage lower battery, and to assist dealers in managing customer expectations, owners of affected vehicles will be notified in four separate mailings. Mailing will begin by March 28, 2016. Dealers should repair any affected vehicles that arrive at their dealerships, whether or not the customer has received a letter.

electrons
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:22 pm

Re: "Yellow Wrench" light while driving in the rain... later red warning!

Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:14 am

In January of this year, a new Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) 20-2004 came out which blamed an internal battery coolant leak for it, though I think it's probably the above 16B02 rain problem, I'm guessing: TSB 20-2004 https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2020/ ... 1-0001.pdf 

Since the yellow wrench and red "stop safely now" happened during & after driving when raining outside, the Field Service Action (FSA) 16B02 might just be the one that applies here:  https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2016/ ... 4-0699.pdf  

I'm going in Monday to the dealership and will make sure the Service Advisor gets the "nudge" toward 16B02 and 20-2004. They should know already when they do a search, but I've sometimes had problems over the last 40 years of doing this just to get them to take the time to research the issues in Ford's (and other maker's) databases. Sometimes you have to hold thier hand or face long wait times and/or miss out on warranty coverage.
For example, I read something where a dealership idiot Service Advisor told a customer the rain-induced 16B02 problem was really for their car insurance to handle!!! Unbelievable. It should be paid for by the 8 year warranty we have.
 

triangles
Posts: 1088
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:40 am
Location: Toledo, Ohio

Re: "Yellow Wrench" light while driving in the rain... later red warning!

Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:22 pm

16B02 expired in 2017 so they will do nothing. Further the wiring harnesses aren't covered by the warranty so you are SOL there too. Luckily (TSB) 20-2004 looks like it also covers the same as 16B02 so you should be golden.
My guess is water ingress and corrosion to the battery connector.

Good luck and let us know how things go.
2014 Blue Candy FFE
http://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/focus/2014/triangles/303811 (since this forum doesn't allow BBcode in sigs)

Heima
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:46 pm

Re: "Yellow Wrench" light while driving in the rain... later red warning!

Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:03 am

Seems that TSB 20-2004 is pretty much for all FFE. This is the summary at https://www.nhtsa.gov/vehicle/2018/FORD ... unications:
January 15, 2020 MANUFACTURER COMMUNICATION NUMBER: TSB 20-2004
Components: ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

NHTSA ID Number: 10170911

Manufacturer Communication Number: TSB 20-2004

Summary

Some 2012-2018 Focus Electric vehicles may exhibit a Stop Safely Now message displayed in the instrument panel cluster (IPC) message center. This may be due to either an internal coolant leak on the upper or lower high voltage battery or corrosion on the lower high voltage battery connector caused by water ingress. If this occurs, the vehicle may not restart once it has been shut off. To resolve the condition, follow the Service Procedure to replace the upper and lower high voltage battery or apply corrosive protection.
7 Affected Products
1 Associated Document
Request Research (Services fees apply)
But the TSB itself does not include 2017 or 2018 model year vehicles. The fact that the bulletin is available to 2018 FFE (See the main heading of the NHTSA page) contradicts the exclusion in the bulletin text. So the only way I can think of knowing for certain if a 2017 or 2018 is covered by this issue, is to see if the bulletin is listed in Oasis for the vehicle. Does anyone have access to Oasis?

As for payment, it is stated that it is covered by the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
For Canada:
Under your New Vehicle Limited Warranty, the following Focus Electric components are covered against defects in factory-supplied material or workmanship for 8 years or 160,000 km (whichever occurs first) from the original warranty start date: High-voltage battery packs, high-voltage charger, DC/DC converter, Electric Drive Module Assembly (includes electric motor and gear box), trans range and charge cord
For USA:
New Vehicle Limited Warranty. We want your Ford Focus Electric ownership experience to be the best it can be. Under this warranty, your new vehicle comes with 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper coverage, 5-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Warranty coverage, 5-year/60,000-mile safety restraint coverage, and 5-year/unlimited-mile corrosion (perforation) coverage – all with no deductible. Please ask your Ford Dealer for a copy of this limited warranty.
Electric Component Warranty. Your vehicle’s unique electric components are covered during the Electric Unique Component Coverage, which lasts for 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Please refer to your Warranty Guide for coverage details.
So that might be problematic. Logically, the problem is with the battery, so the battery warranty should cover this. Checking the warranty guide there is a diagram showing the Hybrid/Electric Unique Component Coverage - 8/100000 is under the blanket of "Your New Vehicle Limited Warranty".

Image

There is also this text, with my highlights:
(4)Your vehicle’s unique hybrid / electric components are covered during the Hybrid / Electric Unique Component Coverage, which lasts for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first.
•The following hybrid parts are covered during this extended coverage period: high-voltage battery, hybrid continuously variable transmission,Inverter System Controller (ISC), DC/DC converter, high-voltage battery connector, battery pack fan assembly, thermistor probe, Hybrid Battery Pack Sensor Module (HBPSM), Battery Energy Control Module(BECM), and the PHEV onboard charger.
•The following plug-in-vehicle unique parts (if equipped) are covered during this extended coverage period: high-voltage battery packs,high-voltage charger, DC/DC convertor, electronic drive module assembly (includes electric motor and gearbox), transmission range sensor, and charge cord.
Hmmm, the connector is covered for the hybrid, not the bev, and the charging cord is covered for the bev and the not the plugin hybrids. Perhaps the ambiguities are what made this repair take weeks on end.

In this type of situation, it is best to get in touch with Ford, not the dealer, and determine if they will pay for the repair. However, contact Service Engineering Operations, not customer service. Michael Berardi was the director of this division, don't know if he still is. Yep, from Linked In it looks like he still is.

As a tip from an insider. Squeaky wheels get greased.
Last edited by Heima on Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

electrons
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:22 pm

Re: "Yellow Wrench" light while driving in the rain... later red warning!

Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:31 am

Nice! Lots of insider and experienced info above.

Heima's points on whether or not the connectors (or their cracked mounts!) are included is interesting. It could depend on whether that's automatically considered part of the battery pack or not. I could see it going either way. Weird stuff.
And I see the TSB 20-2004 does indeed include the rain water ingress problem (like 16B02) in addition to the possibility that internal coolant ruined something inside the big fat high-voltage battery back there, a 640 lb monster which keeps us glued to the road. :D

As we Focus Electric owners see some time and mileage on these things, we may have to visit the dealership more and more.
I just want 10 years out of this thing, and then I'll do a Thelma & Louise off a cliff (minus me or Thelma in it!), but not now at the 4-year point.

I just took it in to the dealership. I mentioned 16B02 and the perhaps more recent & relevant TSB 20-2004 to the Service Advisor who looked like he just graduated 8th grade. .... Most Ford technicians have a lot of experience with hybrids around here at least!

Focus electrics r very rare in Colorado. Wish I could take it up to Boulder, CO, where there are far more sales of electric cars, as that's a green hippie town, seriously high numbers of Nissan Leafs, etc. sold, along with some Focus Electrics too up there.

Maybe Ford should treat us well on warranty issue 'cuz they want us to buy the new Mustang EV 8 months from now, right?!
Or are there enough of us old Focus Electric buyers out there? We'd get almost nothing for a trade on a new Mustang EV, you can bet on that, sadly! :(

Heima
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:46 pm

Re: "Yellow Wrench" light while driving in the rain... later red warning!

Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:39 am

So much for brand loyalty.

Since those connectors are part of the battery itself, (if you bought a new battery, they would be right there on the battery), it should be covered under the battery warranty. The high voltage cables that connect to the battery however, are a different matter. Yet it seems that the bulletin is not for the electrical connection per se, but rather that water is leaking in behind the connector, and the feeler gauge is used to determine the gap behind the connectors. Water/coolant in the battery will cause isolation faults, and that will bring on the yellow wrench and the SSN message.

Return to “Technical Discussions”