Did my FFE somehow keep driving past 0 miles range??

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Jul 1, 2014
So here's the scoop (and the 10k mile update on my now 18k "lemoned" FFE). I had a long day today, lots of short trips. I was on my way home after grabbing a quick run through jack in the box when my heart sank, I had over-estimated the range by a couple miles. I was already running in 32f weather at night with the heat off, no heated seats. I punched the GPS to my house and saw the bad news: 2.4 miles to home, 2 miles on the GOM. I knew this leg was partially uphill, so it would be even worse. Sure enough, the miles dropped to 1 (a little less than 2 to go). I was near a Walgreens which I visit frequently, and I also happened to need some Nyquil so I dropped in really quick and explained the situation. The Walgreens folk were more than willing to let me borrow some electricity from their 110v outlet, but unfortunately they closed in 10 minutes and the only outlet was inside the front door. As I pulled my car around for the quickest 110v charge in history, I saw the dreaded "0 miles ranges, stop safely now" message. I gave the 10 minute charge my best go, but unfortunately the car still read 0% charge.

The Walgreens was closing. I had to make a go for it, a bit over a mile till home with one last uphill climb left. I started the car: 0 miles range, stop safely now. I began to drive. I thought "there's a gas station 1/2 mile from my house, maybe I can make it to that and steal another quick charge". Once up to speed on the road I showed no mercy, 45mph in a 25. I thought to myself "I shall coast the mile if I have to". But interestingly, as I came up to the intersection at the gas station, the car had still not lost power. Still 0 miles showing. I said to myself "I'm going for it!". I rounded the turn maintaining as much speed as possible and climbed the hill towards the garage. I made it.

Now I'm happy I made it home and immediately I plugged up my 240v 30amp charger. But I thought to myself "how did I make it home?" Every account I had heard in the past is when you hit that message at 0 miles you have maybe a couple hundred feet left before the car conks out. How did I go 1.4 miles in 32f weather at around 35-40mph partially uphill?

I have only one thought to why this might be. My car was lemoned for the SSN. I have incurred the SSN only during two weeks I have owned the car. The first was after my 12v battery died, I got a new 12v battery from the dealership. For about a week it had a handful of SSN's, but then mysteriously it stopped on its own. 2 months go by, I gave one of my other cars a jump via the FFE, same issue, for a few days, and then back to normal. Its been fine for almost 5 months now, so I believe my car is just a bit touchy about its 12v battery amps/volts. But interestingly, when my car has the "Stop Safely Now" message, it doesn't actually stop. It keeps going as long as I stay above about 5mph (the lamest Speed sequel ever). Once I drop below 5mph, then I have to turn it off, open my door, etc. As far as I know, this is not the norm. I've always heard everyone else say their cars lose power immediately and coast to a stop. Mine however can drive pretty much like normal as long as I don't have to stop (I managed a 30 mile highway trip to work like this, haha, not one of my brighter ideas but whatever).

So here's my thought: could the California dealer have set something up to bypass the stop safely now power loss for the previous owners? And could that have allowed my car, which was on 0 miles and at the stop safely now message to get me home? Have I somehow access to use the reserve power in the battery? On the way home, my car felt totally normal, just a big goose-egg staring me in the face, no lack of torque or anything. Thoughts?

BTW, the car is resting safely on the charger, charging back up just like normal.
Well,, given that it is not called a GOM for nothing, I'd say there was some charge left. Also, if it was 32 out and the car temp was reading that, estimates for range would be based on not just temp but previous usage of the car at those temps, giving a 0 range estimate for the remaining distance, BUT, if the car was warmed up sufficiently to not require more power for heating, then the estimate of range would be less than actual capability. I have driven my car on cold days where the start range is low, but as the car and day warmed up I Increased, or at least didn't Loose range for the drive. At one point last week I was at 50 miles range when leaving a store, still using my heater, temps rose 5 degrees from 29 at the start to 34 in the lot, and on the way home driving normally, I watch the GOM go to 49-48-47-48-49-50-49 in a 7mile drive home. So the warmer car and warming temps caused the car to add miles to the trip because of warmer batteries I'd guess.
I agree: It isn't called the GOM for nothing. There are people on here who have driven it well past 0 miles and there are people on here that when it hit 0 it shut down.
Take the GOM reading with a grain of salt...it is an approximation.
Had you slowed down instead of speeding up you may have arrived at home with 1 mile showing LOL.
I personally went 1.5 miles after reading zero miles on GOM. Was on the Ferry for Shelter Island with 1 mile reading, with 2.5 to get home. I drove 25miles per hour and every light was on, doomsday messages flashing, dinging sounds, and I kept going. The real draw comes at speeds over 40mph. Air resistance plays a much bigger factor at those speeds.

I think the GOM takes into account the last 20-30 miles driving habit and so if you beat it, it will be conservative, once you suddenly slow down, it will slow its decrease or even creep up in miles.

Still it took 3 hours and 45 min to charge to full. It was empty.
Glad to hear you made it home, douglas685! I wasn't so lucky...


I went about a mile or so after getting the "Charge Depleted" popup, on a slight uphill.
We went about 0.5 miles after SSN with the charge depleted. Temps were in the teens and there was a lot of snow on the road. It was a harrowing experience. When I saw the SSN I accelerated up to about 45 and put the car into Neutral to coast home.

Another time I got SSN as I was turning onto our street. I was able to accelerate up the hill and then coast downhill to our apartment. That time the temps were in the 50s or 60s.
After running past zero in all weather types, I can usually count on at least 2 miles of flat non-highway range. I've gone as much as 3 though. Hills are really out of the question though.
come to think of it I did hear a ummmh sound, Though it was my wife having an affair. LOL
My kids let out a collective sigh of relief they didn't have to walk home.
I was on the other side of my small town when I ran out of juice and got the SSN now message. I made it home, 4 miles. Although, after the SSN message, I drove very conservatively...up a hill too!