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Is it true that the HVB charges the 12 volt battery?


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25 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   daudette

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 05:44 PM

Below, in another thread, a person posts "The EVSE will start charging the 12v battery as soon as you plug the car in.  Once the HVB is full it will stop charging, but when you turn the car on to drive away the HVB will start charging the 12v battery.  You don't need an external charger to charge the 12v battery."

 

I don't know what "EVSE" refers to but it has to be the HVB charging system I guess.   Can anyone confirm with full certainty that it is true that charging the HVB also "tops off" or charges the 12 volt battery?









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#2 OFFLINE   jdbob

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 05:59 PM

As Lili Von Shtupp would say "it's twue.... it's twue!"

 

Actually there are two ways the 12V battery can be charged. When the car is in 'Ready to Run' mode the 12V is charged from the HVB using a DC-DC Converter. When the EVSE (fancy name for the charging station) is plugged in and providing power (usually a flashing light on the EVSE) the 12V is charged from the 120 or 240 volts using an AC-DC Converter.


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#3 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 03:34 AM

Monitoring the 12V battery with either a meter or a ScanGauge will show that during charging or when the car is turned on the batteries voltage with normally read 14.2V or greater.  This higher voltage indicates the battery is charging. 

 

Tom


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#4 OFFLINE   bschwerdt

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 04:45 AM

EVSE = Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment.  This could refer to either the convenience charge cord that came with the car (located under the floor behind the driver's seat) or a 240V cord that many people have installed in their garage.  It's just referring to the plug itself.  So the wording is technically wrong - the EVSE only supplies the connection.

 

There are two sets of electrical circuits in the car.  One is at 12V, and contains the 12V (lead-acid) battery as well as the accessories (radio, headlights, wipers, etc).  The other is the "high voltage circuit" which contains the HVB and the EV/Hybrid motors.

 

The car has a DC-DC converter which charges the 12V battery off the high voltage circuit.  The power for the high voltage circuit comes from either the charger, or the HVB.  The charger gets its power via the EVSE.  The DC-DC converter should absolutely be engaged while the car is charging.  If it isn't, there is a problem.


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#5 OFFLINE   daudette

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Posted 18 August 2016 - 08:29 AM

Thanks all.  And since I posted that question I had the opportunity to check for myself.  I first checked the voltage of the 12v battery.  Then I charged the HVB and then let the car sit overnight and found the 12v battery had been fully charged while charging the HVB.   The next day I checked the 12v battery charge and noted the voltage.  It had fallen overnight.  Then I drove the car about 10 miles and when I returned home and checked the 12v battery, the voltage was higher than when I left the house.  So the 12v battery had been charged while driving in electric mode.   Later, I drove the car 35 miles to a destination and let it sit parked for some time.  I checked the 12v battery and noted the voltage.  I drove home on ICE only and again checked the voltage, and it was very high ("hyper-charge" from recent charging).  So I'm now satisfied by my own examination that the 12v battery is charged by the EVSE, when running on HVB only, and when running on ICE only.

 

But I'm one of the unlucky ones who now has a car with a slow drain on the 12v battery.  But fortunately I purchased an extended warranty when I bought the car, so I'm good for another few years while I drive my Ford dealership crazy with repeated occurrences of an electrical problem.  Maybe it will help persuade then to find the problem and fix it.   Ford has the lowest reliability rating of all plug-in hybrids and it seems they need a recall to fix this.



#6 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 18 August 2016 - 12:00 PM

The 12v battery drain issue may be an issue for some people, you can count them on here as people always talk about the bad stuff never the good stuff, but not everyone has this issue.  My car is 3 years now and I never had any issue with my 12v battery, never applied any updates either to make the battery charge harder (there was some recall fix about that).  It just stock as it was from the factory and is working well as is.

 

Hopefully you can get yours fixed if it remains an issue.

 

-=>Raja.



#7 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 18 August 2016 - 03:42 PM

Raja, After my battery was replaced today I drove about 100 miles and monitored the 12V battery voltage with the ScanGauge. The charge voltage was a solid 14.1V toggling at times to 14.2V. This charge level looks to be what was used back when I originally got the car. I have had all the updates so maybe they backed off the harder charging along the way.

 

Tom



#8 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 18 August 2016 - 06:36 PM

Yeah I believe that's what mine does, 14.1/14.2, I think at some point Ford upped that to 14.5/14.6 to try to charge the 12v battery harder so it will last longer in between use and hopefully not die. However, I was totally against that as it will cook the battery overcharging it all the time when you drive/charge.

 

Its possible that Ford reversed your high charging due to your batteries dying in short order, have you considered that option?

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 18 August 2016 - 06:49 PM.


#9 OFFLINE   daudette

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 09:57 AM

Raja, my car is also 3 years old and it was fine until last week.  I hope yours remains sound and give no trouble.

 

I don't know about "ScanGauge" yet and am now looking into it.  And I agree that 14.6 charging volts is too high.  Actually I think it should be about 14.15 to 14.2 according to a chart on this page: http://www.powerstream.com/SLA.htm



#10 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 10:04 AM

You don't need the scangage for this particular check daudette, you can power on in ET mode by holding down the left button until you see ET in the left screen and then scroll down you will find the 12v battery voltage and charging level at that moment.

 

It would be interesting to see how long my battery can last.  I have had ice car batteries last 10 years, so only time will tell.  They just wear out slowly over time and basically what happens is that the run capacity on battery gets shorter and shorter.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 19 August 2016 - 10:07 AM.


#11 OFFLINE   David Moore

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 05:26 PM

Over the last week I have noticed that my display says that the system is powering off to save battery (or something to that effect) when I get into the car. I have always left a dash cam plugged into the socket behind the gear lever so that could be catching up on me now. I bought a battery charger from Walmart this evening and the charge was 7volts (according to the display on the charger). Hopefully the charger will solve the problem otherwise it's a trip to the dealer (although I think I've to go in for a recall or two anyway).

#12 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 06:38 PM

I have a dash cam but I always unplug it when I get to my destination.  I ran the wire under the passenger seat and came up into the box between the 2 seats, I use the 12v socket in there instead of outside.  Sometimes I've forgotten it plugged in and it beeps when I open the door as it must wake up and then I remember to disconnect it.

 

-=>Raja.



#13 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 03:50 AM

I too started seeing the message indicating the system was shutting down to save battery. Each time the car shut down I also got a text message indicating the 12V battery was low. The displays and text messages started one day and the second day the battery failed with a bad cell. From the first indication of 12V battery issues until the battery failed was one day. First make sure there are no extra current drawing devices connected to the battery. It very well could be that your battery is about done anyway. Let us know if the charger fixed the problem or is it was just a temporary bandaid.

 

Tom



#14 OFFLINE   daudette

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 07:57 AM

You don't need the scangage for this particular check daudette, you can power on in ET mode by holding down the left button until you see ET in the left screen and then scroll down you will find the 12v battery voltage and charging level at that moment.

 

It would be interesting to see how long my battery can last.  I have had ice car batteries last 10 years, so only time will tell.  They just wear out slowly over time and basically what happens is that the run capacity on battery gets shorter and shorter.

 

-=>Raja.

"ET mode"???  All I know is EV, EV Now, and EV Later.   IS "ET mode explained in the owner's handbook?  I gotta go look!  So you hold down the "OK" button on the left side of the steering wheel until the left screen shows "ET" and then follow prompts?

 

The problem is intermittent even under the same usage conditions.  My testing of the voltage using a multimeter shows that when charging on the EVSE, the 12 v battery is being charged.  Yet this all began when I had the car on the EVSE and left it there as I sometimes do through the next day.  But this one time, after unplugging the EVSE the next day the 12v battery voltage was 3.05 volts.   This was my first experience of this problem and didn't know I could just get a jump start to get it going.  I had it towed about 35 miles to the dealership.  They charged it.  Since then I've charged it when it needed it, which was once.  But that doesn't put the problem in Ford's court to trouble them and make them take notice.

 

In the past, when it's warm and I want to keep cool I have opened windows while driving on the HVB and only turned on air conditioning when the ICE kicks in.   A few days ago I had to drive to town and back (28 miles round trip) and it was 95 degrees, so I ran the air conditioner all the way.  With the air conditioner draining the battery I got about 17 miles out of the HVB and finished the trip (11 more miles) on the ICE.   When I got home the 12v battery voltage  was 12.19.

 

Apparently the air conditioner runs off the 12v battery (yet it reduces the HVB range).  So I'm thinking the low voltage upon arriving home was due to the air conditioner draining the 12v battery too much.  I'd call that a design flaw it that's the case.  Using the car in a normal manner should not create car problems.

 

I'm monitoring and watching.


Edited by daudette, 22 August 2016 - 07:59 AM.


#15 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 08:15 AM

 

 

Apparently the air conditioner runs off the 12v battery (yet it reduces the HVB range).  So I'm thinking the low voltage upon arriving home was due to the air conditioner draining the 12v battery too much.  I'd call that a design flaw it that's the case.  Using the car in a normal manner should not create car problems.

 

No no no no.....Nothing runs off the 12v battery while the car is powered up.  The 12v battery is in standby mode being charged while you're driving, and everything runs off the HVB.  There is a DC to DC converter that changes the HVB (265-345v) down to 14v which runs the whole car 12v systems and charges the 12v battery at the same time.

 

The only time you run something off the 12v battery is when you use the radio with the car off and/or you roll the windows up or down or use the parking lights.  Note that the headlights will not come on with the car off and neither will the AC.  You need to power up the car for the AC compressor to work (which is electric but needs more current than the 12v battery can supply).

 

ET mode is not in the manual.  Just try it you will see come other screens to look through on the left side, and when you are done you can hold the OK button the the left to exit or power cycle the car.

 

-=>Raja.



#16 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 08:39 AM

Another potential "gotcha" would be if you just pressed the "ON" button withOUT pressing the brake to start the car.  In that case you can run pretty much anything you want(blower fan included) and it's all just powered from the little 12V and will likely drain it in short order.  

 

The AC compressor itself is run directly from the HV side of things.  I believe it's inverter driven and you can hear it changing speeds as the needs of the vehicle change.  Instead of the old 12V style with an on/off clutch driven from the ICE.



#17 OFFLINE   daudette

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 08:58 AM

No no no no.....Nothing runs off the 12v battery while the car is powered up.  The 12v battery is in standby mode being charged while you're driving, and everything runs off the HVB.  There is a DC to DC converter that changes the HVB (265-345v) down to 14v which runs the whole car 12v systems and charges the 12v battery at the same time.

 

-=>Raja.

OK so the mystery deepens because I started out with the HVB reading 100% and the 12v battery reading 12.7 volts, I drove 17 miles at which point the HVB was at 0%, and I continued on another 11 miles, all with the air conditioner running, and got home to fine the 12v battery was at 12.19 volts upon arrival.   If the air conditioner was running off the HVB and hybrid battery, and the ICE was charging both the HVB (when called for) and the 12v battery, then when I got home the 12v battery should have had a hyper charge on it and read about 13.2 volts or at least 12.8.   But no, it read 12.19 volts.  Hence there is some power management problem with the car, and I think that points to the computer program module for power management.

 

Make sense?

 

Oh, and BTW Raja, I went out and turned on accessory mode and held down the left "OK" button on the steering wheel, and it reset the average MPG to zero.  GRRRRRR!!!!  No warning.  No double dare.  It just reset it.  I tapped the same "OK" button again and it said "Reset Cancelled" but the MPG readout was still blank dashes.  And I see nothing in the user's manual about "ET".



#18 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 09:26 AM

You need to hold down the OK button on the left before powering up the car, I'm sorry did I not say that?  Anyway, try it you will get into ET mode.  Just keep holding OK after powering up the car for at least 5 seconds, until you see ET in the left screen.

 

If you reset the MPG number that's just on the outside not the trip meters.  You have 3 mpg numbers, the outside one, the one in trip 1 and another in trip 2.  Its no worries you reset that one, I reset that often to see my current mpg or mpge numbers, reset trip one before going on a trip, like to Canaan NH this past weekend, and reset trip 2 once a year on January 1st.  Trip 2 for me shows 104.01 gallons burned with my Maxie since Jan 1st, that's how I keep track of how much fuel I use per year and my mpg number for the year.  My lifetime avarage is 68mpg in 3 years, this year so far I'm at 78mpg but its going to go down, I'm going to Canada on Wednesday so more gas burned and less MPG overall from 78 downwards.

 

Let me know if you get into ET mode OK.

 

And just for the record, I will go check my 12v battery now.  Last time I checked it its around 12.22 or 12.26v, I made a video of it.  That's normal.  It can never be at 12.7v unless its just off the charge.  Let it sit overnight and I guarantee you it won't be at 12.7v, that's overvoltage a full 12v battery is no higher than 12.6v usually, but there is some load on it in the car so it won't even be that high after a few hours of not charging and the car not being plugged in.

 

OK just checked it showing 12.52v, higher than last time I checked.  My guess is that maybe last time I did this it was during the winter months, not sure.  Anyway I did charge my car yesterday at the Big-Y from 4% to 56% but its been sitting since I came back last night.  HVB now showing 50%.

 

By the way, if your battery was down to 3v then it suffered some damage, it may be unable to charge as high just FYI.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 22 August 2016 - 09:28 AM.


#19 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 09:31 AM

Here is the video, it was 12.26, video done in November:

 

 

Some guy was posting that the 12v battery did not get charged when you plug in the charger, this was to show that it did.

 

-=>Raja.



#20 OFFLINE   daudette

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 11:28 AM

 You need to hold down the OK button on the left before powering up the car, I'm sorry did I not say that?  Anyway, try it you will get into ET mode.  Just keep holding OK after powering up the car for at least 5 seconds, until you see ET in the left screen.

I did it.  I cannot find "ET mode" when I do this.

 

 

 

If you reset the MPG number that's just on the outside not the trip meters.

I have no meters or read-outs on the outside of my car.  They're all on the dash.  (clarity is everything)

 

 

 

You have 3 mpg numbers, the outside one, the one in trip 1 and another in trip 2.  Its no worries you reset that one

"That one"??? Which one?  I never have used or bothered with the trip meters. The one I seem to have reset is the "lifetime" average one that used to read "71.6 MPG" as of yesterday.

 

 

 

Let me know if you get into ET mode OK.

I did exactly as you said.  I did not get into ET mode.

 

 

 

And just for the record, I will go check my 12v battery now.  Last time I checked it its around 12.22 or 12.26v, I made a video of it.  That's normal.  It can never be at 12.7v unless its just off the charge.  Let it sit overnight and I guarantee you it won't be at 12.7v, that's overvoltage a full 12v battery is no higher than 12.6v usually, but there is some load on it in the car so it won't even be that high after a few hours of not charging and the car not being plugged in.

Yes I know all about that.  A lead-acid battery is considered 100% charged at 12.8 volts.  After charging it is necessary to let the battery sit overnight for it to level-out and lose the hyper-charge.  I know that.  And after charging the HVB and disconnecting when done, the next morning I have seen voltages of more than 12.9 volts occasionally.  I also know that when a battery voltage falls below 12.4 volts sulfating of the cells starts and sulfating will eventually kill the battery cell(s).  So a "normal" voltage of 12.26 worries me.

 

Thanks for the feedback


Edited by daudette, 22 August 2016 - 11:31 AM.









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