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C-max won't start, battery scenario

battery starting

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16 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   bloom2708

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 07:20 AM

Our 2013 C-Max has had several fits of not starting.

 

Here is the scenario:

 

1. Electric battery is low, but not fully used. Say range of 1 mile.

2. Car sits overnight not plugged in (traveling with no access to a plug in)

3. Car will not start in the morning.

4. Messages about "Battery saving mode", lots of internal rebooting sounds, attempts to start

5. Car will not start without a jump start

6. Car jump starts car. 

7. Use remaining 1 mile of Electric range, go to hybrid mode

8. Car starts fine all day

 

Are we running into a system bug? The electric battery is low enough to be in-between  batteries?

 

I have started bringing a portable charger/jump start unit with on trips where a plug in may not be available.

 

Anyone else experiencing similar issues?

 

Thanks









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#2 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 07:48 AM

The amount of power available in the HVB does not matter. You can't get to the HVB until the 12V battery activates the relays to allow the high voltage to reach the DC/DC converter.

Your problem does suggest that the 12V battery is questionable. A good check would be to release the hood and let the car sit after shutdown for at least a half an hour. Without opening any doors check the voltages from the terminals under the hood. A normal battery should be around 12.5V or higher. If the voltage is around 12V or less the battery is about done. 

 

Tom



#3 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 07:56 AM

Yes. Replaced the 12 V battery in the trunk. There is a thread somewhere here about how on this forum...

#4 OFFLINE   bloom2708

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 04:15 AM

Thanks. After the car was jump started, my wife drove to the nearest Ford dealer (about 3 miles). They checked the 12v battery and said it tested out to be ok.

 

I still think that is the likely culprit and I am going to replace the 12v battery in the next days. I will post if it happens again.



#5 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 03:08 PM

You can always see if a local Auto parts store can test it for you in the car...

#6 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 03:10 PM

I didn't wait too long after replacing the battery to figure out how to reset the Battery Monitoring System, maybe two days, using FORScan and a J2534 cable. It seemed to work fine during that time period though.....

You don't need an extended license to reset it. The extended license is actually free if you are adventurous

Edited by jzchen, 31 May 2017 - 03:12 PM.


#7 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 05:04 AM

Mine went dead on me after not plugging it in for a few days like I always have before.  But has not acted up again since.

 

My gut feeling is that:

 

-The 12V get marginal in some way where it still passes tests some/all of the time, but  new battery would probably fix the problem.

 

-Daily driving of a couple 25+ minute trips does not get the battery as charged as having it plugged in for 12hours.

 

 

I would think the charging while driving would be the same as when the EVSE is plugged in...  Seems like either way they're still turning on the same Inverter charging...

 

So it would seem it's either:

a) the battery is weak and wants a sustained charge for a longer period of time

 

and/or

 

b) The battery just doesn't have the capacity to sustain the (albeit low) demands of the car while parked(TCU, etc) for long periods of time when it doesn't get enough time to recharge(which would only be during drive time if it's not plugged in).

 

 

That might make sense...  I could see where a battery could possibly pass a load test but still die in our cars.  The tests they do are probably more like "Can it pump out a couple hundred amps for a few seconds", as opposed to the usage scenario of our cars where they need to supply minimal power, but probably fairly sustained for long periods of time and then maybe a burst of 20-40 amps at startup if it runs the brake pump...

 

 

Again, 12V issues are OLLLD news in the Prius group.  Basically once almost anything starts acting up, there's a real good chance changing the 12V takes care of it.  And there are considerably more power draws in the C-Max than the Prius with the TCU, etc.

 

 

In these sorts of hybrid setups gone are the days where the 12V battery worry test/fail was "can it provide enough amperage for a few seconds to crank the engine over".  And if it couldn't you knew the battery needed to be replaced.



#8 OFFLINE   RubyMax

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 05:35 AM

 

My gut feeling is that:

 

 

-Daily driving of a couple 25+ minute trips does not get the battery as charged as having it plugged in for 12hours.

 

Never an issue for me.  I drive 10 minutes to work in the morning, and 10 minutes back home in the evening.  There have been many M-F weeks, where that's all my C-Max is driven.  No problem ever with my battery in 43 months.



#9 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 05:43 AM

Never an issue for me.  I drive 10 minutes to work in the morning, and 10 minutes back home in the evening.  There have been many M-F weeks, where that's all my C-Max is driven.  No problem ever with my battery in 43 months.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the car can't keep a battery charged.  If not, the hybrid owners would be out of luck!

 

What I'm saying is that if you battery starts to get marginal(from old age or a couple times it gets dead, whatever) then it seems to make the difference...

 

In other words, if I wasn't plugging my car in, I get the impression there's a good chance I would have already replaced my battery.  But with plugging the car in, it seems I'm able to hold off.



#10 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 06:24 AM

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the car can't keep a battery charged.  If not, the hybrid owners would be out of luck!

 

What I'm saying is that if you battery starts to get marginal(from old age or a couple times it gets dead, whatever) then it seems to make the difference...

 

In other words, if I wasn't plugging my car in, I get the impression there's a good chance I would have already replaced my battery.  But with plugging the car in, it seems I'm able to hold off.

 

I plug my car in daily most of the time. Being plugged in will not do anything for the 12V battery if the charge cycle is not active. So I don't see that just being plugged in is any additional help. While plugged in and the HVB charge cycle is active the 12V battery is also gets charge voltage.  I have also left the car unplugged for a week without problems. This car does use power while shut down and I suspect it uses additional power is woken up. I wonder if there are cases when MFM may wake the car up too often causing stress to the 12V battery. Not sure how to test this theory. 

 

After having to replace the 12V about every 18 months I am  interesting in what might cause the battery failures. Lately I have been monitoring my 12V Battery during driving and it usually is around 14.5V and sometimes as high as 14.9V. When my second battery died the resting voltage started dropping and eventually got down to just over 12V. This was likely a cell going bad since when the cell failed the voltage was down to 8 volts and would not hold enough charge to start without a jump after being left overnight. 

 

My third OEM battery after about a year of service has a resting voltage of around 12.7 volts so it appears to be looking good for now. Time will tell if I can get more than 18 months out of this one. At least the battery warrantee would cover the battery if it fails again.

 

Tom



#11 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 06:56 AM

Well

 

I plug my car in daily most of the time. Being plugged in will not do anything for the 12V battery if the charge cycle is not active. So I don't see that just being plugged in is any additional help. While plugged in and the HVB charge cycle is active the 12V battery is also gets charge voltage.  I have also left the car unplugged for a week without problems. This car does use power while shut down and I suspect it uses additional power is woken up. I wonder if there are cases when MFM may wake the car up too often causing stress to the 12V battery. Not sure how to test this theory. 

 

After having to replace the 12V about every 18 months I am  interesting in what might cause the battery failures. Lately I have been monitoring my 12V Battery during driving and it usually is around 14.5V and sometimes as high as 14.9V. When my second battery died the resting voltage started dropping and eventually got down to just over 12V. This was likely a cell going bad since when the cell failed the voltage was down to 8 volts and would not hold enough charge to start without a jump after being left overnight. 

 

My third OEM battery after about a year of service has a resting voltage of around 12.7 volts so it appears to be looking good for now. Time will tell if I can get more than 18 months out of this one. At least the battery warrantee would cover the battery if it fails again.

 

Tom

 

Well...  "charge cycle being active" seems to be a loose term from what I observe with my car..

 

I've not overly studied the exact 12V charging while plugged in, but I know it happens while actively charging and likely before and/or after(depending on if you're value charging) while running the fan, etc...  And then even if the car seems completely "off", if you open or a door or anything, then it seem to check/do more charging,etc...  And then there's remote start, go times, etc..

 

In other words, a heck of a lot more time than an hour driving is going to do...

 

 

But as far as the root cause of a failed12V, I'm certainly on minimal data.  It could very well be my 12V is healthy and it was that stupid SYNC reboot that popped up that left something on and drained power, or the TCU, etc.  But I only got one low 12V message and then the battery was completely dead(or at least the car was completely lifeless) in the morning.  Seems like it should have taken more time than that to kill it and sent more messages...

 

 

You're in a hotter climate Tom, so it could just be the normal shortened battery life that comes with it, possibly increased from the smaller size of the battery?  I also wonder how much ventilation it gets back there...  If there's none, that seems like it's likely got to be one of the hottest possible places until some significant time with the AC running...  Under the hood there'd likely be at least a little ventilation and not baking in the greenhouse.



#12 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 08:51 AM

The 12v battery gets less and less capacity as it gets older.  Meaning you can turn on your lights (for example) for a shorter amount of time before it browns out.  Can't turn on headlights by the way with the car off, but just parking lights.  So maybe a new battery the parking lights will run for an hour or 2 before the battery is drained, with an older battery it might be 15 minutes maybe 1/2 hour.  I don't know the exact numbers, I haven't tested it, but you get the idea.

 

If the car is plugged in, when you open the door the lights come on, and the charger kicks in and supplies power (starts blinking if it was completed already and not blinking).  If its not then its all on the battery.  

 

My battery is 4 years old now and logic dictates that it doesn't last as long as a new battery.  Not wanting to risk it being damaged while I'm gone on vacation, I jumped it with a 12v deep cycle battery while I was gone for almost a month to FL and Jamaica in March.  If I left it and the battery died, the low voltage would damage the battery and it might be finished off from being dead while I'm gone.  But the fact that it didn't I will get more life out of it.

 

So far as for the tires I'm up to 72k miles with them, they will probably go to 80k miles before they reach the wear limit bars.  We'll see how they fare out this summer going to Indiana, Delaware and new Brunswick. 

 

As far as the 12v battery goes, I've been known to keep car batteries for close to 10 years in my old Mercedes that I had since 1992 (to 2013) when I traded it in for the Cmax in 2013.  We'll see how long the Cmax battery will last, but as it gets older and older I will make sure I jump it before going on vacation to protect it from dying.  Its either that or disconnect it completely, but jumping is easier.

 

Anyway the car says its "sleeping" and cannot be woken up until physically accessed according to MFM after about a week of inactivity.  Ford did put in some sort of battery protection level to minimize the drain on the 12v battery.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 01 June 2017 - 08:54 AM.


#13 OFFLINE   rhea

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 02:24 PM

We had the OP scenario (except HV battery was used up) a week ago while out of town. Our March, 2013 NRG has less than 48,000 miles, but a dead battery--like, really dead--seemed likely. We located a dealer (Peacock Ford in Winter Park, FL) who did replace the battery. I just realized I have no idea about the warranty. The battery is BXT-67R. It was $160.54-$15.00 on the core return. Labor was a reasonable $40. The cost seems terribly high based on reading other threads, but, at the time, I couldn't stop to research. (That they were able to do it that day was worth any extra cost, believe me.)

My query isn't about whether or not I really needed a battery, or if the cost was reasonable. Those issues are moot. 

 

I noticed after charging the HV battery that the gauge shows a much lower number fully charged--17-18 miles instead of 23 or similar. The number seems accurate, though, once I'm traveling. Further, it had been that driving with the ac or even just fan running, the mileage capacity would show about a 3 mile drop as soon as that system was turned on. Now, it makes no difference.  

Is there a connection (beyond coincidence) to the new gauge reading and the battery replacement? Is there something I need to reset? 



#14 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 05:17 PM

When you disconnect the 12v battery the coach bars are lost and the range is set to factory default, should be around 20 miles to be honest.

 

As you drive the car more and more, it should relearn your actual EV range and go up if indeed you are managing more than its suggesting for a range.

 

-=>Raja.



#15 OFFLINE   rhea

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 02:35 AM

Thanks, Raja. I figured after 4.5 years, the range might actually be less than original; however, I did think about it relearning since EV+ didn't show up on my routine trip yesterday. I'd read that there was a technique to replace the battery that didn't cause lose of settings which was true as far as my phone went. I didn't check radio or anything else.



#16 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 06:20 AM

I've disconnected my 12v battery before to reset the car, the radio seemed to stay for me.  I know I lost the coach bars and predicted range.  Its possible EV+ could go also, but that will be back after 11 cycles at your address.

 

There will be loss of range for sure, maybe from 35 miles possible to 25 or whatnot, but if you said you had 25 before in your case then it should come back to 25 miles over time.

 

-=>Raja.



#17 OFFLINE   Joshg678

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 11:43 AM

I've noticed EV+ will clear if you drive into and out of the zone without turning off and on again.
I drove right by my dealer daily and after about a month it stops showing EV+. But every time I go in for oil change it comes back because they turn it on and off so many times.









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