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Guest Message by DevFuse

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HVB cooling fan failure

hvb cooling fan

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13 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Coho222

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 07:07 PM

The blue charging ring on my Ford Cmax energy 2013 (21500 miles, 90% plus EV) came on about three or four weeks ago, rapidly flashing.  I removed the charging unit plug and re-plugged it in.  The flashing stopped.  A week ago, the morning after a 40 mile drive, the orange wrench light and the check engine light came on.  The orange wrench light went off the following morning after about 8 miles of driving the previous day.  The check engine light went off about 48 hours after it came on.  All vehicle function was normal and there were no signs and symptoms of any vehicle problems.

I brought the car into the dealer.  Apparently they had a difficult time determining the issue.  They originally told me the computer codes revealed by the diagnostic system had to do with a internal combustion cooling fan issue.  They kept my car overnight.  Then they told me that it was in fact a high-voltage battery cooling fan which needed to be replaced.  This is a $1200 repair.  I drove the car on a daily basis the week after the warning lights came on and they never came on again.  I did another 40 miles drive today and so far there are no warning lights.  Charging seems normal.  The dealer told me it was safe to drive the car and they are ordering the parts for repair.

I read on another forum that the Ford technical repair manual for their own technicians states that the entire high-voltage battery complex must be replaced if the high-voltage battery cooling fan fails.  This is a $9000 plus repair that would be covered under eight year/100,000 mile warranty I believe.

The service manager insists that all they need to do is replace the fan.  Apparently, the fan is not covered under the Ford extended eight year/100,000 mile warranty.  But that is not clear.

Could you please address these two issues about the need to replace the entire high-voltage battery and whether the high-voltage cooling fan is covered under warranty.

I do have an extended service contract, 84 month/150,000 miles from National Warranty Corporation.  I spoke with National Warranty Corporation who states this is a covered repair but even though I paid for the warranty in 2013, the original dealer( the dealership changed hands three years ago) failed to register it with the National Warranty Corporation.  They no longer have records from the original dealer who sold me the car.    National warranty states they will honor the warranty provided I have proof, which I do.  However, this extended warranty company has numerous complaints against them with the Better Business Bureau and others.  So there are some trust and perhaps legal issues here.









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#2 OFFLINE   ShoulderThingThatGoesUP

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 10:12 AM

Do you hear the cooling fan noise when the car is charging and reasonably warm?



#3 OFFLINE   MaxLB

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 07:55 PM

So why didn't you have the fan replaced and have the warranty company pay for it?  Seems like a quick and simple solution.



#4 OFFLINE   Coho222

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 08:51 AM

I have not heard the fan recently, but it is still in the mid 60's F here in the Pacific Northwest.  There may be issues with the extended warranty as it was never sent into the warranty company.  The dealer has not yet reached out to me; the new parts have yet to be delivered to the dealer but it has been less than a week.

My question continues to be:  is the fan covered under the 80,000/8 year warranty and does the whole battery complex need to be replaced if the cooling fan fails?



#5 OFFLINE   plus 3 golfer

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 11:02 AM

Service manual shows that the fan can be easily replaced.  Only Ford knows what is meant by battery pack fan assembly.  See links below.  Is the motor assembly the same as fan assembly?

 

"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 Focus Electric unique parts are covered during this extended coverage period: high-voltage battery packs, high voltage charger, DC/DC convertor, Electric Drive Module Assembly (includes electric motor and gearbox), trans range and charge cord.

 

https://www.fordvolv...bly-fm5z10c659d

https://www.fordvolv...bly-fm5z10c659f

 

 

Attached File  fan.JPG   56.75KB   0 downloads


Edited by plus 3 golfer, 09 June 2018 - 11:15 AM.


#6 OFFLINE   RickOzone

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 06:43 PM

Several weeks ago, I tried to remove the HVB cooling fan, just for fun and curiosity.  It was easy enough to remove the screws and plastic rivet and then the fan assembly could be moved, but I could not slide it from under the battery as it was in a recessed compartment and it hit the side of the compartment.  I'm not sure if the battery needs to be lifted to get it out.  If so, then it is not so easy.

 

Failure of the HVB cooling fan is not likely to cause a failure of the HVB.  The fan only comes on, when the HVB is hot and it does not seem to affect the temperature of the battery very much.  However, if the battery is hot and at a full charge, then the capacity could diminish faster if the cooling fan is not working.  If the battery gets too hot while driving, the car will revert to EV later mode to protect the battery.

 

With an OBD scanner and a laptop, the fan can be turned on manually.  The software to use is FORScan. See this link for info on how to do it:  http://forscan.org/f...c.php?f=6&t=844

 

watch this short video to see a test with a smoke machine to show where the cooling fan exhausts comes out.  The HVB cooling fan is located just to the right where the smoke comes out in the video and is attached to the duct work:

 

 

If you need more info, then let me know. 


Edited by RickOzone, 09 June 2018 - 06:58 PM.


#7 OFFLINE   plus 3 golfer

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 08:03 PM

Manual shows, you need to remove the right trim panel and inlet duct (requires jacking up right rear, removing tire, panel and screws from inside wheel well).  Easy but I didn't say quick. :smile2:



#8 OFFLINE   ecraigsmit

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:21 AM

I've taken the back of my car (battery area) fairly far apart to address battery cooling issues.  There are two fans, one on the left (drivers side) as shown in the smoke test video a few links above.  This fan appears to cool the battery itself (3 ducts leading from the battery itself). As shown in the video the intake in the one on the left side and exhausts where you see the smoke come out.  However, please remember there is a plastic trim panel directly above the outlet (which was removed in the video) so the hot air being expelled has few places it can actually go. In fact, below its inlet (above the exhaust in the side wall of the "trunk" is a nice perforated or slatted area the heat could escape but Ford decided to block that route with a square foam block (which can be easily removed). I have since removed the plastic trim panel (couple of screws and a hex nut) and permanently leave it off so the heat can escape.  I also no longer close the pull shade as this traps the hot air in the area as well.

 

The second fan is on the right side, its intake is the matching one on the right side. It circulates air to in-front of the battery, around the charger and exhausts it behind the passenger side rear tire. There is an actuated door there that opens to exhaust the hot air to the outside when the fan is running. Sometimes you can hear it open when plugging the car in. If you fold down the passenger side rear seat and pull off the plastic trim piece, you can feel the hot air circulating when the fan is running. From what I can tell, when using a level 2 charger the air is hot enough, and the duct leaks large enough, to heat the whole back of the car so the battery cooling fan just sucks in hot air.

 

I have since added a 12V box fan to the top of the right air inlet and attached it to a 12V cigarette lighter plug and plug it in when I'm charging. I leave the seat down and plastic trim off whenever possible. The added airflow seems to assist in cooling everything down faster.  I also leave all the windows and rear hatch open when charging to let the hot air escape the car itself. Tried using the AC when driving to cool battery to no avail.  Unlike Raja's car, mine won't cool a 95F battery even if I am driving down with highway on the ICE and the AC running @65F and windows up. Battery might drop to 93F after an hour of driving.

 

So I have to cool mine after I return home from work. What works best for me is to: open all windows and hatch, plug in DC fan, plug in level 1 charger, close garage door as interior temps are usually 10F cooler than outside. Unplug fan before I go to bed, battery mostly charged at this point and pack temp back in the lower 80s.  Battery usually back to 68-75F by morning, depending on how cold it got at night.

 

I use 60% battery getting to work (26mi), use ICE for larger hills. Park in shade, leave widows all open about 4", move car at lunch so that it stays in shade. Use remaining battery on way home then ICE once it runs out. Battery always at 90-95F when I get home when ambient temps between 70 and 85F. I drive conservatively when in EV to minimize heating the pack.

 

Pack dropped to 7.4kwh after the first 2 years of driving it (didn't take any precautions about overheating it, thanks for the warning Ford) and is now at about 7.2kwh.  Really wish Ford would put their name behind their product and at the very least officially comment on what acceptable battery degradation is. Car is paid off in another 3 months and wont buy another because of 1. pack cooling design and 2. Ford not standing behind their product. 3. Cold weather performance/range loss and the lack of mentioning this when I bought the car.  Car works great during April, May, October and November, the other 8 months you live with either no heat or deal with an overheating battery. Sorry Ford, car is great otherwise but you lost a customer with this one.



#9 OFFLINE   RickOzone

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 06:50 PM

Here is a video that shows HVB cooling fan smoke exit with the plastic cover in place:

 


Edited by RickOzone, 11 June 2018 - 06:59 PM.


#10 OFFLINE   RickOzone

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 06:55 PM

Here is a video of the smoke test when the car is charging and the charger cooling fan is drawing air from outside and exhausting inside:

 

 

I repeated the smoke test for the charging cooling fan by injecting some smoke at the rear wheel well.  However, this time the smoke did not appear inside the car.  Here is the video showing the charging fan drawing from inside and exhausting behind rear seat:

 

  


Edited by RickOzone, 11 June 2018 - 07:01 PM.


#11 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:46 PM

My friend was at my house with his 2013 Cmax so I can help him change his oil.  While he was unscrewing the bottom cover in the front, I layed down in the back behind the rear wheel well to find the charging circuit intake.  I had plugged in his car already so I could hear the fan running.  

 

His car was in a fender bender before he bought it (rear end) and whomever fixed the car did not fix the wheel well shield properly.  I was able to put in my hand between it and the fuel lines and feel up in there.  I felt the filler pipe for the gas tank, and then close by it I could feel the air going past my hand.  A little to the side of the car and I found a hole where the air was rushing in.  I could put my hand on it and block it and you can hear the fan inside starving for air.

 

It is my logical determination that the charging circuit cooling fan air comes from outside, exact location where I found tonight.  I think this is always the case (unless Rick you can prove otherwise) because Ford figures for a parked car outside air should be cooler than inside air.

 

And for the HVB cooling fan, the air intake is on the top vents inside the car as Ford figures while driving inside air must be better than outside air because if its hot outside the AC is most likely running.  I really don't think there is further sophistication about this, one is inside air and the other is outside air.  

 

I'm open for discussion, let me know what you guys think.

 

-=>Raja.


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#12 OFFLINE   cr08

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:37 AM

Based on the existing HEV OBD document that I've linked in previous threads and as much digging as I could do through Ford's own parts lists and exploded diagrams therein, it seems pretty cut and dry with no 'mode doors' as it were to direct air flow. And this is likely all yet another cost saving measure more than anything. The SOBDM as already mentioned only gets its air from outside the car via the right rear wheel well. The SOBDM's sole purpose is for plug-in charging, monitoring that process, and providing the trickle of 12V power needed to keep everything running during the plug-in charge phase without draining the 12V battery. Likely the only reason the vent door is there for it is so when the vehicle is not charging and likely on the move, there is no chance for foreign objects to enter from the outside. Otherwise as you all have noted it is likely using outside air on the strict assumption it could end up being cooler especially after the battery has begun charging. And being just an electronic module it couldn't care less if you are pulling in much colder air from outside such as in the winter.

 

Regarding the battery air path itself, like the SOBDM, there appears to be no vent doors or anything of that nature that I could find. Just pulls air in at all times via the vents inside the car and exhausts back out inside the car.

 

You can double check my findings. SOBDM documentation as well as some battery related documentation here: http://www.fordservi...DSM1700_HEV.pdf. And simply digging through parts.ford.com by just providing a make/model/year or your VIN you can find some exploded diagrams at the very least of some of the parts. If anyone has direct Ford service documentation access and can possibly get more information there that'd be great. But my semi-educated guess here is it is pretty simple in operation as noted.

 

I did attempt, purely for comparison, to use the same parts website to try and get an idea of how the 2009-2012 Escape Hybrid's were set up in the battery cooling department and it equally seems to be very spartan in its setup. Just a simple in/out duct inside the cabin with maybe what appears to be a HVAC heater temp sensor repurposed possibly to measure the exhausted temp from the battery? This is all VERY drastic from the 2005-2008 FEH's which had a whole expansive system with a separate AC evap just for the battery with direct AC control by the battery management system for this purpose as well as re-routable air paths to pull in outside air or inside air depending on air temp.


Edited by cr08, 13 June 2018 - 07:39 AM.


#13 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 05:44 AM

So today I am trying a new idea, I have removed the panel in the back of the Cmax that covers the HVB exhaust ducts and I'm going to drive around for several hours and see how the HVB reacts to this.  I can't believe that the exhaust, with the panel on, has nowhere to go with just the little latch hole of the tailgate as the exit area shown in Rick's video above.  There are vents with flaps in the bottom of the car, but those only flow outwards if the AC is blasting in without recirculate, otherwise they don't do anything.  

 

BY the way, there is a piece of foam that prevents the air from the HVB fan to come out of the left side middle vent easily.  There doesn't seems to be an easy path out.  They should have pushed that exhaust hot air outside the car to be honest instead of going around in circles in the back of the car.

 

I'll let you know how this pans out after I get some data.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 21 June 2018 - 05:47 AM.


#14 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 09:10 PM

So the deal is today even with the temps pretty similar to the last couple of times out (mid 80's to start), the HVB again started at 84F but did not go above 89F all day today.  Boston was a little cooler than the suburbs, but I still got the sense that the cooling was a little better without the cover.  Also at night driving home, I stopped and recharged the car to 80% from empty.  The temp didn't change, stayed right at 84F, but then I drove home 15 miles on the battery and the temp dropped to 80F.  Granted outside temp was cooler (low 60's) but I still got the impression its better without the cover.

 

Can you guys out there with scan gages try this and see if you see any improvement in cooling?  Tom and Canada Rick and PA Rick to say the least?

 

-=>Raja.


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