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Is battery degraded?


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17 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   myaman

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 04:44 PM

I just bought a used 2015 CMax Energi with 24600 miles on it for 13k considering it a good deal.  The car was leased and registered by single owner in Portland, OR earlier so don't expect it to be subjected to extreme high temperatures because of mild summers.

 

Need some advice from fellow Cmax energi drivers who have acquired wealth of information while driving it over the year:

Now I am wondering if it has any battery deterioration. When charged from empty to full using the Ford 110v charger it gets charged in just 5 hours, On full charge, it shows 25 miles to go as soon as I turn on climate control the estimated range drops to 18. Does that means a degraded battery? How do I conclusively know how much capacity it has now? If its low how to present the findings in a compelling way to Ford to replace under warranty? I dont see anything in warranty information the degradation % at which Ford will replace it, seems like a way by Ford to keep this open to interpretations and avoid under warranty replacements.


Edited by myaman, 28 September 2018 - 04:45 PM.








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#2 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 05:28 AM

I just bought a used 2015 CMax Energi with 24600 miles on it for 13k considering it a good deal.  The car was leased and registered by single owner in Portland, OR earlier so don't expect it to be subjected to extreme high temperatures because of mild summers.

 

Need some advice from fellow Cmax energi drivers who have acquired wealth of information while driving it over the year:

Now I am wondering if it has any battery deterioration. When charged from empty to full using the Ford 110v charger it gets charged in just 5 hours, On full charge, it shows 25 miles to go as soon as I turn on climate control the estimated range drops to 18. Does that means a degraded battery? How do I conclusively know how much capacity it has now? If its low how to present the findings in a compelling way to Ford to replace under warranty? I dont see anything in warranty information the degradation % at which Ford will replace it, seems like a way by Ford to keep this open to interpretations and avoid under warranty replacements.

 

The best way to determine it there is any degradation to the HVB capacity is to charge the HVB to Full, reset a trip odometer and drive until the the car depletes the battery and switches over to Hybrid. At that point the kWh used in the trip meter should show about 5.5kWh. Anything less would indicate some level of capacity loss. Several tests should be run to confirm the HVB capacity.

 

If you are observe a 5 hour charge cycle it is likely that any capacity loss is fairly minor. You will be hard pressed to push for a warrantee replacement unless the capacity loss is severe. Even then it is likely to be a long shot. 

 

One note about charging to full. I have observed that when the lights go out on the charge ring there may still be charging in progress. When the HVB gets nearly full the last little bit will occur at a slow rate even though the charge rings are not longer lit.

 

The miles range display is an estimate based on your previous driving style/pattern rather than actual battery capacity. I have always observed a significant  drop off in the miles estimate over the first mile driven that is now exaggerated since I do have lost 1.5kWh capacity. Part of the reason for the initial miles estimate drop off for me is that my first mile is mostly an uphill slope. 

 

Tom



#3 OFFLINE   dontfret

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 12:09 PM

Tom_NC_1 is spot on with his comments.  The estimated miles is just that, an estimate based on how your last drive was.  The kWh from full to when ICE turns on is the better gauge of battery life.  Or you can get a TorquePro app and an OBD2 reader and program the Energy_to_empty PID (more complicated).  The dealer can do it if you bring in a full battery (charge it and then lock in hybrid mode).  But 5.5 is the ideal for a new battery. My 2013 NRG at 50,000 would only deliver 3.3, most of my estimate miles were around 15/17.  And please don't have any hope of a warranty replacement, regardless of capacity or battery degradation.  Ford dealer and corporate told me to pound sand. 



#4 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 12:34 PM

Tom_NC_1 is spot on with his comments.  The estimated miles is just that, an estimate based on how your last drive was.  The kWh from full to when ICE turns on is the better gauge of battery life.  Or you can get a TorquePro app and an OBD2 reader and program the Energy_to_empty PID (more complicated).  The dealer can do it if you bring in a full battery (charge it and then lock in hybrid mode).  But 5.5 is the ideal for a new battery. My 2013 NRG at 50,000 would only deliver 3.3, most of my estimate miles were around 15/17.  And please don't have any hope of a warranty replacement, regardless of capacity or battery degradation.  Ford dealer and corporate told me to pound sand. 

 

Thanks dontfret.

 

I did quite a bit of testing for the Energy_to_Empty PID with input from Linear-Logic (Maker of the ScanGauge). The Energy_to_Empty PID is an estimate and from my testing observed no way to use the values to determine lost capacity of the HVB. The value simply drops faster when on a degraded HVB.

 

The only PID I have found to give an indication of capacity loss is SOC. The ScanGauge originally showed the SOC as 98% when full. Now I am observe about 95% SOC when the pack is full.

 

For myaman, Let us know the results if you test the HVB capacity with the trip odometer.

 

Tom



#5 OFFLINE   myaman

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 12:54 PM

Here are the results from the test, started driving on full charge, ran some errands, attaching the pic after full discharge. 20.9 EV miles, 4.8 kwh.
It's not hot either, it's just 66.

Attached Files


Edited by myaman, 29 September 2018 - 05:25 PM.


#6 OFFLINE   Arrival

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 07:00 PM

Regarding the climate control dropping the estimated range, it's because of the energy required to run the a/c or heater.  If you turn off the a/c, the estimated range will jump back up.   There is no belt driven compressor, the a/c is all electric, and same with the heat.  It doesn't use coolant hoses, it's electric too.   Folks have suggested using the seat heaters rather than the climate heater to extend the range.    



#7 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 30 September 2018 - 10:47 AM

Here are the results from the test, started driving on full charge, ran some errands, attaching the pic after full discharge. 20.9 EV miles, 4.8 kwh.
It's not hot either, it's just 

 

So you have a little lost capacity. Not anything that Ford would address. If you talk to the service department they will most likely fall back to the argument that the HVB will normally lose some capacity over time. 

 

If you plan to keep the car for the long term the best proactive advice will be to avoid overheating the HVB during hot weather. Other than the shortcomings of air cooled HVB this is a great car. Enjoy it!

 

Tom



#8 OFFLINE   myaman

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Posted 30 September 2018 - 02:10 PM

Thanks Tom, if I run with climate on, the range would be less than 20. From reading these forums Ford seems to point to overall range when someone complains about reduced battery capacity. So by that argument, the range is reduced and Ford should address it. Let me contact Ford directly without going through a dealer to see what they say.

#9 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 08:09 AM

Good luck but I don't believe you will get very far without going through the dealer to document any HVB capacity issues. 

 

You will also run into a problem using the milage estimate displayed to complain. That value is effected by so many factors that it is not very accurate. That is why it is often referred as a guesstimate when referenced in this forum. I have personally charged to full after varying types of driving that resulted in the full estimate swinging  from 17 to 28 miles and this on a HVB that has had over 1.5kWh lost capacity. 

 

In any event I hope you let us know how your contact with Ford goes.

 

Tom



#10 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 06:55 PM

At the end of the day, advice for all is try not to stress you battery.  If you are using the engine or planning on using it, then use it to climb hills instead of drawing 100 amps out of the battery to climb a hill and several miles down the road starting the engine anyways because the HVB has been all used up.  Doing hills with the battery can heat it up 2 degrees in seconds when you pull so much current.  Whatever the case may be, its not a good idea in my opinion.  Sometimes its best to use the engine and save the battery for easier tasks.  After all, you're still going to have that battery for a long time, and you can use it for other purposes way further down the road if you don't stress it as much.

 

Just some advice hope it helps.

 

-=>Raja.



#11 OFFLINE   myaman

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 07:16 AM

Sure Tom and Raja, I am following the advice mentioned on the forum based in your experiences as I plan to keep the car for long term.

My daily driving is around 15 miles with short 1 mile, 2 mile trips, weekend trips can be longer up to 50 miles. So it's range is perfect for my daily needs. I charge it every other day at night with 110 v charger at home whenever battery is completely out, so I do use gas every now and then.
I will keep you guys updated on how my talks with Ford go reg. degraded battery.


Edited by myaman, 02 October 2018 - 11:38 AM.


#12 OFFLINE   dontfret

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 11:29 AM

I had that conversation with Ford directly (after getting no satisfaction with dealers, who in turn had contacted Ford on my behalf).  I sincerely hope your experience is different/better than mine.  I'm quoting here from my 2016 forum posting (and I was even resigned to enjoy my NRG as a hybrid - I've since traded it in on a 2018 Kia Niro PHEV):  

 

I pursued this with Ford at the dealership, demanding to know what they warrantied the battery capacity to be.  The dealership was authorized by Ford Hotline, conducted the battery tests, including determining the battery capacity at 100%, 50% and 20% charge levels.  Despite agreeing the battery was only delivering around 14 estimated miles, and only capable of storing 5.4 kwh (that includes the ~1.5kwh it reserves for hybrid mode, so my getting around 3.6kwh as EV driving makes sense), Ford Hotline concluded by telling the dealership to tell the customer (me) this is 'normal wear and tear battery loss of capacity.'  I pushed to get them to state what is ABNORMAL battery loss that would justify a warranty replacement.  They refused to answer.  I spent around 15 minutes on a taped phone call with Ford Customer Service which concluded with the agent also refusing to tell me the warranty level, instead telling me the battery is warranteed for miles and time, but the capacity level which warranteed is "proprietary and cannot be divulged to customers."  So in essence whatever your degraded capacity is, it will always be within warranty since they won't tell you what that level is.  I would expect if it at some time runs only as a hybrid with no significant plug in capacity (e.g., show estimated 5 EV miles at full charge, worst case scenario), that would still (in Ford's mind) qualify as being within warranty and not justify a replacement.  At that point, enjoy your Cmax Hybrid - oh wait, we bought Energis, didn't we ???   :stop:



#13 OFFLINE   altabrig

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 01:00 PM

Even when you are down to 3.2 -3.5 KWH as I am after 55K of mainly EV, you can still milk almost 20 miles range in warmer weather and tires pumped up to 50 psi.  Colder weather - not so much, but I think 14-16 miles can be expected with safe but slower driving coasting practices.

 

 

With the near full capacity HVB and hot weather at 50psi it was possible to do high 36 miles or more regularly.



#14 OFFLINE   Billyk24

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 04:22 AM

I had that conversation with Ford directly (after getting no satisfaction with dealers, who in turn had contacted Ford on my behalf).  I sincerely hope your experience is different/better than mine.  I'm quoting here from my 2016 forum posting (and I was even resigned to enjoy my NRG as a hybrid - I've since traded it in on a 2018 Kia Niro PHEV):  

 

I pursued this with Ford at the dealership, demanding to know what they warrantied the battery capacity to be.  The dealership was authorized by Ford Hotline, conducted the battery tests, including determining the battery capacity at 100%, 50% and 20% charge levels.  Despite agreeing the battery was only delivering around 14 estimated miles, and only capable of storing 5.4 kwh (that includes the ~1.5kwh it reserves for hybrid mode, so my getting around 3.6kwh as EV driving makes sense), Ford Hotline concluded by telling the dealership to tell the customer (me) this is 'normal wear and tear battery loss of capacity.'  I pushed to get them to state what is ABNORMAL battery loss that would justify a warranty replacement.  They refused to answer.  I spent around 15 minutes on a taped phone call with Ford Customer Service which concluded with the agent also refusing to tell me the warranty level, instead telling me the battery is warranteed for miles and time, but the capacity level which warranteed is "proprietary and cannot be divulged to customers."  So in essence whatever your degraded capacity is, it will always be within warranty since they won't tell you what that level is.  I would expect if it at some time runs only as a hybrid with no significant plug in capacity (e.g., show estimated 5 EV miles at full charge, worst case scenario), that would still (in Ford's mind) qualify as being within warranty and not justify a replacement.  At that point, enjoy your Cmax Hybrid - oh wait, we bought Energis, didn't we ???   :stop:

I am aware of a Ford C-Max Energi owner that did receive a new replacement HVB for his vehicle.  He had a 32% loss in capacity at 40,000 miles and less than 4 years of usage.  Lived in Texas and drove as much as he could in EV and charged as frequently as ne could.   He had to speak with four different "service specialist" at four different Ford dealers before receiving such replacement.   He could be found by going to the Facebook site for C-max group.    He claims to have modified his behavior by no longer recharging when it is 90F plus.


Edited by Billyk24, 27 January 2019 - 04:23 AM.


#15 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 12:44 PM

Drove as much as he could in EV and charged as frequently as he could.

 

That's what's wrong with this picture.  The car is NOT an EV car in the sense where you need to try your hardest to never start the engine.  Its got a battery for situations where it makes sense, short, small trips here and there, but sometimes especially in the beginning many folks just drive and charge and drive and charge all day long going through 2 to 3 charges in a day just so to not use the engine.  The car was never intended for this purpose to be honest, the founding engineers never imagined people wanted to drive the car as if it didn't have an engine.  All that charge/discharge cycles several times a day killed the batteries.

 

-=>Raja.



#16 OFFLINE   cr08

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 02:12 PM

And yet you feel like treating every single member here like those one or two people going to extremes and berating people as if not following every last extreme measure you take is putting the vehicle through unneeded damage and degradation. Also I doubt you have any idea what the original designers and engineers had in mind for this vehicle. For one if it was intended as you claimed the first thing I would have NOT done was increasing the SOFTWARE limited EV max speed to highway speeds which was even done after the vehicle had already been in production. That idea should have been nixed if it was intended to preserve the battery but then here we are.



#17 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 02:31 PM

I totally agree with that idea that it should not have been done, increasing the EV max speed from 62mph to 85mph.  However, I believe it was done as a selling point to sell more cars, not related to the health of the battery or the original design.  If you keep that in mind you realize that after 62mph you're starting to put more undue stress on the battery and raise its temperature even quicker by driving at higher speeds in EV.

 

I try to do what I can to keep the battery healthy, and trying to educate folks to help them not degrade their battery.  I'm not trying to "berate" anyone just trying to help and answer everyone's questions I hope it doesn't come across that way.  If so please don't take it that way.  I spent alot of time here in the past 5+ years helping everyone I can however way I can. 

 

-=>Raja.



#18 OFFLINE   plus 3 golfer

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 05:42 PM

... For one if it was intended as you claimed the first thing I would have NOT done was increasing the SOFTWARE limited EV max speed to highway speeds which was even done after the vehicle had already been in production. That idea should have been nixed if it was intended to preserve the battery but then here we are.

 

I totally agree with that idea that it should not have been done, increasing the EV max speed from 62mph to 85mph.  However, I believe it was done as a selling point to sell more cars, not related to the health of the battery or the original design.  If you keep that in mind you realize that after 62mph you're starting to put more undue stress on the battery and raise its temperature even quicker by driving at higher speeds in EV.

 

I try to do what I can to keep the battery healthy, and trying to educate folks to help them not degrade their battery.  I'm not trying to "berate" anyone just trying to help and answer everyone's questions I hope it doesn't come across that way.  If so please don't take it that way.  I spent alot of time here in the past 5+ years helping everyone I can however way I can. 

 

-=>Raja.

The Energi always had an 85 mph EV only limit.  It was the Hybrid that Ford increased speed from 62 mph to 85 mph for EV only operation.  Ford's reason for increasing the Hybrid EV speed was because Hybrid owners wanted to see more EV only operation (likely on the summary display after each trip showing EV miles).  I don't believe Ford ever said it helped FE.  So, IMO, it was done for marketing purposes of the Hybrid (as why should the Energi be able to operate at 85 mph and not the Hybrid in EV only) although it does give Hybrid owners another tool, when properly used, to increase FE.

 

With respect to how the Energi was intended to be used (per Ford) and how it should be used (customer experience), prospective owners should have done their due dilegence (as I did in late 2012) and noted the HVB issues the Leaf was experiencing due to high operating temps and frequent charging to 100%.  Ford mentioned nothing about limits on operating conditions (same with Nissan) and what constituted normal battery wear and tear for Warranty purposes.  Like Ford, Nissan was not covering "normal" lost HVB battery capacity at that time.  It's inconceivable that Ford engineers did not know how their HVB would perform.  But marketing usually wins as Ford would sell fewer PHEVs if they "warned" prospective owners of such consequences.  Living in the Phoenix area quickly steered me away from the Leaf and Energi in late 2012.  

 

Having said the above, all that's water over the dam.  If Energi owners want to "preserve" HVB capacity, the advice given should be followed (there is plenty of research that supports this).  The Energi (like the Hybrid) is a great car.  But, there are operations in the Energi that should be avoided / reduced to mitigate HVB capacity degradation.   










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