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12v battery dies regularly. Can I jump via lighter plug instead of under hood?

battery 12v jump-start

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15 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   sshanky

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 10:07 AM

Hi everyone,

 

I've been encountering a dead car on a regular basis -- every few days it seems. The weather has been colder than normal (I was in a snowy area) and it seems to happen more often when it's cold. I have purchased a small jump starter from Walmart, but I was recently thinking it would be nice if I could use a jump starter that works through the lighter plug so I can do it without having to open the hood. I have seen small 20000mAh jump starters/usb chargers before that claim to be able to jump start a car, and from what I can see there's no real draw from the jump starter when I connect it to the battery terminals under the hood (since it just turns on the car, doesn't have to start the engine) so I believe one of these smaller units would do the trick. I just wonder if there would be any weird electronic configuration given it's an EV that might be damaged putting the power back into the lighter plug.

 

While we are on the topic, does anyone have any suggestions on how to resolve this no-start issue? I remember reading about a recall that has something to do with this, and the Ford dealer says the car was treated for that recall, though I wouldn't be surprised if they're wrong.

 

Thanks a lot









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#2 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 10:32 AM

If I was going to try that, I would use the cigarette lighter plug in the hatch area, that one is always live.

 

There is a fuse on it I'm sure, but I don't expect the draw to be so much to burn the fuse.  Guess you will find out if it works and let us know?

 

-=>Raja.



#3 OFFLINE   komptonwhitey

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 10:34 AM

While your car is charging, stand at the front and listen for any mechanical noises.  The only noises you should hear would be HVB cooling fans at the trunk area.  Mine suffered from corroded connectors due to water intrusion that would cause the water pump to run when it was plugged in and drain the 12V battery.  After a new water pump, connector pigtail and some wiring repair on the vacuum pump it's as good as new.

 

I wouldn't attempt jump starting from a lighter outlet.  You could cause much larger issues if you fried a module.  

 

Many of these cars, like mine, suffered from the 12v battery drain issue.  Common causes I've seen were:

 

- Modem getting stuck on overnight

- Software or APIM module issues

- Water intrusion in connectors, specifically the ICE water pump and vacuum pump

- Wires chaffing and grounding out around the trunk hinge and front passenger areas.



#4 OFFLINE   fredf

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 06:53 PM

Also how old is your battery?



#5 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 03:32 AM

Battery is most likely dead after so many "deaths".  Replace and go from there.  (My humble opinion)....



#6 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 03:34 AM

If I was going to try that, I would use the cigarette lighter plug in the hatch area, that one is always live.

 

There is a fuse on it I'm sure, but I don't expect the draw to be so much to burn the fuse.  Guess you will find out if it works and let us know?

 

-=>Raja.

 

Those Li-Ion battery back-ups usually include USB ports to charge your accessories.  I do not think they are designed to jump from the USB port....



#7 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 07:49 AM

I actually didn't pay attention to his jumper, but rereading it 2000mah is nothing, that's only 2 amps most likely won't work.  He'll need a bigger one to jump the car with.  I think Tom already tried something like this and it didn't work, but it was even bigger, I don't recall 100% but it may have been 10amp.  Tom can comment on that.

 

-=>Raja.



#8 OFFLINE   cr08

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 09:03 AM

You guys are completely mis-reading his post. He mentioned a '20,000mah' jump starter battery pack. There's TWO separate power outputs on these. One that wires directly to the combined ~12V lithium pack inside for jump starting with nothing in the way and the USB ports which get converted down from the pack voltage to ~5V. These are designed from the get-go to jump start a traditional ICE vehicle with the burst amperage needed to manage it. They will have absolutely no issues with the C-Max. It's that simple.

 

With that said as far as rigging it to be able to be plugged in to the lighter outlet to jump start the vehicle, you may need to wire something up to go from the battery clamps to the lighter plug. However if you are comfortable enough with soldering and wiring, most of those jump packs use a standard plug type going into the jump pack itself that you could probably pick up some place like Digikey or maybe even HobbyKing or a local hobby/RC shop. Direct wire from that to a cig lighter plug and go.

 

As far as getting to the root cause of the problem, I'd agree with some of the others and it may be time for a new battery at this point on top of really sticking it to your dealer to resolve it if there are repeated drains like this.


Edited by cr08, 15 February 2019 - 09:06 AM.


#9 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 09:14 AM

Oh did I misread it, I could have sworn I saw 2000 not 20000.  Maybe too early in the morning for me I was just "waking up".  So what's with the Hobbyking stuff CR08, are you into RC models?  I fly myself mostly helis but some airplanes as well  :wink:

 

-=>Raja.



#10 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 09:35 AM

Early on I had battery 12V battery problems with the first two each lasting only 18 months. During that time I was looking for a portable jump start battery pack solution. I purchased the BESTEK  BTCSG11. It is supposed to have 12V 300A peak current (Cost was about $45). I was never able to successfully jump start the car using the access points in the engine compartment. So a big thumbs down for this product. Currently not available on amazon either. 

 

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

If you are going to get a portable battery charger spend the money needed to get a good one.I have a trickle charger that was able to revive a dead battery enough to get the car going so it could be taken in for a new battery. 

 

On a side note my third battery is three years old and is still working good. 

 

Tom



#11 OFFLINE   cr08

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 10:09 AM

Oh did I misread it, I could have sworn I saw 2000 not 20000.  Maybe too early in the morning for me I was just "waking up".  So what's with the Hobbyking stuff CR08, are you into RC models?  I fly myself mostly helis but some airplanes as well  :wink:

 

-=>Raja.

Not really into RC stuff but Nerf modding which usually involves work with LiPos for the powered blasters. And most of that stuff is just more convenient to get through Hobbyking. Feels like the Amazon of RC and LiPo stuff. But I'm still kinda in the novice territory of Nerf mods. Some people get really crazy with it.

 

The one thing remotely RC I'd like to eventually get into is taking a 1:12/1:16 off-road-ish RC car and turning it into an autonomous rover. Just haven't had enough free time to plan it out. I've thought about doing quadcopters but I'd largely use it for photography and video and it feels like it'd end up being cheaper getting something prebuilt with that in mind vs building from scratch.

 

As far as the jump pack connector, I was able to track it down. Most of them I've seen use the EC5 connector which is easily attainable.



#12 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 12:05 PM

I'd say if you wanted to*charge* the 12V battery from the cig lighter, it might be possible if that socket is always live no matter what.  I'm not sure on that.

 

As for actually *jump starting* the car, I'd say likely no.  Pretty sure it's like the Prius and yes, while booting the computers doesn't take much power, there's usually a motor for something like the brake booster that requires a good chunk of amps for at least a few second before the amperage draw drops back down.  I had that experience in my 2003 Prius when the Battery was dying in the cold.  Get in, press Power and nothing, but then some faint lights, and I could hear the brake pump spinning a lot slower than usual, but after the extend run time due to the slower speed and the brake booster actually got up to pressure and it shut off, then the lights brightened up and the car would start. 

But the conversations on the Prius list were similar.  "You could start it with a handful of AA batteries!"  But the reality was that you had to sustain somewhere around 20-40 amps for short bits at times for other things on the 12V system to get it to boot.



#13 OFFLINE   cr08

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 12:36 PM

I've only ever heard the vacuum pump engage after the car is already started. Once that happens the DC-DC converter should take over. I know on some other hybrids including Ford's first and second gen Escape hybrids they seemed to begin running this stuff prior to starting but with the C-Max I've never heard anything start operating until it has been fully started.



#14 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 07:19 AM

The cigarette lighter in the back is always live, that would be the one to use.  The one in the front by the shifter is not.  I don't know what the rear lighter fuse amp is, but I've plugged into it with a deep cycle battery to permanently jump the 12v battery while I was on vacation, in essence tripling its capacity.

 

As CR08 says, the power up sequence should not take a whole lot of current, some for sure, but once done then the DC to DC inverter takes over.  In fact it may be not hard to test by disconnecting the 12v battery and then connecting it in series with an amp meter and powering up the car to see the peak load.

 

-=>Raja.



#15 OFFLINE   komptonwhitey

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 12:08 PM

I think you should make sure you’re not focusing on just mitigating this problem by finding a convenient way to jumpstart it, but finding the underlying issue. After months of frustration I was trying a trick like you were but I finally had a breakthrough and found the pertinent TSB’s related to the 12v battery drain. This is a thoroughly documented problem that can have multiple causes. If you are still under warranty I would recommend asking ford to look at the various 12 V drain TSB‘s and inspect your wiring.

#16 OFFLINE   ScottB

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 10:09 AM

I think you should make sure you’re not focusing on just mitigating this problem by finding a convenient way to jumpstart it, but finding the underlying issue. After months of frustration I was trying a trick like you were but I finally had a breakthrough and found the pertinent TSB’s related to the 12v battery drain. This is a thoroughly documented problem that can have multiple causes. If you are still under warranty I would recommend asking ford to look at the various 12 V drain TSB‘s and inspect your wiring.

 

Can you point me to where I can find the TSB's. My 2017 Energi is in the shop for this very problem. Just in case the dealer doesn't do much, I want some backup to have just in case.

 

I also bought a portable jump started. I went the compact route that was only $30, it claims to start up to a 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine. Hopefully the dealer will solve it for me.











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