Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope someone can help me. My uncle passed away February last year and he had an 2012 Ampera. The car is beautiful and in great condition. It was left for a while due to probate and then I was unable to start it so I called a specialist hybrid mechanic out. He fitted a new AGM battery, new tyres and MOT'd it. It then sat for a while although I was starting it regularly.
I then fully charged it at my uncles house (where the charging point is) and drove it home 24 miles (to sell it) and the electric run out (didn't know how to drive it in petrol mode)! Anyway I put it up for sale in Autotrader for 4 weeks (one response). Guy came and looked over it for about an hour then took it for a test drive. He then tells me the charge doesn't look to be working properly, so I agreed with him I would charge it at a local charging point and whatsapp him the photos as proof it is charging okay and has a full charge. Which I did, but he still thinks there is something wrong with the charging. To be fair I have to say that the original screen that was on the dashboard has changed. Originally when I first drove it it had a battery on the left which reduced as the car was driven and a pump which showed how many miles available with petrol. Now the battery sign is in grey and not lit up green like it was before. Does this mean there is a problem or have I changed the screen in error? The 4th photo attached shows the grey battery sign.
I would really like to prove the car is okay as I feel my only other option will be We Buy Any Car and I know I will get ripped off. The car is so lovely it would be a dreadful shame.
Thank you in advance if anyone can help.
Lyn
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,725 Posts
Sure to be quite a few of us in London region! Let us know if no-one offers to help, we should be able to find a helping hand.

The first 3 pics show it nicely charged up, so I'm puzzled why the 4th doesn't show the battery range. If the battery's out of action, the car's going nowhere, that's for sure! And the battery's usually pretty bullet-proof.

A good sign is that the Engine Warning Light is not showing! This car loves to light it up in amber, over on right side of display, at the slightest excuse!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello HandyAndy
Had a long chat with Dave above and like you he said it all seems okay. The only thing that you maybe able to answer is when you press the drive mode, you get normal, sport, mountain and hold. It will not go onto the hold option, that remains grey.
I've just taken it for a drive and tried again but still wont go into hold, any ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Hello HandyAndy
Had a long chat with Dave above and like you he said it all seems okay. The only thing that you maybe able to answer is when you press the drive mode, you get normal, sport, mountain and hold. It will not go onto the hold option, that remains grey.
I've just taken it for a drive and tried again but still wont go into hold, any ideas?
Hi there, I have some vague recollection that there are instances when it won’t go into Hold, but can’t find them now. The owners manual does say it wont go into hold unless in ‘electric mode’, by which I think it means not in ‘extended range’ mode - ie using petrol. I wonder, as the car has stood for so long, if it has anything to do with engine or fuel maintenance mode (page 112 of the MY13 owners book). I expect you’d have noticed this as it tells you it’s happening and the engine starts for 15 mins.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
495 Posts
I'm a little puzzled and may have got the wrong end of the stick.

What happened between pictures 3 and 4, there seem to be 10 missing?

Roughly how far did you go on your test run and did the engine fire up at all?

I expect hold would be missing if the petrol engine couldn't start. I would have thought mountain mode might also be missing. You could try propping open the bonnet and starting the car, which should cause it to start the engine. I also have a recollection that I've been unable to go into hold for a short while after using Mountain Mode but I may well be wrong, and I don't see that's applicable.



btw when you are driving it normally you wouldn't need to do anything to switch from electricity to petrol, it just does it, really smoothly (if it's working properly!)
 

·
Registered
2014 Chevy Volt
Joined
·
72 Posts
I can’t see these pictures very clearly on my phone, but is picture 4 simply showing a car with an empty battery? It won’t go into hold mode because there is no battery charge to hold.
Lyn, it takes almost four hours to charge the car from empty, then you will have between 30 and 40 miles of battery charge to use up at this time of year, depending on how fast you drive, outside temperature, whether you are running the air conditioning (and at what temperature/fan speed) and maybe a few other variables too.) once the battery runs empty, the car automatically switches to petrol - you won’t feel a thing but if you are keeping an eye on the screen above the steering wheel you’ll see an indication there. There is a way of altering this display (from memory, via one of the buttons to the right of the steering wheel).
 

·
Premium Member
Electron Summit White NK13...107k 91.5 and rising
Joined
·
153 Posts
The display you are seeing is the alternate one that is selected by pressing the config button (to the right of the steering wheel).

For some reason the car has switched into petrol engine (generator) mode - not obvious why that is immediately. But as a starting point I would power it down completely, then back on again. That should reset it into electric mode. Give it a few seconds to complete the start then press the config button to toggle between the two display formats.

Hard to tell from your picture, but what is the miles number next to the grey battery?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello Thanks for all your replies.
I charged up the car for probably 10 hours minimum at my uncles house and it said fully charged. I drove it home on the M20/M25 and I watched the electric run down as I was driving and it switched to fuel not long before I got home so I used up the charge, I think about 26 miles but it switched over easily enough.
I advertised it and that's when the guy said he didn't think it was charging as when he took it on a test drive it didn't charge (he didn't know about these particular cars though) and I know he pressed and fiddled with the buttons which I guess changed the display.
I then charged it for the maximum amount - 4 hours at a charging point about a mile from where I live and it said fully charged when I returned to collect it.
It does say on starting the car that the fuel is going stale as it's stood for a while and to add some more. Maybe I should do try this?
Smokie I just picked a couple of photos to add to the original question so that 's why there seems to be some missing.
I did open the bonnet and the engine started and went back to electric once it was closed.
Spindrift and Shedman, the number of miles next to the grey battery is 26.
When you say power it down completely, do you mean just switch it off? If so I have done that a few times but it doesn't go back to electric mode on the display but driving it seems to be electric as it is completely quiet.
I may go out now and play around with the config button on the right and see if it changes the screen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,725 Posts
If there are 26 electric miles in the battery, it definitely should go into Hold.

There's a bug in the 2012s at least, which shows if you let the electric range go <5 miles. The car takes over & starts the petrol, which is fine. And you can then select Mountain Mode which will rev away as it charges up to 1/3 battery, around 15 miles range. But having got a decent range in there, i.e. >5 miles, let's say 7 or 8, or 12,... you would think you could go back into Normal. But no, car won't let you do that, so if you want to go back to Normal mode, with Electric menu etc on display not the petrol one, you have to stop the car, switch off, switch back on, and then it's in Normal mode!

I would think it's worth driving it electrically to < 1/3 battery remaining, it should show about 6.8 kWh (or more) used of the 10.4 full charge you may have started with, probably the range will be <15 miles, so take it down to 10 remaining, and then selecting Mountain mode should fire up the petrol & take the range back up to 15. Don't forget, when Mountain Mode is chosen, the car likes to keep this 15 mile 1/3-full battery to itself, to power you up the mountain, so expect to see around 15 miles range suddenly disappear from the apparent electric range! But that re-appears when MM is deselected.

If you drive it around in MM for a while, with that 15 mile buffer "hidden" and the electric range apparently=0, the car behaves exactly as it does in Hold mode (except overtaking needs a really hard press on accelerator, as car tries to be super-super-eco as it thinks it's going up a mountain & struggling a bit), and you should be able to do say 3 miles with petrol being used, then a mile or so without petrol & in electric-only mode. The energy-flow screen shows this nicely if the engine's being v quiet. If this works as expected, I really don't know why Hold can't be chosen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
When I got in it, before I started it the display showed battery range 26 miles so it is working and I have just pressed the config button and got the display I had originally which was the pump on the left and a green ball showing the braking on the right.
I still cannot get the battery to not be grey or get it into hold.
I will add some petrol tomorrow night after work in case that is the issue as per CjI160 to see if that helps but after that.........
Again thank you for all your help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If there are 26 electric miles in the battery, it definitely should go into Hold.

There's a bug in the 2012s at least, which shows if you let the electric range go <5 miles. The car takes over & starts the petrol, which is fine. And you can then select Mountain Mode which will rev away as it charges up to 1/3 battery, around 15 miles range. But having got a decent range in there, i.e. >5 miles, let's say 7 or 8, or 12,... you would think you could go back into Normal. But no, car won't let you do that, so if you want to go back to Normal mode, with Electric menu etc on display not the petrol one, you have to stop the car, switch off, switch back on, and then it's in Normal mode!

I would think it's worth driving it electrically to < 1/3 battery remaining, it should show about 6.8 kWh (or more) used of the 10.4 full charge you may have started with, probably the range will be <15 miles, so take it down to 10 remaining, and then selecting Mountain mode should fire up the petrol & take the range back up to 15. Don't forget, when Mountain Mode is chosen, the car likes to keep this 15 mile 1/3-full battery to itself, to power you up the mountain, so expect to see around 15 miles range suddenly disappear from the apparent electric range! But that re-appears when MM is deselected.

If you drive it around in MM for a while, with that 15 mile buffer "hidden" and the electric range apparently=0, the car behaves exactly as it does in Hold mode (except overtaking needs a really hard press on accelerator, as car tries to be super-super-eco as it thinks it's going up a mountain & struggling a bit), and you should be able to do say 3 miles with petrol being used, then a mile or so without petrol & in electric-only mode. The energy-flow screen shows this nicely if the engine's being v quiet. If this works as expected, I really don't know why Hold can't be chosen.
Hi HandyAndy, I will try this either tomorrow night or Wednesday (can't get my head around it tonight lol). I'll start by adding some fuel even though there's plenty in it and try driving it around in Mountain Mode for a bit. Thank you Lyn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,725 Posts
Another good thing to do is to disconnect the Earth wire to the 12V battery. This lives underneath the boot floor. This will have been done when the battery was changed, but maybe the car's got all confused since then.

Having lifted the boot floor, you'll need a long socket to reach the 4 nuts, or a tube spanner, 10mm from memory but may be 12?, the Earth terminal is the one on the right. 10mm spanner loosens it, lift the chunky lead off, poke it well to one side and wait 10 minutes to let the car completely discharge. Then put it back on smartly in one move, clamp it up again and the car has been completely re-booted form cold. This can work wonders!
 

·
Premium Member
Electron Summit White NK13...107k 91.5 and rising
Joined
·
153 Posts
From all your descriptions Lyn it seems that the car is running fine.

You mentioned that the car indicated that the fuel was 'going stale'. The car requires premuim fuel grade and because some people who only use it for short journeys almost never run the engine, it monitors the time between refuelling. When that time is exceeded it offers the driver one chance to run off the old fuel - Fuel Maintenance Mode (by running the engine) - and if that chance is not taken it does so automatically next time it is switched on and each time after that until the ld fuel is used up. Putting a bit of fresh in should overcome that.

It doesn't explain why the display icon seems unusual - but not having had FMM myself, I cannot say whether what you are seeing is normal for that rather special condition or not. If it still showing like that after you have topped up the fuel, then all we are left with is an odd display glitch. Usually those sort of things clear them selves or are an indication that the 12v battery may be getting tired. But lets see what happens when you add some more fuel. I'm pretty sure there is not anything seriously wrong with the car from what you have said so far.

Your prospective buyer was making a mistake if he expected to see the car charge its own battery from the engine under normal driving conditions. It can be done, as @HandyAndy says by putting it into Mountain Mode if the battery is less than half full, in which case it will charge itself up to half full.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Another good thing to do is to disconnect the Earth wire to the 12V battery. This lives underneath the boot floor. This will have been done when the battery was changed, but maybe the car's got all confused since then.

Having lifted the boot floor, you'll need a long socket to reach the 4 nuts, or a tube spanner, 10mm from memory but may be 12?, the Earth terminal is the one on the right. 10mm spanner loosens it, lift the chunky lead off, poke it well to one side and wait 10 minutes to let the car completely discharge. Then put it back on smartly in one move, clamp it up again and the car has been completely re-booted form cold. This can work wonders!
🤯🤯🤯 what??! That is certainly above my limits, I'll try the driving in MM and see how that goes, I can manage that :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,079 Posts
It does say on starting the car that the fuel is going stale as it's stood for a while and to add some more. Maybe I should do try this?
The Car is in FMM Fuel Maintenance Mode. This is rarely seen! I've had this for the first time this year in lockdown and not doing any miles on petrol. Takes about a year without refueling for this to appear.

The car thinks the petrol is stale and will not come back to electric mode until the fuel has been refreshed. As you have at least 1/2 a tank of fuel, I think from the images you need to run the car, get it down to under 1/4 of a tank - I ran mine down to 0 range - but I knew I had a full battery. then put in £10 worth. This should be enough on a 1/4 tank to bring the mix to an acceptable level.

Filling - the car has a petrol tank opening button in the drivers door card, just above and behind the electric flap opener. Press this and the door unlocks and the tank will depressurize.

Edit: Maintenance not management mode
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
From all your descriptions Lyn it seems that the car is running fine.

You mentioned that the car indicated that the fuel was 'going stale'. The car requires premuim fuel grade and because some people who only use it for short journeys almost never run the engine, it monitors the time between refuelling. When that time is exceeded it offers the driver one chance to run off the old fuel - Fuel Maintenance Mode (by running the engine) - and if that chance is not taken it does so automatically next time it is switched on and each time after that until the ld fuel is used up. Putting a bit of fresh in should overcome that.

It doesn't explain why the display icon seems unusual - but not having had FMM myself, I cannot say whether what you are seeing is normal for that rather special condition or not. If it still showing like that after you have topped up the fuel, then all we are left with is an odd display glitch. Usually those sort of things clear them selves or are an indication that the 12v battery may be getting tired. But lets see what happens when you add some more fuel. I'm pretty sure there is not anything seriously wrong with the car from what you have said so far.

Your prospective buyer was making a mistake if he expected to see the car charge its own battery from the engine under normal driving conditions. It can be done, as @HandyAndy says by putting it into Mountain Mode if the battery is less than half full, in which case it will charge itself up to half full.
It has the same fuel in it from before my uncle passed away so its over a year old now. Looks like I'll be going for a long drive to run some off. It drives lovely so I don't mind too much.
Thank you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The Car is in FMM Fuel management mode. This is rarely seen! I've had this for the first time this year in lockdown and not doing any miles on petrol. Takes about a year without refueling for this to appear.

The car thinks the petrol is stale and will not come back to electric mode until the fuel has been refreshed. As you have at least 1/2 a tank of fuel, I think from the images you need to run the car, get it down to under 1/4 of a tank - I ran mine down to 0 range - but I knew I had a full battery. then put in £10 worth. This should be enough on a 1/4 tank to bring the mix to an acceptable level.

Filling - the car has a petrol tank opening button in the drivers door card, just above and behind the electric flap opener. Press this and the door unlocks and the tank will depressurize.
It has the same fuel in it from before my uncle passed away so its over a year old now. Looks like I'll be going for a long drive to run some off, I said to Spindrift It drives lovely so I don't mind too much.
Thank you
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top