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Discussion Starter #1
I have very annoying charging problem but both the car manufacturer (VW) and the charger manufacturer (Rolec) deny responsibility.
The car is a Golf GTE and the Rolec charger is mounted on an outside wall of my house with tethered lead.

The car reaches full charge and the charger cuts out as it should, but after a random interval (anything from a few seconds to 10 minutes or more) it starts charging again for a few seconds until it realises that the car is already fully charged and cuts off the charger again. This process is repeated at random until I unplug the lead.
This might not be a problem except for the fact that each time the charger cuts in or out, there is a loud "thunk" which I presume is a solenoid type switch in the Rolec charger. We now can't leave the car on charge overnight because the random "thunk" wakes us up! The problem isn't apparent with the original VW home charger but that's because it doesn't have a solenoid switch so we don't hear it when it cuts out.

Rolec have been quite helpful but they are convinced that it must be a car issue because it is the car which sends the signal to the charger to start or stop charging. I did previously have the tethered lead replaced because it often made the random thunking noise during charging (ie before the car was fully charged). That seemed to cure the problem, except that it now just seems to make the noise after it has reached full charge. I don't know if the two issues are related.

The car has been back to VW a couple of times and yesterday they kept it overnight. They found 29 stored fault codes, all relating to charging. They then wiped the codes and charged it overnight on their own charger, and today there were no fault codes stored. This leads them to conclude that the car is fine and that my charger must be responsible.

So where do I go from here if neither is Rolec or VW are willing to accept responsibility? It looks like it will be down to me to experiment by charging somebody else's car on my Rolec charger or my car on somebody else's charger.

Any thoughts or ideas?
 

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I'm wondering if you have a duff cell that keeps going flat and needing charging again. Have you got a dongle you can investigate with?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Tandy0. The car does reach full charge and shows the maximum range so I don't think it can be an issue with a duff cell. The question is why should the car (or the charger) thinks that the charge level has dropped sufficiently to re-start the charging process. The car isn't using any electricity while it's still plugged in, and I wouldn't have thought it possible that it could somehow leak charge back through the charging cable when charging has stopped?
 

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Is it a new 'smart' Rolec or the old 'dumb' one? The old dumb chargers are best because they are literally just safe high amp plug sockets with nothing to go wrong virtually. I know lots of people on the GTE forum with Zappi chargers complained that the charger would just keep 'topping off' endlessly at the end of the charge, so much so that eventually Zappi said their chargers were incompatible with the GTE!
If it's not a smart charger then I would bet GTE at fault. If it's a smart charger I'd put money on it being the charger (like a huge sum).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi DrMagical.
How can I tell the difference? I think we had it fitted around 2.5 years ago. I'll search for the thread about Zappi chargers because that sounds lie the same issue. Many thanks.
Mike
 

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Emver, whereabouts are you? If close to Winchester, I could take a look at what's happening on the CP pin which could be interesting. The "dumb" Rolec ECU controller (bottom-right item) looks like this - mine bought 4 years ago.

Incidentally, if you have an RCBO looking like this one - Rolec branded, get it swapped out NOW. It might just be the problem - it's a garbage item; you can see this one at the top is starting to split apart at the top-left connector screw!
Swap it for a good quality Garo or equivalent, details in another thread somewhere.

126742
 

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Indeed, if you're near the Leeds area I'm happy to pop over with an oscilloscope and see what your charger's CP line is doing.
 

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Charge your car on someone else's charger. If you still get the same problem, it is the car that is at fault.
 

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That sounds like either a earthing issue or the contactor (the thing that makes the thunk) is faulty.
If the charger is 2.5 years old it could be some moist that maybe has ingress the plug and is messing with the 2 control wires (P1 & P2) These are the ones that the car uses to activate the charge.
As @John Page says try using another wall pod or get someone to try yours and see if that still happens with another car.

But I would be leaning to the wall pod needing servicing and not the car
 

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You don't mention what happens when you use the granny brick
you could use your Rolec to get the car up to 90-95% then swap to the granny


Plus as others say take the car to a standard PodPoint thing like at a Tesco/Sainsbury/Other.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Andy, here are photos of my unit which seems identical to your "dumb" unit with the same ecu controller.
The RCBO unit on mine is actually cracked on both sides. I somehow doubt that this could be the cause of the problem, but do you think that I should insist that Rolec replace it anyway?

Unsurprisingly the "thunking" problem still continues after the car's visit to the VW dealership. I monitored it more closely this morning and observed the following:
1. The charger switches off (thunk) when the car is fully charged. Light on charger turns from green to blue.
2. After around 5 minutes it switches on again (thunk) and the light turns green again
3. After a further 5 seconds it switches off again (thunk) and the light turns blue again
4. This cycle then repeats every 5 minutes or so, with the charging restarting then stopping again a few seconds
later
IMG_0023.JPG
IMG_0025.JPG
IMG_0026.JPG



Thanks to HandyAndy and Tom66 for your very kind offers to help, but unfortunately I'm in Kenilworth, Warks which is miles away from both of you.
 

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Emver, don't delay, your Rolec RCBO is failing, and may soon fail very badly. Change it at once - up to you whether you send a pic to Rolec & try to persuade them to swap it for free, as others have done. I did mine myself ages ago, cost about £20 I think. Here's a pic of the box mine came in fyi:
126768
 

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This contactor opening & closing is what the J1772 spec say you can expect if the car opens & closes switch S2 - the one thet engages the second resistor, which drops the CP coltage line from 9V down to 6V. So it rather sounds as if the CP line is going all over the place. Could be a bad connection in the Rolec ECU, or anywhere along that to the car. Could also be a bad Earth between ECU & the car.

Just possible it could be the car thinking "I want some power - no I don't - yes I do - no I don't ..." but unlikely imho; this would be a widespread & common problem if so.

I would be surprised if it's the Contactor's fault, but who knows? And the RCBO is deffo dodgy.
One way or another, it's possible to sort your Rolec without spending too much; RCBO, then maybe get a Mainpine - always useful to have as a spare even if it turns out not to be the problem. Finally, the RCBP. But a sparky shouod probably check the resistance down all the wires/cables, state of the Earth, whether the Grid voltage is flutuating out of allowable range, etc before shellign out for new ECU & Contactor.

(Mainpine can also be setup to allow variable charging currents, from 6A up to max, in very fine increments if you really want. Good for solar-controlled variable charging, etc).
 

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What's with these shoddy installs? Fine to use brown, black, grey conductors but at least sleeve them or mark them with the correct insulation tape.
 

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Rolec RCB’s are well known for failing. Change it on principle before if fails with potential damage.

Also, though I have only had Leafs, when they finish charging the lamp on the Rolec stays green until I unplug even though no current is flowing. This also means the connectors remain locked in place.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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This contactor opening & closing is what the J1772 spec say you can expect if the car opens & closes switch S2 - the one thet engages the second resistor, which drops the CP coltage line from 9V down to 6V. So it rather sounds as if the CP line is going all over the place. Could be a bad connection in the Rolec ECU, or anywhere along that to the car. Could also be a bad Earth between ECU & the car.

Just possible it could be the car thinking "I want some power - no I don't - yes I do - no I don't ..." but unlikely imho; this would be a widespread & common problem if so.

I would be surprised if it's the Contactor's fault, but who knows? And the RCBO is deffo dodgy.
One way or another, it's possible to sort your Rolec without spending too much; RCBO, then maybe get a Mainpine - always useful to have as a spare even if it turns out not to be the problem. Finally, the RCBP. But a sparky shouod probably check the resistance down all the wires/cables, state of the Earth, whether the Grid voltage is flutuating out of allowable range, etc before shellign out for new ECU & Contactor.

(Mainpine can also be setup to allow variable charging currents, from 6A up to max, in very fine increments if you really want. Good for solar-controlled variable charging, etc).
You mean something like this...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
UPDATE 17 Feb 2020 FURTHER ADVICE NEEDED PLEASE

Rolec sent me a new RCBO which was simple enough to fit myself. When I first tried it with the new RCBO fitted it seemed better but now it is worse than ever. It cuts out during charging and even more frequently once the car is fully charged. We certainly wouldn't risk leaving it connected overnight.

The charger is now well over 2 years old but I think it came with a 3 year warranty. Rolec have told me that I should go through the original installer, now called Aerocharge. One problem is that the installer is extremely slow at answering emails and usually doesn't answer calls. When I have managed to get hold of him he has been reasonably helpful and he did come to fit a new tethered lead. That seemed to help for the first week but the problem soon started again. Now he is saying that he can only replace the charger if Rolec agree to replace it under warranty. Meanwhile I'm getting increasingly frustrated with a charger which doesn't work properly.

Can anybody advise me about my legal rights? I can sympathise with the installer's view since it is more than 2 years since he fitted it, but what shall I do if I can't persuade Rolec to honour the warranty?
 

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A condition of the OLEV grant is that "8.0 SERVICING & MAINTENANCE Charging equipment shall be supplied with an on-site three-year warranty on parts and installation."

Your contract is with the installer - they must ensure that they meet the terms that the grant was given under. I can only suggest that you contact OLEV if you get rebuffed.

I have sympathy with the installer to a point - there seem to be an awful lot of problems with Rolec kit which aren't just related to their market share, but as the installer chose to supply it then they carry the responsibility.
 
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