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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

I am aware that the topic has been up several times, but I wanted to share my issue as it seems I have a couple of other issues that have not been answered.

My Renault Zoe 2015 suddenly decided to make life difficult for me. It is 5 years and has 28 000 miles on it. The car has been taken great care of following all service intervals at the official dealership. I noticed however that they have not changed the 12v battery.

So now I am stuck with the dreaded "Electric Failure DANGER" I have been reading all over this forum and online in general and it seems like a difficult fix. In the handbook it says: "Secondary 12 volt battery charge warning light - If it comes on together with the STOP warning light and a beep this means the electrical circuit is overcharged"

It does not come with a beep but the to warning lights are both present.

First I thought the 12v was dead but when measuring it it had 14 volts on it.

What works: Dashboard light, windows (engine), heater, charging the main battery
What doesn't work: Everything else basically! Steering wheel is stuck, car obviously wont start

What I find strange is that when I unlock the car (which draws on the 12 volt I guess) there is a loud vacuum-like sound coming from the battery area (12v) that lasts for 5 minutes. I do not know my way around the placement of components but surely there must be something mounted behind or below the battery that makes this sound? The starter maybe?

The worst: In Norway we have 5 year warranty and mine ended 2 months ago so this could get costly. So instead of the shop spending hours on hours to diagnose the problem, ordering parts and just hoping for the best I was wondering if anyone in here can give me any pointers?

Is it possible with the information I have given here that the car is simply dead - meaning to expensive to repair. The main battery works but could the potential overcharge of the 12v have caused massive issues within the car?

Appreciate all answers I can get!
 

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2020 Corsa E
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Is the Zoe battery owned or leased?

There are two different battery warnings. I think that might be the one for the main battery not the 12v anyway. The 12v charging system failing on these is quite common too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Battery is owned. According to the manual the red indicator should be the 12 v. But of course I am not insisting :p No expert!
 

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A fully charged 12V battery should measure 12.7 V. If you're measuring 14, you're probably measuring the charging voltage coming from the DC-DC converter from the traction battery. I think you should measure after opening the hood, and then waiting for 10 minutes for the car to completely shut down. Something like that, not completely sure. Anyway, measuring a good voltage on the 12V battery is still no guarantee that the battery is good. If it hasn't been changed in 5 years, I'd change it right away. A new battery is 80 euros, replacing is a 10 minute DIY job.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A fully charged 12V battery should measure 12.7 V. If you're measuring 14, you're probably measuring the charging voltage coming from the DC-DC converter from the traction battery. I think you should measure after opening the hood, and then waiting for 10 minutes for the car to completely shut down. Something like that, not completely sure. Anyway, measuring a good voltage on the 12V battery is still no guarantee that the battery is good. If it hasn't been changed in 5 years, I'd change it right away. A new battery is 80 euros, replacing is a 10 minute DIY job.
Thank you. I have a friend who is an electrician with proper equipment coming over this weekend to check the battery. Will take what you say into consideration! And also as you state it might just be that the battery is old and worn due to its age. I hope so!
 

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If it is on the original battery then it's most likely to be that. I'd certainly swap it out for a new one as first thing to do with any fault like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If it is on the original battery then it's most likely to be that. I'd certainly swap it out for a new one as first thing to do with any fault like this.
Yep. That's on the list on todo's now.

Any thought what the quite loud sound that runs for about 5 minutes after opening the car? Sound like a traditional vacuum cleaner. Engine, fan of some sort? No warning lights concerning engine though, but It doesn't sound good
 

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Here's a video how to replace the battery yourself.
I've preventively replaced mine by a Varta Blue Dynamic C22 52Ah. Works fine.
 

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Sound like a traditional vacuum cleaner.
Sounds like the vacuum pump for the brakes. Although I'd say it wasn't particularly loud in my Zoe. Another thing it could be is the air-conditioning fan, but that usually takes a couple of minutes to kick in.
 

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Yep. That's on the list on todo's now.

Any thought what the quite loud sound that runs for about 5 minutes after opening the car? Sound like a traditional vacuum cleaner. Engine, fan of some sort? No warning lights concerning engine though, but It doesn't sound good

runs for 5 mins ?? - you sure you not meant 5 seconds on opening the drivers door? - if 5 seconds whilst the drivers door open and the car graphic spins round on dash, I think that the DC-DC converter on waking the car up (ZE20/ZE40)

If your talking loud fan noise and sounds like a jumbo jet taking of and really is 5 minutes then that sounds like the pre-con / pre heating you have activated using the pre con key on the keycard (ZE20/ZE40) and that loud noise is the radiator fan and the cabin circulation fan that runs nearly at full speed to help warm up the cabin interior quickly
 

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Discussion Starter #14
runs for 5 mins ?? - you sure you not meant 5 seconds on opening the drivers door? - if 5 seconds whilst the drivers door open and the car graphic spins round on dash, I think that the DC-DC converter on waking the car up (ZE20/ZE40)

If your talking loud fan noise and sounds like a jumbo jet taking of and really is 5 minutes then that sounds like the pre-con / pre heating you have activated using the pre con key on the keycard (ZE20/ZE40) and that loud noise is the radiator fan and the cabin circulation fan that runs nearly at full speed to help warm up the cabin interior quickly
Yes 5 minutes. 3 minutes minimum. Also the preheater is well known to me and something I have used a lot and this is not the same (verified by no heating in the car as well). However, the sound is very similar. Not a jumbo jet, but a new noise that appeared after this all started.
 

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Before ruling out the 12v battery although 5 years is a long time for an EV , (think they recommend swapping every 2 years whether its worn or not) here is what I would try first (if you have the time.

Disconnect the negative battery post overnight - whilst you have 12v battery disconnected get a 12v 4a trickle charger and charge the 12v battery overnight. - next morning re-connect the negative terminal and see how you go .

Not got time to disconnect and charge overnight? - then disconnect negative battery for around 20 mins to try and let power drain out of ECU's then after 20 mins or as long as you can , re connect the negative terminal, see how you get on.

Next if that fails and you do this at your absolute own risk!! - disconnect the 12v battery posts , leave for at least 20 mins with the car in an off state and everything switched off and leave it disconnected ... then ... and here is the item as an end user you should never ever touch we are talking voltages of 380v DC going through this mother ! (specialist EV garages have PPE and visors and thick insulating gloves) there is a massive orange lockout fuse under the car drivers mat underneath a door , it pulls up with a lever) so then you have both the 12v battery disconnected .. then you have killed the power from the 380v DC traction batteries.

Leave overnight , or for an hour at least - go back next morning and fit 380v fuse/lockout first then go under bonnet and connect the negative terminal (or if you have removed both terminals , connect positive 12v terminal first , then negative terminal next , all in that order. - Do all of this at your own risk you are not supposed to touch that orange fuse/lockout or whatever that is under the car mat / door - but by disconnecting both 12v and 380v DC you have cut power to all ECU's and hopefully drained the power out of them and and bugs or problems they have thrown up stopping you from getting the car started or unusual messages on the dash. - if not comfortable with electrics dont touch that orange lockout under the drivers mat and leave it to an EV specialist or Renault main dealer.

Hope this helps getting you car working again.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Before ruling out the 12v battery although 5 years is a long time for an EV , (think they recommend swapping every 2 years whether its worn or not) here is what I would try first (if you have the time.

Disconnect the negative battery post overnight - whilst you have 12v battery disconnected get a 12v 4a trickle charger and charge the 12v battery overnight. - next morning re-connect the negative terminal and see how you go .
Thanks for a great answer :) I have removed the battery completely (not just the negative post). Not sure if that was a good idea?

However, is your tip still valid? Trickle charge overnight and reconnect in the morning?

Also: I have a Nissan Leaf 2015 model as well. Would it be worthwhile (or even possible) to swap batteries to verify once and for all that it is not the 12v battery (Leaf of course working fine)
 

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...I have removed the battery completely (not just the negative post). Not sure if that was a good idea?
It won't be a problem as that's what you'd do if you were fitting a new battery.
Charge the old battery overnight, refit next day and see how you go.
If it initially sorts the problem but the issue reappears, as others have suggested, and IMHO it's time for a new 12v battery. Good luck.
 

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Thanks for a great answer :) I have removed the battery completely (not just the negative post). Not sure if that was a good idea?

However, is your tip still valid? Trickle charge overnight and reconnect in the morning?

Also: I have a Nissan Leaf 2015 model as well. Would it be worthwhile (or even possible) to swap batteries to verify once and for all that it is not the 12v battery (Leaf of course working fine)
Hello - thanks, I do hope what I said gives you some pointers. - yes if you have the time trickle charge it overnight , most modern car battery chargers have overcharge protection built into them these days so no harm, in fact some even dearer ones will most probably turn off the charge altogether when the battery is fully charged.

if the round posts are the same size dimensions on both batteries and the battery is around 45-50amps I think it will be OK just to try it out (renault batteries are normally stamped with the word renault/nissan on the battery label - and to be honest I think they are both the same group now these days anyway) ... but again if you have the time, no harm a trickle charge overnight

- if still getting errors even with a new battery fitted (or if you are going to try out the nissan battery) its possible that the issue could be with the ECU's (electronic control units) and the whole car needs closing down and draining all the ecu's you could still go down the road of removing the big lockout underneath the drivers mat (only if you feel confident as you are talking around 380v DC in that area and mechanics put special precautions in place as well as visor and high voltage gloves (well if doing it by the book should lol) overnight (remove 12v battery first then lockout second)

- whenever I have done it I have never had to put a code in for my r-link radio , but if it does ask for a code you should find in back of owners instruction book supplied with the car or download an android app called 'my renault' from the app store and it should have the radio code in that.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hello - thanks, I do hope what I said gives you some pointers. - yes if you have the time trickle charge it overnight , most modern car battery chargers have overcharge protection built into them these days so no harm, in fact some even dearer ones will most probably turn off the charge altogether when the battery is fully charged.

if the round posts are the same size dimensions on both batteries and the battery is around 45-50amps I think it will be OK just to try it out (renault batteries are normally stamped with the word renault/nissan on the battery label - and to be honest I think they are both the same group now these days anyway) ... but again if you have the time, no harm a trickle charge overnight

- if still getting errors even with a new battery fitted (or if you are going to try out the nissan battery) its possible that the issue could be with the ECU's (electronic control units) and the whole car needs closing down and draining all the ecu's you could still go down the road of removing the big lockout underneath the drivers mat (only if you feel confident as you are talking around 380v DC in that area and mechanics put special precautions in place as well as visor and high voltage gloves (well if doing it by the book should lol) overnight (remove 12v battery first then lockout second)

- whenever I have done it I have never had to put a code in for my r-link radio , but if it does ask for a code you should find in back of owners instruction book supplied with the car or download an android app called 'my renault' from the app store and it should have the radio code in that.
Must admit I am tempted to pull the power completely to drain the ECU

Any one else actually tried this? Did not find much online so I assume people stay away :p Or is it something that people do although it is not recommended to say the least!
 

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Must admit I am tempted to pull the power completely to drain the ECU

Any one else actually tried this? Did not find much online so I assume people stay away :p Or is it something that people do although it is not recommended to say the least!
It is frowned upon by a lot of people on some forums , especially by people who think whenever you have these messages come up that the first thing you should do is take it (or get it towed) to a main dealer for further investigation - also it could be a thing that breaks warrant offered (if the find out you have done it/removed it 😉)

you can see where some forums are coming from , they dont want members to say "you told me to do this and now the car is worse and its properly broke my car now!" - or angry at the forum member for suggesting such a thing. Thats why you most probably dont find much information , plus a lot of end users may be frightened of trying something outside the box too. - i dont blame people. My wife has a Renault Clio mk4 , I have a Zoe - for the past year I have been programming and enabling stuff on her car. I am aware that things can go wrong .. I am also aware that if something has gone wrong I only have myself to blame and I know I would have to put it right. No-one holds a gun to my head and forces me to do stuff or attempt to repair it - if I feel brave I do it. If it cures faults or enables something that wasnt enabled before and saves me having to leave it back to the main dealer i will try it first. If it works then its win win and saved me money and if it goes wrong next time I might have a fair idea what the problem is and where to go straight to it and if someone else having a similar problem can give any advice I can to them if I can to help them out .

But I also understand a lot of people are not as brave/wreckless/foolish as me and its out of their depth or want to go to a main dealer to get it looked at instead of trying to tackle it themselves and possibly making matters worse.

So , yes where was I? , yes a lot of the reasons you dont find too much on the internet is because (officially) there is not a lot the end user can do (is supposed to do) on their cars these days (especially with these ECU's fitted in cars) and that a lot of the time you are required to take your car to the garage/main dealer and have it hooked up to a machine to diagnose anything these days.
 
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