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All pretty normal. To preheat, lock car using fob. Press fob 2nd button down on Rhs & hold for about 4 secs. Lights should flash & engine starts whirring. Lasts about 10 mins and may need a few mins more plugged in to refill battery as preheat can take more power than Evse supplies. U can do this process twice on a v chilly morning, allow 30 mins approx.

12 kWh from grid to charge as it's not 100% efficient. Some power goes into waste heat.

35 Mile range normal this time of year. Batteries work less well in cold, more drag on damp roads, more heating & Aircon being used. Car learns over several trips what sort of mileage your driving style gets, does a v good job predicting imho.

Loud noise hoofing it in Ice mode is 75 hp petrol revving at 4500 rpm trying to catch up with you drawing 150hp out of battery. So it will carry on revving for a while after you back off.

Heating system is probably best left on Eco or Max at 22C, and use fan speed to vary heating! Auto heating is reckoned useless. In winter, long trips, I start with Ice, heat to 25C using petrol waste heat to get really toasty, then when I switch to leccy I turn fan off. That way leccy drives car but doesn't heat it. Back to petrol when I get chilly! But your partner may not appreciate the subtlety of this approach!
 

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Thanks for the replies and comments. All makes perfect sense.

Just on the pre-heating, I would usually have my car locked at night (double clicked lock icon), so what I did was opened the car, pressed the lock button once and then the pre heat button. Is this the sequence I should be performing, I mean, do I have to open the car again and press the lock button before pre-heat or can I just press the pre-heat button for 4 secs first thing in the morning?
 

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Thanks for the replies and comments. All makes perfect sense.

Just on the pre-heating, I would usually have my car locked at night (double clicked lock icon), so what I did was opened the car, pressed the lock button once and then the pre heat button. Is this the sequence I should be performing, I mean, do I have to open the car again and press the lock button before pre-heat or can I just press the pre-heat button for 4 secs first thing in the morning?
I just press the lock button on the already Iocked car, then the hold the preheat button down.

You can see it works as the EVSE starts to light cycle showing its drawing power. To help speed up the recharge I press the button on the EVSE to use max power.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Afaik just pressing the preheat button on its own when car is already locked will not start the process. Even if locked, press the lock and then press & hold the preheat buttons. This should be in the manual somewhere...
 

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Thanks for the replies and comments. All makes perfect sense.
Just on the pre-heating, I would usually have my car locked at night (double clicked lock icon), so what I did was opened the car, pressed the lock button once and then the pre heat button. Is this the sequence I should be performing, I mean, do I have to open the car again and press the lock button before pre-heat or can I just press the pre-heat button for 4 secs first thing in the morning?
You don't leave your cosy house to Pre-heat. The fob has a very long range of at least 100 metres to lock/unlock/pre-heat although about a foot when detecting the key in the car! It occasionally refuses to detect it in my pocket.
Incidentally, it is useful to know that you stick the key in a hole under the rubber mat inside the dash top cubby hole if the fob battery fails or the car refuses to acknowledge the key is in the car.
Mine did once but has worked ever since.

Even if the car is locked, press lock again on the fob and then hold down the pre-heat button below the lock one for a few seconds until the cars lights flash. Side lights on means car getting toasty and defrosted. Heat settings appear to ignore the in car temp ones and it uses outside temp as a reference for electric seats etc.
 

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Useful to know.

How long does it take after that, before the battery has recovered & the green light starts flashng happily, when attached to 3.3kW wall-unit, or 13A EVSE running at 6, 8, or 10 (usual max for these things) amps? I suspect a lot will depend on the ambient air temp, and whether the batery is at that (maybe sub-zero) temp to begin with, or is already near where the car likes it, 20C perhaps?
 

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On the subject of the pre-heat and time/power it takes to charge back up again :- What happens if the car is set to only take charge during off-peak hours, and then you use pre-heat outside that charging window? If it's still plugged in to the wall charger, will it take the little bit of extra charge to make up for any battery that's been used up - or not? I've always assumes that it does, but now I'm not so sure.
 

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The car controls the charging process so the wall charger is effectively always on as far as the car is concerned, so in this scenario the car will draw power from the wall charger for preheating.
The only time that might not be true is if you have a smart wall charger these have the ability to switch on and off to balance the local grid so might be off when you want to preheat, you can easily tell by the green indicator going to solid green if preheat is being powered by the wall charger, if the wall charger is off you get no green light
 

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OK, I'm going to make a point of checking next time I do the pre-heat to see what happens when the pre-heat finishes and the car is still plugged in, but is now outside of the Economy 7 charging window that I've set up. Thanks.
 

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I usually leave the house at 6:15 am (before off-peak stops) and have the car set to be ready for a departure time of 5:45 am. This gives me to option to have one or even two preheat sessions and allow time for the car to top the battery back up (flashing light on the top of the dash) before I leave.
 

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OK. My situation is different, in that I rarely would leave home before the off peak (E 7) rate ends. Haven't needed the pre heat yet, as car is garaged,but will check when it gets a bit more nippy.
 

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That's the place you dump all your unwanted junk in in case it gets stolen, and leave your pride and joy out in the rain :)
 

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Hi guys, extremely useful thread, many thanks to you all.

What would your thoughts be on buying an Ampera out of warranty (125k miles). It's a 2012 model from the VIN.
I've gone through each of the issues here and the sellers responses have all been fine with the exception of:
  • Not aware of any recalls carried out (they are the second owner).
  • Have had no issues with the charger port but not aware if has been replaced / repaired.
  • Have had no issues with 12v battery but not aware if it has been changed.
I asked about getting the lifetime mileage and fuel usage and mpg but the seller claims to have reset this. Is this possible or is there a setting he needs to navigate specifically to? The car is far away from me so I won't get to view it till the weekend.

Thanks!
 

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Hi guys, extremely useful thread, many thanks to you all.

What would your thoughts be on buying an Ampera out of warranty (125k miles). It's a 2012 model from the VIN.
I've gone through each of the issues here and the sellers responses have all been fine with the exception of:
  • Not aware of any recalls carried out (they are the second owner).
  • Have had no issues with the charger port but not aware if has been replaced / repaired.
  • Have had no issues with 12v battery but not aware if it has been changed.
I asked about getting the lifetime mileage and fuel usage and mpg but the seller claims to have reset this. Is this possible or is there a setting he needs to navigate specifically to? The car is far away from me so I won't get to view it till the weekend.

Thanks!
Seller has come back with a 73.4mpg lifetime figure so with the mileage of 123,380 this works out at circa 67k miles on the ICE and 56k miles on the battery.
 

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Recalls would be early, first owner I'd think. Main one was the gas struts. The car's records with vauxhall would show if the recalls had been done.
The cars generally seem reliable, usual running gear like wheel bearings need replacing. 12 volt batteries are prone to failure but it's an inexpensive fix to change yourself.
If the price takes the lack of warranty into account then it worth the risk IMO. Note there is a risk but as more independent garages appear who can handle EV'S then the cost ought to decrease compared to the VX dealers.
 

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I'm finding that the number of people who can service the Ampera/Volt specifically is going down - there is only one chap at Bellingers, for instance, and he recently went off on paternity leave, meaning this large dealership had no-one at all who could even touch an Ampera for several weeks! Drive Leicester are booked up for Amperas on Saturdays until mid-January.
I haven't yet found an independent that will touch them and to be honest, I don't ever expect to.
Sorry to be negative but this is an extremely niche car and while general experience of EVs helps, there are some parts (e.g. gearbox) that need specialist Ampera-only knowledge.
(That's why I'm selling mine and getting a Kona Electric...)
 
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